Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eggnog Creams and the Cookie Party

Ahh, Christmas Cookies!
So today I went to my second out of three cookie swaps I am a part of this Christmas season. I only decided on what cookie to take last night, which is very last minute for me, but you must remember that I began my Christmas cookie baking before Thanksgiving. I was feeling a bit uninspired this week, and after those amazing chocolate mint cookies I made last weekend, I had no idea what to do with myself. So, last night I found myself perusing my mom's 2010 copy of America's Test Kitchen's Holiday Cookies magazine. In it were many yummy-looking recipes, but none appealed to me more than the Macadamia-Eggnog Creams (minus the macadamia nuts for me). I had everything I needed on hand (minus the macadamia nuts), so I went ahead and prepared the dough, which needed to chill in the fridge for an hour. I left it there overnight, since it makes no difference. When I woke up this morning, as soon as I was done with breakfast, I turned on this week's episode of Millionaire Matchmaker and started rolling, cutting, and baking my cookies.

I am hooked on Millionaire Matchmaker. I can't explain it. I like Patty's no-nonsense approach to finding love for rich people. I also like the freak show of some of the strange people she pulls into her office. I guess this was a sidebar, but oh well. Now you know where I stand.

Unfinished Cookies

Back to the cookies, I remembered that I don't like rolling out cookies as I was trying to roll out these cookies. I do not like the method this magazine prescribed, so I went to my own tried-and-true method. I used four cookie cutters: a bell, a star, a tree, and a snowman. I really like decorating the trees and snowmen. Once I got to the baking part, everything was a breeze. The cookies really only needed 6 minutes in our oven, and they came out looking puffy and barely golden on the edges. Once they were cooled, I packed them in a plastic container and prepared the rum glaze to take with me to the cookie party. The glaze was such a cinch to put together, and I used our aged rum because you can really taste it in the glaze.

Some Crazy Girls

The party was quite fun. My friend Kelsey invited me to her annual cookie swap that she and her family and friends do each year, and it was at her mother-in-law's house. There were lots of cookies, and it turns out three of us brought cookies for decorating. Everyone was impressed with my Martha Stewart sprinkles in blue and white (which, by the way, can be found at Michael's). Decorating cookies is always fun, and we joked about having a competition for prettiest cookie/weirdest cookie. All in all, a good day with some delicious cookies. I actually think that these eggnog cookies will become part of my annual Christmas cookie repertoire.

Pretty Cookies!

Eggnog Cookies
adapted from America's Test Kitchen Holiday 2010 Holiday Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 lrg egg, room temp
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp eggnog
2 tbsp rum
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and alternate additions of flour mixture and 1/2 cup eggnog, mixing after each addition until combined. Divide dough into quarters, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Toll each dough quarter on a lightly-floured flat surface to 1/8-inch thickness.Using cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until edges are light brown, 6-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Whisk remaining eggnog, rum, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spoon scant teaspoon glaze over cookies, then decorate with sprinkles- be creative!


Tree and Snowman

1 comment:

  1. I love Cook's Country magazine and made these cookies today, and thought that they were quite good. Mmmmmm. I do bake so many new desserts that I might not make them again (there's stiff competition in this house for dessert repeats!), but these were seriously great cookies. Yours tuned out really cute - love that snowman's expression :) There are some really talented home bakers that submit Christmas cookie contest recipes and I've enjoyed making so many of them from my Cook's Country magazines!