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As we gear up for the holiday madness — visiting in-laws, parking-lot musical chairs, office parties, endless gift-buying, spending days (or weeks) making and packaging homemade gifts — one thought continually rolls through our heads: “We need a drink.”
Since it’s rather frowned upon to be seen with flask in hand on a regular basis, it is best to devise incognito ways to sneak in a little nip here and there. (This keeps us calm and ensures that the holidays are, in fact, merry.) There are already several holiday classics intent on serving this purpose: rum balls, trifles, and of course, the ever-popular eggnog. Well, let’s add another treat to the list of holiday stress remedies: a delicate butter cookie with a brandy-laced eggnog icing.
Though innocent in appearance, these high-spirited cookies will bring a twinkle to your eyes (and some rose to your cheeks). You can always play around with your liquor of choice (dark rum, cognac, bourbon or Kahlua are some fun options) and then box up mixed batches as gifts. The holidays are happy once again!
Butter Cookies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Yields: About 3 1/2 dozen cookies
2 sticks (1 cup or 225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (3ml) pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 1/4 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ounces (56g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons (30ml) eggnog
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy, cognac, or dark rum, optional
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (250g) confectioners’ sugar
Ground cinnamon, for dusting top of cookies
Beat the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until combined and then add the lemon zest.
Turn mixer down to its slowest setting. Gradually add flour and mix until incorporated, stopping once or twice to scrape bottom of the bowl.
Divide dough into two portions and roll each into a log 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies 3/8-inch thick and place on the lined baking sheets giving 1-inch spacing between cookies. Bake, 2 trays at a time, for 14 minutes or until light golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through baking time. Keep the unbaked cookies chilled until ready to bake. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets.
Beat the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Mix in eggnog, alcohol, and nutmeg. Turn mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar until completely incorporated.
After the cookies have completely cooled, ice cookies and dust with cinnamon.
Todd Porter and Diane Cu are professional food and travel photographers who publish the popular food blog White on Rice. Their lives have always been about love, family, friends, sharing, exploring and food.
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