Friends, I know it’s a sensitive subject, but I couldn’t resist any longer. The Holidays just wouldn’t be the same without eggnog. I like drinking it and I adore it in desserts.
So this week, I set out to bake something using the Christmas beverage. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t. I didn’t want the typical frosted or glazed eggnog cookies that everyone does. I didn’t want an eggnog pound cake or eggnog pie either. Everyone makes those too. This took more than 50 percent of the recipes out of the running.
As I looked at what remained, I became disillusioned. Many recipes didn’t even contain eggnog! Rather it was labeled eggnog because of cream cheese, spices, and maybe rum extract. When did that become acceptable?
Thus, my search for an authentic eggnog dessert became a quest spanning Pinterest and Google. In the end, I came up empty. So, I decided to go out on limb and create something myself – Eggnog Crinkle Cookies.
As unfathomable as it seemed, I was entering uncharted territory, an Eggnog Crinkle Cookie made with real eggnog.
Since I’m not one for baking chemistry, I didn’t want to mess up the basics. I followed what I had gleaned from trusted bakers, and I added my spin: turbinado (raw) sugar over granulated for depth, an extra egg yolk for chewiness, and pumpkin spice in lieu of standard cinnamon and nutmeg (I got the spice idea from Trader Joe’s).
The dough was incredibly sticky for the first batch, making it a challenge to roll into balls. So, I did more of a drop the dough into the powdered sugar and roll thing. I only placed nine on the cookie sheet to allow room for any spreading. Then, I set the timer and waited anxiously.
The aroma wafting from the oven reminded me of warmed eggnog. I felt encouraged. After 15 minutes, I removed the cookies from the oven and assessed their appearance. They hadn’t spread. Yet, there were no crinkles, only fine cracks.
I sampled a warm Eggnog Cookie as I worked on a solution. It was better than imagined. The edges delicate crisp gave way to a soft, chewy center. There was richness with hints of spice and eggnog. Though the exterior had absorbed the powdered sugar, it wasn’t too sugary and definitely didn’t need glaze or frosting. This captivating cookie could stand on its own.
For the next batch, I made the dough balls using the sugar trick. First, you roll the ball in granulated sugar, and then you roll it in the powdered sugar. This helps the powdered sugar stick, forming better crinkles. From the start, my concern with this method was the flavor impact. The Eggnog Cookies were perfect as is. What would extra sugar do?
After another 15 minutes, I found out.
As far as looks, I had my crinkles. But as far as taste, there was an unnecessary sweetness. It masked the subtleties, I enjoyed in the first batch.
Now in between batches, I’d been keeping the cookie dough in the fridge. Therefore, by the time I got around to the third, it had chilled at least 45 minutes. The refrigerated dough gripped the powdered sugar when rolling, and produced crinkles without compromising the flavor. We had a winner!
The complete recipe for these Eggnog Crinkle Cookies is below. Don’t worry about the eggnog haters in your life. Even they will love it.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 20-24 cookies)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup eggnog (I used regular, not lowfat)
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease with non-stick spray and set aside.
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy (might take longer due to sugar’s coarse texture). Mix in whole egg, yolk, vanilla and eggnog. Scrape sides to mix well. Add flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring slowly until just combined.
Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least one hour.
Pour powdered sugar on a large plate. Take a heaping teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball, and roll ball in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Only 9 cookies at a time recommended for even heat distribution.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not shiny). Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 3 minutes before moving to cooling rack.
Adapted from LDS Living