Any time of year — and especially this time of year — I'll take the delicious simplicity and vanilla-ness (no, probably not a real word) of a chewy, soft and sweet snickerdoodle over just about any fancy, overwrought confection. Even better is to pair that simple, underappreciated cookie with the most perfect of holiday beverages — eggnog.
So this year, I wondered what would happen if I blended these two classic treats. That's right... An eggnog snickerdoodle. It totally makes sense. Though overtly rich and creamy, at heart eggnog is about clean vanilla creaminess with just a hint of holiday spice. You could easily say the same of snickerdoodles, which are a rich, buttery cookie with a clean vanilla taste and a light dusting of cinnamon-sugar on the outside.
EGGNOG SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (1/2 hour active)
Makes 36 cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup plain eggnog
1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high to beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in the eggnog, rum and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated. Add the eggs, then beat until well mixed.
Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your hands to form balls. Roll each ball in the sugar mixture to coat evenly, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Leaving 2 inches between the cookies on all sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, but still soft at the centre. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 40 calories from fat (36 per cent of total calories); 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 2 g protein; 75 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.Suggest a correction