Friday, December 16, 2011

Rummy Eggnog Cookies

The cookie baking season is upon is. Between the parties, cookie swaps and giving of homemade gifts, the opportunities to show off one’s cookie baking skills are ample. My own favorite Christmas

recipes include jam-filled Linzer cookies, snowy almond crescents, chocolate sandwiched butter cookies, and classic vanilla and chocolate checkerboard squares. And then there are my Rummy

Eggnog Cookies, which I consider to be the quintessential holiday treat. Nothing says the holidays like boozy eggnog, after all. These nutmeg-infused squares of shortbread are sandwiched together

with a creamy filling spike with dark rum (though they are equally delish flavored with brandy, Cognac or bourbon). They are a stellar addition to any cookie tray or assortment, and may just become a holiday tradition of your very own.

Rummy Eggnog Cookies
Adapted from a recipe in The Good Cookie

Makes 30 sandwich cookies
Storage: in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated for up to a week.

Eggnog dough:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Rummy cream filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Freshly grated nutmeg

Make the eggnog cookies:
1. In an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add the flour and mix at low speed until combined. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a rectangle, and wrap it up. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
3. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Using a 1 3/4-inch round flower cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible from the dough. Cut out the center of half of the cookies with a 1/2-inch aspic cutter (of any shape) or 1/2-inch plain pastry tip (these will be the tops). Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, keeping the tops and bottoms on separate baking sheets (the tops will take a minute or so less to bake than the bottoms). Sprinkle the cookies with coarse sugar. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom (but not on top). Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking procedure with the remaining dough and scraps.

Make the rummy cream filling:
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, rum, and vanilla extract and beat until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; increase the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is creamy, about 2 minutes.
Assemble the cookies:
5. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon of the filling onto the bottom of one of the whole cookies. Top with one of the cut-out cookies, with the bottom side against the filling, pressing the cookies lightly together. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on top of each cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Serve the cookies at room temperature or chilled.