So not only was this cookie swap a ton of fun to participate in, but it could not have been for a better cause!
With just over a week left in the semester, I truly looked forward to and appreciated coming home to shipments of cookies! This year I received delicious Tahini Butter Cookies from Annelies, at the Food Poet, Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies from Aaron, at the Hungry Hutch, and Moroccan Sesame Cookies from Amanda over at MoracMama. All three cookies were enjoyed on my own before deciding enough was enough and that I should probably share the wealth with my labmates at work. I'm sure my waistline will thank me for this decision in the long run, but my sweet tooth tonight sure is regretting it!
For the cookie swap, I knew I wanted to embrace seasonal flavors and do a twist on a classic cookie. In the end, I went for incorporating the rich, spiced flavors of eggnog into a classic cookie - the snickerdoodle!
Based on Joy of Baking's Snickerdoodles
Yields: 36-40 cookies
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (or half all purpose, half whole wheat baking flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3-1/2 c, whole fat eggnog
- 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 -3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Once sugar and butter have been creamed together, mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping in between additions. Afterward, mix in the vanilla extract.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients to your wet mixture.
- With your stand mixer or hand beaters on low, pour the eggnog into the cookie dough. If you're using whole wheat flour, you'll want to add closer to 1/2 c of eggnog. Cookie dough will be sticky at this point, so scrape down the sides and pop it into the refrigerator for at least two hours or until firm.
- Once cookie dough is firm, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set up your work station with your metal cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and sprayed with your favorite non-stick cookie spray or lined with Silpat sheets. In a small bowl, you'll want to have your sugar and cinnamon mixture. You'll also want a small, circular cup that you can press your cookie balls down with.
- Spoon it 1-1 1/2" balls of dough. Roll the balls into the sugar coating before pressing down with the cup. To keep the cup from sticking, occasionally rinse the cup off with clean water. You should aim for fitting 15 cookies on a pan.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Keep a careful eye on the cookies and make sure that they are baking evenly. If your oven is as fickle as mine, you might want to rotate the pans while the cookies are baking. You also should keep an eye on the centers of the cookies to make sure they're baking all the way through, and watch for the bottoms of the cookies browning before cookies are actually done all the way through! (If this happens, try covering your cookie pan with tin foil while those cookies finish baking in the oven. Just be careful not to have the tin foil touch up against the cookies.)
If you are super ambitious, I would love to see someone try drizzling a salted bourbon caramel sauce over these cookies. I actually had bought all the ingredients for the sauce, but ran out of time! With all of the ingredients sitting in my cabinets, I have the perfect excuse to make the cookies over again, but I hope that it also inspires one of you to try out something new and make it your own!
Happy holidays, folks!