Eggnog meltaway cookies are tender cookies deliciously spiced with warm nutmeg, cloves and a hint of vanilla. These homemade cookies wonderfully replicate the flavors of your favorite holiday season drink.
Have a couple of eggnog meltaway cookies (or maybe the whole batch) and share them with your loved ones, it can hardly get more festive than this!
WHAT ARE MELTAWAY COOKIES?
Meltaway cookies will, as the name indicates, melt in your mouth in seconds. If you’re looking for chewy, cakey or crispy christmasy cookies, I don’t think this is the recipe for you. When I say these eggnog meltaway cookies are meltingly tender, I mean it! Their delicate texture is due to the absence of a leavening agent (baking soda, baking powder,…), the use of cornstarch, and a high ratio of butter. The moisture from the icing also contributes to the eggnog meltaway cookies’ softness.
THE WARMEST AND COSIEST OF DRINKS
I found out about eggnog from an American flatmate. She had been feeling homesick for a while and when December rolled around, really wanted some eggnog. Obviously, it would have been impossible to find eggnog in Turkey so we set out to make some. And I’ve been a convert ever since!
We do have eggnog in France, it’s called lait de poule (hen’s milk) but it’s definitely not as widely popular as in North America. Before making it with my flatmate, I didn’t even know what it looked like. I only knew it by name, but I had never seen it and never been offered any. You can’t buy eggnog in French supermarkets and I feel like the only place you’ll spot eggnog/lait de poule would be in 19th -century French novels or American Christmas movies.
CHILLING IS MANDATORY
To replicate the creaminess of eggnog a lot of butter is used to make these eggnog meltaway cookies. Because of the high amount of softened butter, the dough is way softer than most cookie doughs. As a consequence, the dough will imperatively need to be chilled before being shaped as a log and sliced. Otherwise, it will be way too sticky to do anything with it. You really need to chill the dough so it can harden.
The shaped sliced cookies placed on the baking trays will also need to be chilled before baking. A brief stay in the freezer (or fridge) will prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. Limiting the spread is important because if you don’t the eggnog meltaway cookies will be thinner, which means they will turn out crispy instead of tender.
STEP #1: MAKE THE DOUGH
- Leave the cubed butter at room temperature until really really soft. Add the spices.
- Beat until creamy and incorporate the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Sieve ⅓ of the dry ingredients over the butter mixture. Beat at the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are well combined.
- Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients. The dough will be soft and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the dough in the fridge for 1h.
STEP #2: SHAPE THE COOKIES
- Dust your work surface with flour. Tear off half of the dough and place it on the work surface. Lightly dust with more flour.
- With floured hands, shape the dough into a log, roughly 5cm (2 in) wide. Roll the log over the flour on the work surface to lightly cover it.
- With a sharp floured knife, cut the log into 1.5cm (½ in) slices. Place the slices on a lined tray.
- Use your hands to shape the slices back into round cookies. Repeat with the rest of the dough and bake the eggnog meltaway cookies as indicated in the recipe.
STEP #3: MAKE THE ICING
- Combine the sieved powdered sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well and pour the rum/bourbon and water.
- Stir everything together with a fork.
STEP #4: DECORATE THE COOKIES
- Drop 1 tsp of icing into the center of a cookie.
- Carefully spread it using the back of the spoon until you almost reach the edges, but leave a 0.5cm (¼ in) gap all around. Leave to set for 1h.
For the best results, I would suggest preparing the dough but not baking the eggnog meltaway cookies in advance. Tightly wrap the 2 dough logs in plastic wrap as indicated in step 3 and place them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Your dough might be hard as stone after having stayed in the refrigerator for this long. If so, leave the dough logs at room temperature on the floured surface until they become “sliceable”.
You can totally freeze meltaway cookies so they are perfect to get ahead with your Christmas baking! It is possible to freeze iced cookies but they will taste better if you don’t decorate the eggnog meltaway cookies in advance, but do so once thawed.
You can either freeze:
-> raw dough: tightly wrap the 2 dough logs in plastic wrap and place them into a freezer bag before freezing them for up to 3 months. Thaw the logs overnight in the fridge before continuing with the end of step 3. If the logs are too hard to slice, leave them at room temperature on the floured surface until they become “sliceable”.
-> baked cookies: bake the cookies and let them completely cool down on their baking trays. Place the trays in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1h, and then transfer them to a freezer bag. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the cookies on 1 baking tray lined with parchment paper and leave at room temperature. Wait until the eggnog meltaway cookies are completely thawed (it might take a few hours) before icing them.
Are you looking for other cookie recipes to fill up your Christmas cookie boxes? Here are some of my favorites:Print
Eggnog meltaway cookies are tender cookies deliciously spiced with warm nutmeg, cloves and a hint of vanilla.
For the cookie dough:
- 230g butter (2 sticks or 8 oz)
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 to 3 tsp vanilla extract (I put 3 tsp because my extract is not very strong)
- 140g all-purpose flour (1 cup), plus a bit extra to dust the work surface
- 95g cornstarch (¾ cup)
- 55g powdered sugar (⅓ cup)
For the icing:
- 105g powdered sugar (⅔ cup)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp rum or bourbon, or replace with water if you don’t want to use liquor
- 2 tbsp water
- Soften the butter. Cut the butter into small cubes and place them into a large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with whatever is handy (plastic wrap, aluminum foil, a tea towel, a plate,…). Leave the butter at room temperature until completely soft. It might take up to 3 or 4h if your kitchen is cold. There should be no resistance when you press a finger into a cube.
- Make the dough. Once the butter is really soft, sprinkle the ground nutmeg, ground cloves and salt over it. Beat the butter with a hand mixer until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 min. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat again until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Mix the flour, cornstarch and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Sieve a third of the dry ingredients over the butter mixture. Beat at the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are well combined. Sieve another third of the dry ingredients and beat again at the lowest speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Incorporate the last third of the dry ingredients following the same method. At this stage, the dough will be really soft and creamy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the dough in the fridge to rest and “thicken” for 1h. This is a crucial step so don’t skip it or it will be impossible to shape the cookies.
- Shape the cookies. After 1h the dough will have hardened a bit but it will still be very malleable. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set them aside. Dust your work surface with flour. Tear off half of the dough and place it on the work surface. Lightly dust it with flour and, with floured hands, shape the dough into a log, roughly 5cm (2 in) wide. If the dough is too sticky don’t hesitate to sprinkle more flour. Roll the log over the flour on the work surface to lightly cover it. With a sharp floured knife, cut the log into 1.5cm (½ in) slices. You should get about 10 slices. Place the slices on one of the trays, leaving gaps between them so they have room to spread. It’s normal if after cutting and moving the cookies you notice that they have lost their circular shapes. Use your hands to shape the slices back into round cookies. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough, putting the slices on the second baking tray.
- Bake. Place one of the baking trays in the freezer (or the fridge if you don’t have one) for 15 min. It’s important for the eggnog meltaway cookies to firm up before baking. Leave the other tray at room temperature. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) in the meantime. Once the first batch of cookies has been in the freezer for 15 min, place the baking tray with the cold cookies in the oven and place the room-temperature tray in the freezer. Bake the first batch of cookies until the bottom and sides of the cookies start to turn golden, about 17 to 20 min. The top of the cookies should remain pale. After coming out of the oven, the cookies will be fragile so leave them to cool down completely on the baking tray. Bake the other batch of cookies following the same method and then let them cool down completely on their tray.
- Make the icing. Sieve the powdered sugar over a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the cinnamon using a fork. Make a well in the center and pour the rum/bourbon and water. Stir everything together using the fork. This makes a rather thick icing. If it’s too runny it will fall down the sides of the cookies. However, if the icing is too thick to properly glaze cookies, stir in more water (½ tbsp at a time) until it reaches the right consistency. On the contrary, if the icing is too runny you can always add more sieved powdered sugar to thicken it. This makes a bit more icing than what’s needed but it’s not very practical to decrease the quantities.
- Decorate the cookies. Work with 1 cookie at a time. Drop 1 teaspoon of icing into the center of the cookie and carefully spread it using the back of the spoon until you almost reach the edges, but leave a 0.5cm (¼ in) gap all around the cookie. Repeat with the other eggnog meltaway cookies. Let the icing set for 1h with the cookies undisturbed still on the trays. You can lightly dust them with more ground cinnamon if desired.
The cookies will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container. To prevent any risk of sticking together, arrange the cookies in single layers (they shouldn’t overlap) with a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer. They will get softer over time.
The cookies don’t spread a lot so they could technically all be baked on one single tray but I have noticed that they don’t bake as well while doing so.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 167
Keywords: christmas things to bake, spice cookie recipe, wintery desserts