December 13: Nate’s Eggnogg Cookies

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Note: I got behind because of illness.. Now that I can at least sit upright for more than a few hours, I am catching up. But with that, these are going to be more bare-bones than in the past.

Nate’s Eggnog Cookies

(adapted from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg , plus more for topping
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 1/2 cup eggnog

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter , at room temperature (I used 1/4 cup salted and 1/4 cup unsalted butter)
  • 3 – 5 Tbsp eggnog
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, rum extract and egg nog. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 
  4. Scoop dough out by the heaping tablespoonfuls and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven 11 – 13 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Eggnog Frosting and sprinkle tops lightly with nutmeg.

For the Eggnog Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Add in rum extract and 3 Tbsp eggnog and mix in powdered sugar. Add additional eggnog to reach desired consistency.
  2. Recipe Source: slightly adapted from allrecipes.com and inspired by Parent Pretty

Many years ago, my precious first-born came to me at 7 o’clock at night on a school night, and said, “Mom, I read a cookbook for my book report, and I have to bake cookies for it. Oh, and it’s due tomorrow.”

Ahhh…here’s that sweet boy, and how that turned out. That’s right, I was the meanest mom in the world and made him make his own cookies.

And in the seven years since this fateful night, it turns out I have not gotten any nicer and he hasn’t gotten any better and forethought.

Nate had a cookie exchange at school in his AP Chemistry class. He told me the night before, and I said cool, get a recipe and go at it.

He acted like he was annoyed, but I could tell he was into it. Well, until the mixer turned on for the first time. There might have been a jump and a scream. And by might, I mean there was.

This is the cookie he found for me last year, that properly demonstrates his love of eggnog. I brought the eggnog home and the other two kids were so excited! Until they found out Nate would be making cookies with it. I’m the mom in these parts, so I’m sure I’m not privy to all that happens here, but I’m pretty sure the other two made credible threats to their brother for not sharing the eggnog.

I think he did a pretty good job. I said I’d frost them if he mixed up the frosting for me, which he did.

And I hear the cookies were a hit at school, too.

December 3: Shortbread

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Shortbread (from Old World Garden Farms)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1. In a large mixing bowl add butter and sugar and cream together.

2. Slowly add flour and mix just until incorporated.

3. On a lightly floured surface work the dough until it forms a ball.

4. Roll out the dough to 1/2 – 1/3 inch thickness.

5. Using cooking cutters, cut into desired shapes. Or cut into small rectangular shapes.

Today’s cookie is a new recipe for me, but it’s so simple, I still feel like I’m cheating. Shortbread is amazing…buttery, delicious, and only three ingredients. I frosted mine to give them a little more appeal, but honestly, my intended cookie-eaters today wouldn’t have cared if they were plain.

Oh yes, my intended cookie-eaters were my students. You see, my school recently acquired a table top oven, with the hopes that some kids will want to take fun baking classes with me.

Normally this holds my computer and not much else!

I wanted to take it out for a spin. This thing is not big by any means, but it did the trick beautifully. Cookies came out like they would at my house, but in smaller batches.

Now, the thing is about baking at a remote location–you have to pack everything up to take there. And this was not a fun part of my day. Between ingredients (even though there were just 3), bowls, frosting, a cooling rack, and few more things, I had to have help bringing all of this into the school today. Plus, acquiring said items made me late for work, and I hate being late. I hope offering my boss the first warm cookie from the oven helped him forgive my tardiness!

Since I work with kids, I had lots of helpers and lots of tasters. My students are 6th-12th grades, so their help resembles more actual help than if I had “helpers” of a younger variety.

But with that also came the downside…larger helpers have larger appetites. Sadly, I have no cookies left. I guess I shouldn’t say sadly though, because these kids were the most enthused and motivated as I’ve ever seen them! And the teachers were excited too! Eventually everyone’s noses led them to where I was with my mini-oven. It was amazing at what the smell of fresh baked cookies can do for people!

Literally all that were left after I remembered to take a picture. And then *these* were gone 5 minutes later!

One of my students said, “We’re baking cookies as a family.” And coming out of the mouth of a 15 year-old aspiring rapper, I was definitely touched. They may not be my own kids, but I think of them as part of my family, too!

December 8: Nate’s Eggnog Cookies

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I’ve been doing this cookie thing for a long time now. The first official year of 24 Days of Cookies was in 2004, when my now 16 year-old son was a precocious two-year-old. He was an only child at that point (and he’d joke that those were the good ol’ days) and was the cutest little dude you ever did see. 

Because 2004 was about a million years ago, I don’t have those pictures digital on my computer, but I do have this picture of Nate when he was 3, so just imagine this dude a year younger. Precious.

Anyway, Nate has been my longest-running taste-tester, beater-licker, and cookie-sampler. Nowadays, he’s also my bus boy and world’s greatest dishwasher. Let’s just say he doesn’t have the same enthusiasm about 24 Days of Cookies ever since he was upgraded from garbage to dishes, but he doesn’t complain. Much. 

Last week, he sent me a text from upstairs (because: teenagers), with a cookie recipe. He’s never suggested a cookie before. They grow up so fast. 

Here he is now, at drivers ed last week. Doesn’t he look thrilled to be taking a picture with his mom?

So, for Nate, I made Eggnog Cookies today. The recipe looked pretty good and tasted even better. 

I creamed together the butter and sugars, and once again, the recipe called for it to be pale and fluffy. What’s with that? It’s got brown sugar in it too, so I wasn’t sure how pale this would end up. 

After adding vanilla and rum extracts to this, I added the pièce de rèsistance:

This is a hot commodity in our house. My middle son has been asking for eggnog for awhile, and so I bought two quarts early in the week. Aside from a glass or two by other people, he drank both quarts on the sly, and then complained all evening of digestive disturbance. Even with those natural consequences, I had to buy this secretly and hide it. 

After adding all the dry ingredients, I put the dough on my parchment-lined baking sheets and baked them as directed. Because I think my oven is a few degrees cooler than normal (hi landlord…), it took a few minutes longer, but ultimately turned out pretty well.

I then got started on the frosting, which also calls for rum extract and eggnog. And butter, and a crapload of powdered sugar. 

Can anyone make frosting without making a mess? I seem to just have a knack for the mess, and I hope there are others out there like me. 

Once frosted, I topped the cookies with a shake or two of nutmeg. Nate emerged from his den of adolescence and ate one. He gave his seal of approval and said they tasted just like eggnog. 

That’s his professional opinion, of course.

Nate’s Eggnog Cookies

(adapted from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg , plus more for topping
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 1/2 cup eggnog

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter , at room temperature (I used 1/4 cup salted and 1/4 cup unsalted butter)
  • 3 – 5 Tbsp eggnog
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, rum extract and egg nog. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 
  4. Scoop dough out by the heaping tablespoonfuls and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven 11 – 13 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Eggnog Frosting and sprinkle tops lightly with nutmeg.

For the Eggnog Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Add in rum extract and 3 Tbsp eggnog and mix in powdered sugar. Add additional eggnog to reach desired consistency.
  2. Recipe Source: slightly adapted from allrecipes.com and inspired by Parent Pretty