Saturday, January 5, 2019

Brandied Eggnog Cookies

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. This post is a little late, but I am still reminiscing. I wanted to thank all the Google communities of wonderful bakers and cooks that inspire me. I now am in the job realm of baking, but I still continue with my passion on my own time with this blog.

To start this year, I bring you a recipe for a delectable sandwich cookie. The crunch of a sugar cookie sandwiched together by a brandy nutmeg filling. All the flavor of eggnog in a sweet gem of a treat. Next year try putting these cookies out for Santa-it will definitely insure that you are on his nice list!

Brandied Eggnog Cookies
adapted from the Good Cookie

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Ingredients/Cream Filling
1 cup plus 2 tbs confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs brandy
3 tbs butter (softened)

Coarse sugar
Grated nutmeg

For the cookies, fill the bowl of a stand mixer with butter and sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the vanilla,  nutmeg, egg yolk and salt. Pour into the butter/sugar mixture and beat until thoroughly blended.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in the flour, incorporating it into the batter in 1/2 cup intervals. Once combined, place a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Transfer the dough to the plastic and flatten into a rectangle. Completely cover dough and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 3 days.

When you are ready to form and bake cookies, lightly sprinkle a flat work surface with flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Place one half back in refrigerator and the other half on the work surface. Dust with flour and roll dough out in a mass about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a cutter (I used linzer cookie cutter) about 1 1/2 inch square, cut dough into shapes. For the center hole, use a 1/2 inch round piping tip to form the window or hole. This step is to be completed on only half of the cookies, the top cookie will have the window and the bottom cookie will be solid.

Then transfer cut outs to a baking sheet, placing the solid cut outs together on one sheet and the cut outs with the window on another. The baking time for the cut outs with the window takes about one minute less than the others. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sugar. Place cookies in the oven and bake each sheet separately, for about 9-11 minutes. Cookies should be be a light golden brown on the bottom, the tops should not change color. Once baked, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat the process of rolling the dough and cutting out shapes by re-using the scraps and the second piece of dough in the refrigerator. If the dough gets too sticky in the process, return it to the refrigerator to firm up. Once firm, you can start the rolling and cutting process again.

For the filling, fill a small bowl with the butter and beat until smooth and silky. Add 1/2 a cup of the confectioners's sugar and beat until no dry powder remains. Using another bowl, whisk together the brandy and vanilla extract. Add it to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until evenly distributed. Lastly, mix in the remaining confectioners' sugar until creamy. It should have a frosting consistency.

Spread about 3/4 of a teaspoon of filling onto each solid cookie. Then lightly press the cookie with the window on top. Grate or sprinkle the top with nutmeg.

Tips and Notes:
1. Another method for forming the cookies is to roll the dough on parchment paper, making sure the dough can fit into the baking sheet. Then cut out dough on parchment lined baking sheet and remove the outer scraps, leaving the cut outs on the baking sheet. This keeps you from having to transfer the cut out from the flat surface to the cookie sheet, so it insures the perfect shape. Also, if the dough gets too sticky or soft, it can be chilled quickly in the refrigerator on the baking sheet.

2. Feel free to use the liquor of your choice. I used gingerbread spiced whiskey.

3. The recipe states it makes 30 cookies, I ended up with about 24. My 1/8 of an inch thickness was not consistent, so I had less cookies.

4. The filling of 3/4 of a tsp may not seem much. Due to the strength of the brandy, not much filling is required to get a nice flavor pairing with the cookies.
                                       **LAST YEAR:Cocoa Almond Pound Cake**