Almost every holiday comes with its own treats. Who can think of Thanksgiving — which is coming up this Thursday — without conjuring up images of pumpkin pie with whipped cream? Or how about popcorn balls on Halloween?
The same could be said about Christmastime. What would that time of the year be without eggnogg or Snickerdoodle cookies? At least those are treats that J.M Hirsch associates with the holiday season in December.
Hirsch, who is food editor for the Associated Press and one of my favorite writers, wondered what would happen if you combined those two classic treats. What he came up with is the following recipe, which I may just have to add to my holiday baking list.
Eggnog Snickerdoodle Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
2 cups sugar, divided
¼ cup plain eggnog
1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high to beat the butter and 1½ cups of the sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in the eggnog, rum and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated. Add the eggs, then beat until well-mixed.
Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ½ cup of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your hands to form balls. Roll each ball in the sugar mixture to coat evenly, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Leaving 2 inches between the cookies on all sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, but still soft at the center. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Yield: 36 cookies.
Approximate nutritional analysis per cookie: 110 calories, 36 percent of calories from fat, 4.5 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated, no trans), 20 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 8 grams sugar, 2 grams protein, 75 milligrams sodium.
Note: Hirsch is the is author of the cookbook “High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking.” Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.