Friday, December 11, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Eggnog Latte Cookies, 2 Ways

This blog post was named a "Foodbuzz Top 9" for Tuesday, December 15
Thank you, FoodBuzz!
~ Cleo Coyle

Eggnog is a holiday taste that my husband and I look forward to enjoying every year. While Marc drinks it straight from the fridge, I prefer mine in a comfortingly warm latte. So, I thought, why not put the flavor in a cookie?

Marc pulls no punches when it comes to telling me when a recipe is not working, but he completely flipped over these. The dough alone is redolent with that creamy-sweet, slightly spicy, eggnoggy fragrance (yes, I made up the word eggnoggy). As they bake, nutmeg and vanilla permeate the air with the quintessential aroma of your classic Bing Crosby-Danny Kaye Christmas. (BTW: If you’ve never seen the legendary holiday film that these gifted guys star in, it’s a real pleasure. Click the arrow in the window below to hear Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen sing "Snow," a 4-part harmony song from the movie White Christmas...)

This recipe can be made two ways: (A) For an easy refrigerator cookie, simply roll it into a thick, soft log, chill, slice, and bake.

(B) For a more elaborate holiday cookie tray, make a rolled and shaped cookie by chilling the dough in thick discs, then rolling it out, and using your favorite cookie cutters. I’ve kept the composition of this cookie dough very buttery so that a liberal addition of flour when rolling will not toughen the cookie on you.

You can serve these cookies plain or with the polished finish of my Eggnog Glaze (recipe below), which adds yet another layer of eggnog flavor. Finally, a dusting of my Nutmeg Sugar mimics the barista’s finish to an eggnog latte with a sprinkling of that classic holiday spice.

Cleo Coyle’s Eggnog
Latte Cookies

I was actually planning to publish this recipe in Holiday Grind, but at 80 pages and counting for the book’s bonus Recipe section, I plum ran out of room—or more like sugarplum ran out of room. Hey, no groaning! It’s the holiday season! You can go back to groaning on January 2nd. ~ Cleo

(If you would like to learn more about the culinary mystery series that I write for Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime imprint, click this link Cleo's books. Learn more about Holiday Grind by clicking here or on cover.) 

To get this recipe in a takeaway format, just CLICK HERE! The recipe will appear in a PDF document, which you can print out, save on your computer, or forward to friends or family.

YIELDS: About 4 dozen cookies of 2-inches in diameter; smaller size cookies will yield more; larger will yield less.

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter

3/4 c. sugar
½ cup eggnog
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2-1/2 c flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Eggnog Glaze (optional, see recipe below)
Nutmeg Sugar (optional, see recipe below)

(1) One bowl mixing method: First cream butter and sugar, and then measure in eggnog, egg, vanilla, nutmeg, sifted flour, and baking powder. Mix until a smooth dough forms, but do not over mix or you will create gluten in your dough which will make your cookies tough instead of tender.

(2) Chill it, baby: You have two options for this step:

OPTION (A) – Easy Refrigerator Cookies: For this version, simply roll the dough into a thick log. Chill it several hours, until somewhat firm (it will still be a bit soft because of the high butter content), then roll the log in granulated sugar and slice up.

Arrange cookie dough slices on a baking sheet that’s been lined, greased, or coated with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Using a spatula, flatten the cookie dough rounds into circles of about 2-inches in diameter. Because the dough is soft, the cookies will easily flatten into a nice, thin round.

To prevent sticking as you flatten, place a small square of parchment paper or wax paper between the cookie dough and your spatula. If you don’t plan on glazing these cookie slices, then sprinkle the tops with a bit of my Nutmeg Sugar, (recipe at end of post) and bake.

OPTION (B) – Rolled and Shaped Cookies (aka cookie-cutter cookies): For this second method of making my Eggnog Latte Cookies, form your freshly mixed dough into two thick discs. Wrap these separately in wax paper or plastic wrap, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or more. This helps flavors develop and hardens the butter in the dough, allowing you to roll it out without it sticking to everything. (Chilling overnight is fine, too.) Now move on to Step 3.

(3) Roll the dough: For shaped cookies, roll out the dough on a liberally floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch. I intentionally made this dough buttery and sticky so it will be able to take the extra flour that you use in the rolling process. If you skipped chilling the dough, however, you may have real trouble rolling it, even with flour, so chill it, baby! I would also advise you not to roll any thinner than 1/8 of an inch, otherwise your cookies may not hold their shapes. If you prefer a very thin cookie, then make the
refrigerator cookies (see Step 2).

(4) Cut the dough: Using a cookie cutter, cut the rolled out dough into any shape you like. Because these are eggnog “latte” inspired cookies, I like to use a cookie cutter in the shape of a cup. (FYI: I purchased mine at this fun site: ) Stars, teddy bears, snowmen, angels, or gingerbread men or woman shapes are nice ideas for this cookie, too.

(5) Bake: Preheat oven to 350° F. and bake on a cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Parchment paper and silicon sheets are a great help in preventing cookies from sticking. Allow to cool. For a polished finish, brush tops of cooled cookies with Eggnog Glaze and sprinkle on Nutmeg Sugar (both of my recipes are below).

CLEO'S EGGNOG GLAZE: In a saucepan warm ¼ cup eggnog and 2 tablespoon butter over low heat. Do not allow this mixture to boil! If it does, you may get a scorched taste in your glaze. When butter is just melted, stir in 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar. I like to add in 1/2 teaspoon rum extract. If you really like rum, you may want to increaste this amount; if you dislike rum, simply leave out the extract. Keep stirring until the sugar is melted and a smooth glaze forms. If you did not sift the sugar, you may need to wisk the glaze to smooth out any clumping.

Once glaze is smooth and well blended, use a pastry brush to glaze the cookies. Remember that the glaze is hot! Watch your fingers and do not allow young children to glaze or they may get burned. Sprinkle immediately with Nutmeg Sugar before the glaze has a chance to harden.

CLEO'S NUTMEG SUGAR: Whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Sprinkle lightly over freshly glazed eggnog latte cookies and...

Eat with Joy!

The Festival of Lights has begun!

Till next time,

~ Cleo Coyle
author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

To find out more about the books in my Coffeehouse Mystery series or enter my weekly Free Coffee Drawing, click this link to my virtual home at

National Bestseller
Now in paperback.

Recipe text and photos are copyright (c) 2009 by Alice Alfonsi
who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries as Cleo Coyle with her husband, Marc Cerasini



  1. These cookies sound wonderful. Can't wait to try them. Loved the "Snow" clip. Wish I'd found that song to add to the playlist on my blog.

  2. Eggnog cookies sound delish! I love a little coffee liqueur in my eggnog, so I'm guessing these are the perfect treat to accompany an afternoon cup of coffee.

    ~ Krista

  3. Hey, I left a comment hours ago. I wonder where it went....

    I wanted to tell you, Cleo, that these look so wonderful and I'm really eager to give them a try. The coffee cup shapes are great! Wonderful post!


  4. Wow, these sound fabulous!!!!! Just tweeted them.

  5. Avery - Thank you! Sending re-tweet thanks, as well!

    Julie - the mysterious missing comment is located! Your first comment was on my "Cheesecake Contest" Iron Chef post. (I made that a splashy, separate post from the cookie post today.) But I read that one, too, and want to thank you for your very kind words. With so few comments today, I thought maybe my husband and I were the only ones on earth who actually liked eggnog! LOL!

    Krista - Oh, that's brilliant. Why in the world didn't I think of that? The eggnog latte is one of my all-time faves, which is (DOH!) coffee and eggnog! Marc and I are going to try your idea this evening because (luckily) we just so happen to have half a bottle of Kahlua on hand! Thank you for the great suggestion!

    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. Mason - I just dropped in on your blog to check out your holiday "playlist" - it's wonderful! I am listening to "Baby It's Cold Outside" from you site as type this, lol!

    Isn't that "Snow" clip great? I just love the four part harmony. They just don't make 'em like that anymore...


  7. Vera-Ellen... What a beauty, ON THE TOWN (Frank Sinatra and Vera-Ellen... hubba hubba) is my favorite movie... Sadly, she had a sad life after the movies... Child died of sudden infant death syndrom and she suffered from severe arthritis...

    But on a happier note... I LOVE you coffee cup cutters, GREAT presentation of these cookies on a bed of coffee beans!

  8. Eggnog is one of my favorite Christmas flavors. I even have my 10 year old daughter hooked on the stuff too. I'm sure she'd be happy to help me make these.

  9. Oh, duh... on me! Thanks for solving the mystery!


  10. Love eggnog! Don't know why we save it for Christmas instead of enjoying it throughout the year.

    Now I'm in the mood for the white stuff! We're supposed to actually GET a little more snow this year in's been cold and wet, so we'll see!

    These cookies sound really, really good. I can see myself with a huge cup of java and a pile of these cookies...

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  11. Cleo,

    Eggnog addict here -- and I love it in my coffee, too. Absolutely, will try this recipe. I love
    your cookie cutter shapes!

  12. Wow, Cleo, this sounds great! I'm a bit late commenting, didn't get to make my blog rounds this morning, due to oversleeping. I'm going to try these this weekend!

  13. So glad you posted this eggnog cookie recipe, Cleo!! I'm making dozens of cookies to send to the troops in Iraq...I'm doing chocolate chip, the old stand-by, and was trying to come up with something different to include. This will be perfect!!

  14. OH my, these cookies look right up my alley! Today is damp and rainy and calls for these. I'm off to Kroger. Thanks, Cleo!

  15. JB, Mary, Shel, Jenn, Elizabeth, Julie, Janel, and "A Year on the Grill":

    Thank you for leaving such lovely comments. I know this is going to be a hectic few weeks for everyone. Try to stay sane, give yourself a nice calming coffee break every day, and remember, no matter how hard we try to make everything "perfect," Nonna said it best:

    "Good is better than perfect!"

    Happy Holidays!

    ~ Cleo
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  16. What a great post! Love the little teacup cookie cutters and who can resist egg nog in December? Makes me want some right now! Love the movie clip. Thanks very much.


  17. Thank you for the lovely comment, Amber! Happy Holidays!


  18. Ooo Eggnog! I will certainly try this recipe, and like an earlier poster I immediately thought about makign another batch with some tweaks (adding coffee).

  19. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for dropping by. I agree - it would be fun to experiment with adding coffee flavor. I think the glaze is the place to experiment with this. On the next round, I will try replacing the rum in the glaze with Kahlua. I wouldn't go too heavy on the addition of coffee flavor, however, because the eggnog flavor in this cookie is a subtle and delicate one. Coffee could overpower it, which is why going lightly is probably the best bet. Thanks again for dropping by and leaving that great comment. Come back anytime...

    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”

    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  20. Congrats on the top 9! The cookies look really fun. Have a great holiday season.

  21. Thank you, John! I enjoy your posts on Foodbuzz! I'm so happy that you dropped by.

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

  22. Hi Cleo,

    I am a fellow foodbuzz writer and I wanted to ask you or your readers if anyone made these and had a problem with the butter cooking out of the cookie during baking. I fridged the log overnight, but it was still very soft, so I tossed it in the freezer for a while so that I could get round cookies, but when I baked, the butter broke out. Just wondering if anyone had this problem... The glaze is AWESOME though. I might just sit down with a spoon and eat that. Thanks!


  23. Hi Emily - Glad you liked my Eggnog Glaze! I think it's a fantastic way to pump up the volume on the eggnog flavor in the cookie.

    As far as the problem you had with the log version of this cookie, there could be several "guilty parties" here (he-he-he, the mystery writer in me is coming out).

    As you can see in my photos above, I created the dough to be very buttery--soft enough to press down the log slices with a spatula (something you would have a hard time doing with a harder cookie dough like a common Tollhouse, for instance). The dough is buttery enough to be rolled with plenty of flour into a thick sheet that can be cut with cookie cutters (and still, theoretically, retain its tenderness after baking--at least it has for me).

    Weather and geography, however, can greatly change the outcome of your dough. I recall Chef Jacques Pepin discussing his appearances in different parts of the country and talking about his addition of liquids to dough sometimes doubling in arid or high altitude areas and (conversely) reducing when humidity is high.

    Wherever you live, however, I would suggest that you understand that the log was designed to be soft because this is a very buttery cookie. Again, the sliced cookies are soft enough to press down with a spatula. Putting the dough in the freezer, given the eggnog in the ingredient list, is not the best solution to making it harder...

    If you are troubled by the high butter content and softness of the log, I would suggest simply adding more flour to the dough itself and making it harder with this method--not putting it in the freezer next time.

    I hope that helps! Thank you for the comment and I'm so glad you had a better experience with the glaze!



  24. I wanted to let you know I made your cookies before Christmas. I liked them they were tasty but a little light on Eggnog flavor for my personal preference. I would have added more spice.

    I also tried a variant with a gingerbread type flavor on top which was nice but ended up making them a touch too dry.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  25. I love it, what a wonderful idea for Christmas! Definitely popping this into my recipe book

  26. Yum.... I'm your newest happy follower.

  27. Those teacup shaped ones are too cute. This sounds like a delicious recipe.

  28. These cookies look delicious. Thanks for sharing!