Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies (from scratch!)

Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies from scratch
Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies from scratch

Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies (from scratch!)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes about 2½ dozen cookies.

Ingredients :
2½ cups (300 grams) pure organic unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Hodgson Mill®
2 teaspoons (about 8 grams) baking powder
¾ teaspoon freshly grated organic whole nutmeg, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package organic cream cheese, such as Organic Valley®, softened
½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) organic grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups (300 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) bourbon or light rum
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 large organic egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 72 grams w/o shells)
1½ cups (180 grams) organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling & dusting cookies

Preparation :
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and spices until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugar, bourbon or rum, extracts and salt; mix until well combined and light and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Add egg and egg yolk and beat in well until creamy and light, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Do not skimp on this important step as it develops the structure of the cookies.
  3. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1-inch balls, using a 1 1/3-inch spring-loaded cookie scoop (or by measuring a generous tablespoon of dough with a measuring spoon) making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.
  6. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball and then roll in confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies should be only very lightly browned.
  8. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. If desired, while cookies are still warm, dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Then, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.
  9. If desired, chill the cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before serving, dust cookies lightly with additional confectioners’ sugar and, if desired, freshly grated nutmeg. Serve cookies chilled or at room temperature.
Variations:
  1. For Gluten-Free Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies: Substitute 2½ cups (400 grams) King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 grams) guar gum, such as by Now Foods, for the regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. (It is important to whisk in guar gum until evenly distributed throughout the flour because it is very sticky once moisture is added and sticky lumps are undesirable in dough.) Whisk together until well blended and then continue with recipe by whisking in the baking powder.
  2. For Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies—Made with Rum Extract Flavoring: For plenty of rum flavor, without using alcohol but using rum extract (with artificial flavoring), simply follow our original recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies (calling for only 2¼ cups flour versus this recipe calling for 2½ cups flour to accommodate the 2 tablespoons of bourbon or rum) and add ¼ teaspoon Butter Rum Flavor by LorAnn Oils available at Amazon.com in lieu of the pure almond extract. Don’t forget to add the spices (¾ teaspoon freshly grated organic whole nutmeg, plus extra for dusting cookies, and ½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon), and blend into the dry ingredients. Butter Rum Flavor has an intense concentrated flavor, so use sparingly and only the amount called for in this recipe.

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