These eggnog snickerdoodles are soft and chewy with a delicious eggnog flavor. Pillowy soft in the middle with a delicious crunch around the edges just like your favorite snickerdoodles. There’s no need to chill the dough, so it’s a simple Christmas cookie recipe that truly tastes like the holidays.
If you’re looking for a simple Christmas cookie that tastes cozy and comforting, requires no decorating skills, and is just a little different – then I urge you to try these eggnog snickerdoodles. They have an almost creamy flavor with a hint of nutmeg and rum thanks to rum extract (which you can find at the grocery store). They definitely aren’t as rich as pouring yourself a glass of eggnog, but you can definitely taste the eggnog flavor. You’ll love the soft and chewy texture, along with the delicious crunch from the sugar and spice coating.
If you’re wondering how these differ from my other eggnog cookie recipe – that recipe makes soft and cakey eggnog cookies with a thick layer of creamy eggnog frosting. Whereas, these eggnog snickerdoodle are chewy, tender and have a delicious crunch from the coating. Both delicious – but depends what kind of cookie you’re looking for.
Developing the Perfect Eggnog Snickerdoodle Recipe
If you’ve ever made snickerdoodles before, you know that there are two key components: a slight tanginess to the flavor thanks using cream of tartar in the dough and being rolled in cinnamon sugar. In these eggnog snickerdoodles, we’re also using cream of tartar for the distinct snickerdoodle flavor. I’ve included substitutions in the recipe card – but know that using cream of tartar will give you the best results. Then instead of being rolled in cinnamon sugar, these are rolled in sugar and nutmeg – since nutmeg is a key ingredient in eggnog.
You might be surprised, but this recipe actually doesn’t use eggnog to get the distinct eggnog flavor. Adding liquid (like eggnog) makes cookies very cakey in texture, which I really didn’t want for this recipe. Instead, we’re simply using the key ingredients in eggnog to get the eggnog flavor: egg yolks, nutmeg and rum extract. Together, these ingredients give the cookies a light yellow color and delicious eggnog flavor. You can find rum extract in the baking aisle of your grocery store – typically near the vanilla extract.
Making the Cookies
These cookies are quick and simple to make. I’ve included recipe steps and photos below to show you exactly how to make them.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350F (180C). Then line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. I like to always line my pans when baking cookies because it helps prevent over browning of the bottoms.
- Then in a small bowl, you’ll whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, ground nutmeg, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. **If don’t have cream of tartar, use 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the cream of tartar and baking soda. Note that it’s very important to measure the flour correctly or your cookies will end up dry. Whisk first, then spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off the top. If you have a kitchen scale, then I recommend measuring the flour in grams.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamed. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that you don’t leave lumps of butter.
- Then beat in the egg, 2 additional egg yolks, rum extract and vanilla extract until combined. The mixture should now look almost fluffy and less dense than it was before. Be sure to only add 1 large egg plus the 2 additional egg yolks – do not add in 3 eggs. Egg yolks are used to give eggnog it’s rich and creamy texture, which is why we’re using just the yolks of the second and third eggs.
- Carefully mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. I typically do this about ½ at a time, starting with the mixer on a low speed. It should take a little effort to get all of the dry ingredients incorporated. Note that if you squeeze the dough in your hands, it shouldn’t stick to your fingers or leave a residue on your fingers. If it does, beat in 1 to 2 more tablespoons of flour.
- Whisk together ⅓ cup granulated sugar with ½ teaspoon nutmeg – this is for the sugar coating. Then pour onto a small plate.
- Scoop the dough into balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough each. I use a medium cookie scoop to give uniform cookie dough balls. Roll each scoop into a round ball, then roll in the sugar coating.
- Place the cookies about 2 inches (about 2-3 cm) apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake the cookie sheets one at a time in the middle of the preheated oven for about 9-12 minutes. When the cookies are done baking the tops should look set and you may start to see a few crinkles forming. Baking the cookies for a little longer will make them a little cakier in texture, whereas baking them for a little shorter time will lead to softer, chewier cookies.
Make Ahead Tips for Snickerdoodles
With any holiday baking, being able to prep things ahead of time is always key in my book. You can make the dough, cover the bowl and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Then form the dough into balls, roll in the coating and bake as directed.
Alternatively, you can freeze the cookie dough balls rolled in sugar. Place in a freezer bag, being sure to remove any excess air. Then free in a single layer for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, bake from frozen as directed in the recipe. They’ll likely need 1-2 extra minutes.
And if you’re looking for more delicious eggnog recipes, then be sure to try:
- Cookie Sheets
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams) use up to 3 ¼ cup for thicker cookies.
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) softened, but not starting to melt - it should still be slightly firm to the touch
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks in addition to the 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (67 grams)
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and 1 ½ cups sugar until creamed. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Beat in the egg, 2 additional egg yolks, rum extract and vanilla extract until you no longer see pieces of egg and the mixture looks almost creamy.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. I recommend doing this about ½ at a time, starting with the mixer on a low speed. It should be a little difficult to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. If you squeeze the dough in your hands, no cookie dough should stick to your fingers. If it does, beat in a little more flour about 1 tablespoon at a time.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ⅓ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon nutmeg for the coating. Pour onto a small plate.
- Scoop the dough into balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough each. I used a medium cookie scoop. Roll each scoop into a ball, then roll in the sugar mixture.
- Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
- Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time in the middle of the preheated oven. They will bake for about 9-12 minutes, or until the tops look just set.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets.
- Flour: Measure the flour carefully - whisk first then spoon into dry measuring cups and level off the top. Using a kitchen scale and measuring grams will ensure success. Feel free to use 3 ¼ cups flour for thicker snickerdoodles.
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is a key ingredient in snickerdoodles. If you don't have cream of tartar on hand, use 2 teaspoons of baking powder and omit the baking soda. It won't have the exact same effect as using cream of tartar, but the cookies will still work.
- Eggs: You will need 3 eggs in total for this recipe. Be sure to only use 1 large egg and just the egg yolk of the second and third eggs.
- Rum Extract: Rum extract can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store. If you'd like to substitute rum extract with rum, use 1 tablespoon of rum. It won't have quite as strong of flavor as using rum extract, because the flavor isn't as concentrated.
- Make Ahead Tips: The bowl of cookie dough can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Then form into balls, roll in sugar and bake as directed. Cookie dough balls (rolled in sugar) can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, as directed in the recipe. Baked and cooled snickerdoodles can be frozen for up to 2 months, thaw in the fridge then let them sit on the counter to bring to room temperature.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie rolled in sugar, assuming the recipe yields 32 uniform cookies.