Easy Vanilla Brown Sugar Eggnog Cookies. Made with brown sugar, double the vanilla, a little bit of spiced rum (or bourbon), cinnamon, and nutmeg. These cookies are soft, buttery, and perfectly sweet, with the most delicious spiced-vanilla flavor. They’re generously glazed with a sweet, thick, and creamy vanilla bean glaze. And decorated just as you desire. The secret is in the combination of brown sugar, real vanilla, and warming spices, it’s what makes these treats incredibly flavorful.
These cookies make for a great homemade gift and a festive addition to your holiday cookie box. Plus, they’re fun to bake, and even better to eat!
It’s cookie season! I’ve been looking forward to sharing this recipe for a few weeks now. These are sugar cookies with flavor! Growing up, we didn’t bake sugar cookies much. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy them, we did. We just preferred my mom’s chocolate chip cookies or her peanut butter kisses that she’d make around the holidays. Plus, my mom didn’t love to mess around with cookies you needed to decorate, which I definitely understand.
And we certainly never bought store-bought sugar cookies either. For whatever reason, I’ve never liked those, nor did my mom. I think they taste like straight sugar, so not really my thing.
It wasn’t until I started baking my own cookies that I finally found recipes I really could enjoy, like these vanilla brown sugar eggnog cookies!
When I bake a sugar cookie, I try to infuse it with flavor. A lot of times, that’s done by adding brown butter or chocolate. A few years ago, I shared an eggnog sugar cookie recipe that I loved, but it’s a little dated. This year, I wanted to share something with similar flavors, but I didn’t want to have to buy or make eggnog.
Instead, I made these. A rich brown sugar cookie with lots of vanilla, then spiced rum (or use bourbon), cinnamon, and nutmeg. The very same flavors in most eggnog recipes!
Step 1: Make the sugar cookie dough
Start with softened, salted butter. Beat that together with brown sugar. I’ve been using organic, dark brown sugar recently. It has a coarse texture that melts really nicely into the cookies. Then, add an egg, the spiced rum, and the vanilla.
Step 2: Dry ingredients
For the dry mix: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Mix this into the butter mixture.
There’s absolutely nothing fancy here.
Step 3: Roll the dough out
Whenever I make any kind of cut-out cookie, I always like to roll out the dough, cut the cookies, and then freeze the cut cookies on a baking sheet for a few minutes. This ensures that the cookies hold their shape.
I used a snowflake and a holiday tree to cut my cookies. If you want a few fancier cookies mixed into the bunch, this is The Grinch cookie cutter set I used. Oslo is obsessed with Mr. Grinch, so I had to attempt to make at least a few Grinch cookies. We think they turned out cute! Not perfect, but cute, and fun!
Step 4: Freeze and bake
Freeze the cookies in a single layer for 10 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies turn light golden on the edges.
Let the cookies cool before icing.
Step 5: Ice + decorate
I kept the icing simple (aside from The Grinch). I added a small amount of nutmeg and lots of vanilla. And for Mr. Grinch, I turned a portion of the icing green.
It’s simple, but with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar on top, it’s perfect.
I iced each cookie, then gave them a light sprinkling of vanilla sugar for some holiday sparkle. If you want to take it a step further, you can mix some edible gold dust into the vanilla sugar. But you just need a very tiny pinch. A little goes a long way!
I was so excited to share these with Asher and Oslo. They both thought they were the cutest, and YUMMY too!
A perfect Christmas sugar cookie with a whimsical feel and yummy flavors!
Looking for other Christmas cookies? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make these Vanilla Brown Sugar Eggnog Cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Vanilla Brown Sugar Eggnog Cookies
Servings: 22 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 159 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups, plus an additional 2-4 tablespoons, if needed all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Spiced Vanilla Icing
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg or cinnamon
- 1/2 cup eggnog (or use milk/water)
- edible gold dust, vanilla sugar, and or sprinkles for decorating
- 1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix until combined. Beat in the bourbon (if using) and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt, beat until combined and the dough forms a ball. If the dough feels too wet to roll out, add 2-4 tablespoons of additional flour.2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.3. Divide the dough in half. Roll out the dough on a floured piece of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you're using enough flour, or your dough will stick. Cut out the shapes using holiday cookie cutters such as Christmas trees, snowflakes, and The Grinch. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. I recommend using a floured spatula to lift the cookies. Cover the baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm, 15 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining dough.4. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until just lightly golden. Let cool.5. Meanwhile, make the icing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Add 1 tablespoon eggnog (or water/milk) until smooth and drizzly. If needed, thin the glaze by adding more water – 1 tablespoon at a time, until drizzly. 6. Decorate each cookie as desired with vanilla icing, sprinkles, and or vanilla sugar.To Make Snowflakes: Pipe lines and dots of frosting onto each cookie to enhance the snowflake shape (see photos for visuals). If desired, sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Let the frosting set before serving, about an hour.To Make Christmas Trees: Fill in each tree with vanilla frosting, then sprinkle with vanilla sugar.For the Grinch: I filled in his eyes with edible gold dust, then used black dyed icing for his eyebrows and mouth. I filled in his face with green dyed icing.
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To Pipe Frosting Onto Cookies: add the frosting to a small sandwich-size Ziploc bag (or a piping bag), then snip a small portion of the corner off. Vanilla Sugar: Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or half of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped. Grinch Cookie Cutter Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Snowflake Cookie Cutter