Cut-out cookies are synonymous with the holidays. Whether they're sugar cookies or gingerbread men, beautifully decorated with royal icing or left plain, they're such a fun treat to make (and give!) this time of year. Most years I'm content to make my go-to sugar cookie recipe, but last week I saw these eggnog-flavored sugar cookies turned into lattice crusts on Foodgawker, and tradition went out the door. I had to try them! I was intrigued by the eggnog flavor, but I won't lie, my primary motivation was the cuteness factor. I adore a lattice pie crust, but this cookie version seemed infinitely more doable to me.
I thought about taking step-by-step photos as I made these cookies, but I was running low on natural light in my kitchen, and Cheri had already included great instructions and photos in her post, so I'm going to direct you there instead. The only thing I'll note is that you won't see any measurements when you click over, so here's what I did. I rolled the dough to about 1/8-inch thick then cut about 1/2-inch wide strips for the lattice. The size of the lattice you make isn't critical, but the smaller you make it, the less cookies you'll be able to cut with your mug. That said, you can absolutely reroll the scraps to make more cookies - I did it 3 or 4 times and didn't think the later cookies suffered at all.
The lattice cookies can be used as toppers on mugs or bowls containing drinks or desserts, and make for such a special presentation! I was so pleased with the way these turned out. They really aren't difficult to make, but the process does take some time, so if you'd rather skip all that, you can definitely make cut-out cookies instead. I wound up doing that with some of my dough when I got tired of weaving lattices :) Not only are the cookies cute, but the eggnog flavor is spot on. My favorite sugar cookies will definitely face stiff competition from this recipe next year!
Eggnog Cut-out and Lattice Sugar Cookies
adapted slightly from Kitchen Simplicity
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
melted butter, for topping (optional)
cinnamon sugar, for topping (optional) (a 3:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon is a good rule of thumb if you want to make your own)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract and rum and beat until combined. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions. Beat until the dough mostly comes together - it will be crumbly, don't be worried.
To make the cut-out cookies: Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide in half. Knead each half to incorporate the crumbly bits. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch on a lightly floured work surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets (they don't spread much, you can place them pretty close together). Repeat to use all of the dough - you can reroll scraps to cut more cookies. Refrigerate the cookies for about 15 minutes.
If desired, brush the tops of the cookies with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes (rotating the pans halfway through), or until light golden brown and set at the edges. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool the cookies for a few minutes before removing them to the racks to cool completely.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies
To make the lattice cookies: Visit Cheri's site for complete directions and step-by-step photos.