I'm disappointed that this year, Trader Joe's is not carrying the orange cardamom cookies and the fleur de sel caramels. I'm cycling through the stages of grief, actually. However, they do have some delicious egg nog cookies. I don't love egg nog, but these cookies are fantastic.
So I decided to try to make them. Which is odd since I generally don't make anything that someone else can make better and cheaper than I can. Anyhoo, I searched all over the internet and one recipe kept popping up. It seems it is from the Mrs. Fields Cookie Book.
Fun fact: Debbi Fields is now Debbi Fields Rose and lives in Memphis, Tennessee (my hometown). She's married to Mike Rose, former chairman of the Holiday Inn corporation (also born in Memphis!).
The dough for this cookie actually tastes better than the cookie, so I made a couple of changes to make it a bit noggier after baking. And some additional spices to liven them up.
adapted from Mrs. Fields
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping tablespoon of chai latte mix*
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Gosling's black seal rum**
2 egg yolks
additional nutmeg for sprinkling
*if you don't have chai latte mix, add another 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
**or bourbon, depending on what you like. Gosling's has a molasses-y flavor that really worked well for this.
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chai spices; mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add eggnog, vanilla, rum and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.
Scoop rounded teaspoons and form into balls and place onto ungreased baking sheets, 1″ apart. Press down lightly and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown.
Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with spatula.
For icing, melt white chocolate chips in one corner of a plastic sandwich bag. Microwave until melted. Cut a tiny part of the corner off the bag and drizzle chocoate onto the cookies in a Christmas tree shape for a festive look.
The cookie is soft and chewy and tastes very much like egg nog. It does not, however taste like the delicious Trader Joe's egg nog cookie. It's a decent cookie and very easy to make (particularly if you don't bother to ice it) but not one that's going to knock your socks off unless you really, really like egg nog.