It’s always so hard to narrow down my Christmas cookie baking list.
This Eggnog Kringla is a mainstay, but it fell off the list the past couple of years because I was trying out other recipes and ran out of time. I always have to make Italian Biscotti; that recipe and this one both require rolling and shaping the cookies. When I’m baking a ridiculous amount of cookies, sometimes this one falls off.
And then… I regret not making it. We love this cookie and my daughter specifically asked me, “Will you please, please, please make Eggnog Kringla this year?” I had planned on it any way, so there was no pleading necessary. Two years without making it was two years too long.
I have no Scandinavian roots, but according to the magazine where I first found the recipe, “kringla” is Swedish. There are many different variations throughout Scandinavia, some salty and some sweet, all with different versions of the word, “kringle.” Kringla apparently refers to a pretzel shape, which is the traditional shape for this cookie. The eggnog version was simply formed into a loop and I stuck with the simplified shape.
I love, love, love eggnog, so it was not a hard choice to go with the eggnog version. This recipe starts out like most cookie recipes. Whisk your dry ingredients, cream your butter and sugar then add the egg. Once that’s done, you’ll alternate adding eggnog with your dry ingredients until you end up with a very sticky dough. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I usually just mix it up the day before I want to bake them.
The next day, take scoops of dough and roll into 1/2″ thick strips. I like to roll long logs of dough, then cut them into about 6″ strips instead of rolling one strip at a time. #nopatienceforthat It’s the exact process I use to roll out Italian Biscotti. There’s a video in that post if you’d like to see how it’s done.
Then, each strip is formed into a loop right on the baking sheet. You can form into a pretzel shape, if you’d like to be more traditional, but the loop works just fine for me.
They bake until they are just ever so lightly golden on the edges.
Once they’re cool, dust the tops with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar and then grate some fresh nutmeg on top. You can use pre-grated nutmeg, but fresh nutmeg is so good and so aromatic and so easy to grate and has more flavor than dried. Soooo, grate fresh if you can. It’s wonderful.
You know how I always say I love chewy cookies that you can sink your teeth into? Well, I also love a dainty, light, not too sweet cookie that tastes like a bite of eggnog heaven. These cookies are just that. The texture here is cakey and they are just delicately sweet with a light eggnog flavor. I know, when does eggnog and light ever end up in the same sentence? Right here, right now.
As I write this, I wonder if this recipe had fallen off my list for more than two years, because my son asked me what the name of this cookie was, and that kid has a memory like an elephant. I told him, “Eggnog Kringla,” and repeated it for him because kringla was a new word. He bit into it with a little ring of confectioner’s sugar rimming his mouth and smiled at me. Ahhh, yes…now he knew why his sister begged me to make them this year. Soft, cakey, lightly sweet…eggnog, powdered sugar, nutmeg?
Definitely a cookie that should be made every year!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup salted butter 1 and 1/2 sticks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup dairy eggnog I used full fat dairy eggnog
- Confectioner's sugar and nutmeg for topping
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and beat well.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and eggnog, starting and ending with flour. (1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the eggnog, 1/3 flour, 1/2 egg nog, 1/3 flour) Beat until well mixed.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dough and pat down to insure no dough is exposed to air so the dough doesn't dry out. I then cover the top of the bowl tightly with either another piece of plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Working with half of the dough at a time (keeping the rest cold in the refrigerator) take a scoop of dough (about 1/2 cup at a time) and, on a well floured surface, use floured hands to roll into a long log about 1/2" thick. Cut into lengths about 6" long. Any leftover length that doesn't make 6" can be set aside and rolled with the next scoop.
- Take each 6" length of dough and form a loop on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue rolling, cutting and looping the balance of the dough leaving a couple of inches between cookies to allow room for spreading.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes until edges just turn a light brown. Allow to cool on pan for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- When cookies are cool, sift confectioner's sugar and grated nutmeg over the tops for serving.
*If you don't care to roll out long logs of dough, you may also take small spoonfuls of dough and roll each cookie individually.
*I've made these larger and smaller with different lengths of dough. Just keep an eye on baking time if you make a different size cookie.
*These cookies freeze well. Use freezer bags and layer plain cookies with waxed paper in between layers. Top with confectioner's sugar and nutmeg once you are ready to serve.
*I use full fat dairy eggnog for these cookies. I haven't tried almond or soy egg nogs to see how they would work. I think the creamy eggy richness of the regular egg nog balances with the use of only one egg and 3/4 cup butter.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies Magazine, 1992
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