Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

When my children were growing up I used to spend most of December baking a variety of Christmas goodies and freezing them for the holidays.  Money was pretty scarce back then and it only made sense to spread the Christmas baking out over a number of weeks rather than days.

I used to love to make up Christmas cookie trays for our friends and neighbors as well. They were always more than welcomed and it was a nice way to show appreciation for their friendship, etc.  It was also less expensive than buying a gift. (Spreading the cost out over several weeks like that.)

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Our mother didn't really do a lot of baking when we were growing up. She had things that she would make every year.  Date squares, shortbread cookies, and feather squares come to mind, along with her War Cake

She would pick up a slab of fruit cake as well and we would have a mincemeat tart/pie.  Basically that was it and we would gorge ourselves over those few days because we knew it would be quite a while before we got treats like this again!

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

I guess my own children were quite spoiled in comparison.   But then I was a stay-at-home mom and had lots of time to spend baking.

My own mother worked full time, so her baking time was quite limited.  She was also not a woman who tolerated intruders in her kitchen, so we were not encouraged to do any baking ourselves.

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

I picked up a container of eggnog in the shops the other day. When I was in the UK we never had eggnog. It just wasn't something you could buy.  I did make my own from scratch a few times and that was very good. 

It wasn't a recipe I posted on here, just a random one I found online. It was quite delicious actually. I could not resist picking up a liter the other day and have been thinking of ways to use it ever since.  

Oh I will drink some of it of course, but there is only me in the house and I don't think it would be prudent for me to drink the whole thing! haha

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

I decided to adapt the Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies I baked the other day to incorporate some Eggnog flavors.  Wow!  They turned out wonderfully!  I was ever so pleased with the result.

I switched up the flavor of the cookie itself by adding nutmeg and cinnamon as well as some rum extract, the traditional flavors of eggnog, and then, instead of putting jam in the middles, I added a eggnog butter cream icing!

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 


Simple store-cupboard, baking ingredients. 

For the cookies:
  • all purpose plain flour
  • salt (just a pinch if that)
  • ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
  • granulated white sugar
  • cold butter (I always use salted)
  • rum extract

For the buttercream:
  • icing sugar (also called confectioners or powdered sugar)
  • butter, at room temperature
  • commercial eggnog or heavy cream (or even undiluted evaporated milk)
  • ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
  • rum extract

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 
Don't you just love this little Christmas house?  I fell in love with it.  I don't have much in the way of Christmas Decorations.  I had quite a few in the UK, but of course they all got left behind. I have no idea what happened to them.

I am hoping they went to a good home.  In any case I am going to slowly have to build up my collection again.  Slowly, slowly catch a monkey as they say!

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Its actually meant to be a Christmas Card, but I fell in love with it. Its Santa's cottage/workshop in 3D. You can look into the windows on every side and see something.

Mrs Claus is standing inside the back door with a cake and Santa is in there as are some elves. Even the outside of it is very charmingly decorated!  Its a Hallmark. I would expect no less than perfection from them!

Its a start!

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies


These are relatively simple to make with no extraordinary equipment or skills needed. In fact you could get the children to help you roll the dough into balls. 

You begin by making the shortbread dough. You will need to beat the sugar and cold butter together. I thought this was a bit unusual.  And at first you don't think it is going to pull together because the butter is so cold, but persevere, it will eventually be right and creamed without being overly soft.

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Once you have done that you can beat in the spices, rum extract and then start beating in the flour.  It too will look like its never going to come together.

At first it appears very dry and crumbly and you think to yourself, this is never going to work, but then, as if by magic, it does and you have a nice malleable dough.

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

You need to divide the dough into 18 walnut sized (1-inch) balls. You can do this between the palms of your hands.  Place them onto a paper lined baking sheet. 
Place the balls, leaving a space in between each on the baking sheet.  Then either using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon make a slight hollow in the center of each.

I use the back of a measuring spoon because it is easy and they all end up the same shape and depth, etc. 

For this version you will not be filling them prior to baking.  Simply pop the baking tray into the refrigerator and chill the cookies while you are preheating the oven, and then bake them according to the recipe below.

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Once they are baked you can leave them to cool on the baking sheet for about 8 to 10 minutes before scooping them off onto a wire rack to cool completely.  You will know they are done because they will be golden brown on the bottoms.

Once cooled you can beat together the ingredients for the icing filling. Only add enough eggnog to give you a stiff pipeable icing.  Pipe it into the center hollows of each cookie.  

Leave them to set before storing in an airtight container. You can also dust them with a bit of grated nutmeg to decorate and add even more flavor! Delicious!

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

These would freeze   very well, with or without the frosting.  Simply freeze them in a single layer and then pack into an airtight container with some wax paper or greaseproof paper between the layers.

There is a possibility of my oldest son and his family coming for Christmas this year. I have my fingers crossed that it happens. You never know with Covid if they will shut things down again!

I won't be doing an awful lot of baking until I know for sure! If it happens this will be my first Christmas ever as a Grandmother enjoying her grandchildren. Yay!

Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies

Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 18 cookies
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 14 MinCook time: 18 Mininactive time: 15 MinTotal time: 47 Min
Crisp, buttery and short textured, this small batch cookie recipe embodies lovely eggnog flavors, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum. They are accentuated with delicious eggnog buttercream centers. Altogether scrumptious!


  • 1 cup +1 TBS (150g) plain all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
Buttercream filling:
  • 1 TBS butter, at room temperature
  • 1 - 2 TBS dairy eggnog (or cream)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (130g) sifted icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp rum extract
  • nutmeg to dust


  1. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer beat the cold butter and sugar together until combined. Beat in the rum extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Beat in the flour. It may look like it is never going to come together, appearing very dry and crumbly, but all of a sudden it will come together like magic.
  4. Divide and shape into 18 one-inch balls. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space in between each for spreading.
  5. Using the bottom of a metal measuring 1/2 tsp, make an indentation into the center of each cookie. Place the baking sheet full of cookies into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4.
  7. Bake the cookies for 14 to 18 minutes. They should be pale golden brown on the bottoms only. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before scooping off onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cookies have cooled you can make the buttercream for the filling. Whisk together all of the ingredients using an electric whisk, and only using enough eggnog to give you a stiff pipeable frosting.
  9. Pip a bit into the center indentation of each cookie. Allow to set before storing in an airtight container.
  10. If desired you can lightly dust the top of each cookie with some more nutmeg to serve.
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Eggnog Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again!  

1 comment

  1. These look so good, Marie. We love eggnog and buy ours from Farm Boy, their own brand. It comes in a glass quart milk bottle (you can return the bottles). I don't know if you have Farm Boy stores in Nova Scotia. Are you still expecting a storm? Stay safe. Love and hugs, Elaine


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