Eggnog Creme Cookie Sandwiches with Eggnog Buttercream
adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated and Martha Stewart
For spritz cookies:
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. brandy
2 tsp. rum
1-2 tsp. ground nutmeg (to your taste)
1 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
In a small bowl, mix together the yolks, cream, vanilla, brandy and rum. Set aside.
For spritz cookies:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Beat in the egg yolk/cream mixture. Scrape down sides again.
Whisk the flour and salt together. Add a little at a time to the creamed mixture, scraping down sides after each addition and making sure all the flour has been incorporated.
The dough should be smooth and not stiff. If the dough is too stiff, it will be too difficult to pipe. You may need to test with a bit of dough to see. The dough will soften a bit in the pastry bag with the heat of your hands. If the dough is too stiff, add a little more cream. Or if you are familiar with the dough, you can also add less flour.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 3/8″ star tip with a small portion of dough. (Don’t overfill the bag or piping will be very difficult and your bag may split under the pressure.)
Pipe small, 1/2″ to 3/4″ stars or swirls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. (Adjust baking time if your cookies are larger or smaller.) Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before removing to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
For eggnog buttercream:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 1/3 cup water to a boil. Boil until syrup reaches soft-ball stage (238 degrees on a candy thermometer).
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on low until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on medium high until stiff but not dry.
With mixer running, pour syrup down side of bowl into egg whites in a steady stream, and beat on high speed until steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter a few pieces at a time. Add the nutmeg, rum and brandy and beat until smooth. If it looks curdled at any point, keep beating until it comes together.
Use immediately or store at room temperature for a few hours. Can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to a month or so.
Smear a bit of buttercream on the bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie.
Smoosh them together and
put them into your mouth as fast as you can put them in a little box, tie with a ribbon, and give the box to someone you love.