Sweet treats to savor and share

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 8.45.31 AM  There are some flavors that are just synonymous with the holidays. Of those classics, ginger and eggnog are two of the favorites around my house. And really, what’s not to love…especially when you can use them as a foundation for totally scrumptious treats?
  Gingerbread cookies are often seen on cookie plates and dessert tables this time of year; but true gingerbread is more cake-like and just as yummy. Molasses adds a sweetness to the cake, while cinnamon, ginger and cloves give the treat a wonderful spiciness. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or cool. It is super delicious warmed up and paired with a cup of coffee on a cold, wintry morning.
  For many people, nothing tastes like the holidays more than eggnog. You’ll find it being added to coffee, scones and hot chocolate. The creamy, sweet concoction just begged to be made into a cookie, and so we did. These light and tender cookies have a rich nog flavor, and have just enough spice from the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. To finish off the flavor explosion, we added a bourbon eggnog frosting drizzle to the top of each one. Such goodness in one cookie!
  However and wherever you are spending your holidays, I hope that this year is peaceful, relaxing and filled with the people you love. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread
• 1/4 cup butter
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 egg
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 ½ cups all flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• ½ cup full-strength molasses

  Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Combine the buttermilk and soda; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix flour and spices. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and gently mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the buttermilk, then the molasses. Pour into prepared pan.
  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool. Cut gingerbread into pieces and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Eggnog Cookies with Spiked Frosting
• 2 ¼ cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup butter
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ½ cup eggnog

Icing:
• ¼ cup butter
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 ½ Tablespoons Bourbon
• 3 Tablespoons egg nog

  Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs (one at a time), mixing until just combined each time. Add vanilla extract and egg nog. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scoop dough by heaping tablespoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave some space between them for spreading. Bake in preheated oven 11-13 minutes until the edges begin to get golden. Cool on wire racks and drizzle with icing.

For icing:
  Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add Bourbon and egg nog and mix well. Add milk, if needed, to bring the icing to a drizzling consistency.