December 22, 2013
A few weeks ago, Jill heard this wonderful NPR interview with Julia Reed, Southern food writer and contributor to Garden & Gun magazine; not only does Ms. Reed have the most fabulous voice (hers is not an accent you often hear on public radio!), she’s also witty, well-read, and someone I would love to have over for dinner.
In the segment, Reed shares a recipe for the World’s Greatest Eggnog, as called by the Memphis grandmother with whom the recipe originates. I halved the recipe and served it a few nights ago when friends came over to help us decorate our tree; the eggnog was a universal hit, but it is not for the faint of heart.
Though the eggnog could have easily counted as dessert all by itself, I served ours with a tray of nutmeg logs, the signature Christmas treat of my friend Ari’s family. Having been gifted with bags of these delicious and distinctive cookies before, I asked if I could share the family recipe and, luckily, Ari’s sweet granny agreed. The recipe below is transcribed from her handwritten notes.
Whatever you have planned for the coming days, I hope you are able to spend time with people who make your heart light. Happy holidays from our family to yours!
This recipe yields approximately 36 cookies, which will keep well stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or so.
Sift together & set aside:
3 cups flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter
-gradually add ¾ cup sugar, cream well
1 unbeaten egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rum or rum flavoring
Add the dry ingredients gradually & mix thoroughly.
Shape pieces of dough on lightly floured surface into long rolls 1/2 in. in diameter. Cut into 3″ lengths; place on ungreased baking sheets. (Note: I lined mine with parchment, out of habit.) Bake in moderate oven (350°) for 12-15 minutes until light golden-brown. Cool before frosting.
for the frosting:
3 T butter
with ½ tsp vanilla & 1 tsp rum flavoring
2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beat well.
-Add 2 cups more powdered sugar alternating with 2 or 3 T cream or milk
Spread frosting on tops + sides of cookies & sprinkle with grated nutmeg.