Creamy Eggnog Cookie Bars

Creamy Eggnog Bars
Creamy Eggnog Bars

So, eggnog.  Are you a lover or a hater?  I definitely fall in the "enthusiastic lover" category.  My husband falls under the "despise" category.  My children inherited my eggnog love genes.  Which I am really thankful for, because then I wouldn't have anyone to share eggnog with.  We love to sit down together and sip on a glass (or, my daughter and I sip, while my 5-year old son gulps his down) with nutmeg sprinkled over the top.  It's one, of many things, that I thoroughly look forward to, come December first.  Now, as much as I love drinking a glass of eggnog, I haven't experimented with baking with it a whole lot.  Partly because I know my husband can't help eat whatever I make.  So, when my youngest daughter had her first daycare Christmas party last week, these bars came to my mind immediately.  It was the perfect chance to make them so I could try them, but not have a whole pan sitting in the refrigerator calling to me.

Creamy Eggnog Bars

I was a little skeptical about the bars at first, but when I actually got a chance to enjoy one, I was totally blown away.  The whole pan was gone by the end of the party, but I kind of wish I had had some to take home.  They were so creamy, so scrumptious, so perfectly spiced.  My mouth is just watering thinking about it.  So, if you are an eggnog lover, you definitely need to have this on your to-do list before eggnog is no longer available in stores!

Creamy Eggnog Bars
Creamy Eggnog Bars

Creamy Eggnog Cookie Bars

Yield: about 16 bars

For the dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 Tablespoons (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons eggnog

For the filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  To make the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add in the eggnog and stir with a fork or knead very briefly just until a crumbly dough comes together.

Transfer about two thirds of the dough mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down into an even layer. To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy. Blend in the egg, then the eggnog and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture over the layer of dough in the baking pan. Crumble the reserved dough and dot over the eggnog mixture.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until just set, about 25-30 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then chill before slicing and serving.

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Source: Annie's Eats