Nutmeg Logs


These log-shaped cookies are redolent with freshly grated nutmeg and spiked with a hint of rum. The silky dough is very easy to work with and you don’t even have to chill it before forming the logs. Instead of rolling these nutmeg cookies on a floured surface,  sprinkle your work surface with sugar to give the cookies a little crunch and a tad more sweetness.

This recipe was given to me by my good friend, Joan Eckert, who in turn received it from a neighbor of hers, Alice Ross Bennett Remy. This is how recipes should be shared and how new traditions are made. Especially at the holidays when family recipes abound, I think there is always room for a few more. They expand our repertoires and our friendships and carry forth history in the form of butter and sugar and sweet memories.

Image: Dédé Wilson

Nutmeg Logs
Makes: Makes 40 nutmeg logs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light rum
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
Sugar Frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  1. For the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
  3. Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice; beat in rum, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Beat in egg.
  4. Turn machine off, add about one-third of the flour mixture, then turn machine onto low-speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice.
  5. Shape dough by hand by rolling on a sugared surface (simply sprinkle your work surface with sugar) into ½-inch wide ropes. Cut ropes into 3-inch lengths. Place logs on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown on the bottoms and around the edges. Make frosting while cookies are baking.
  7. For the Frosting: Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, rum and vanilla extract and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice; set aside.
  8. Place cookie sheets on racks to begin cooling. Immediately, while cookies are still warm, spread icing on cookies, using a small offset spatula. The icing, which is thick and fluffy, will immediately melt and adhere to the cookie and will harden upon cooling. Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over icing while still wet. Allow cookies to cool and icing to harden before serving. Cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Bakepedia Tip

  • During the holidays, a care package of freshly baked cookies is a wonderful gift. The frosting on these cookies sets up quite nicely and they are sturdy enough for mailing. Simply place in single layers, each layer separated by parchment paper, and fill the tin up so that the cookies do not move around. You can use a large wad of plastic wrap to take up any headroom to aid in this packing process.
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