Egg Noggies, for Charity

Big news! Big news! So much news!

Where to start — um, um… okay — so, first off, I’ve just come out on the other side of a round of practical exams.

I’m totally thrilled with my marks, mostly over 9+/10 on all my items (although I didn’t do a great job on my hand-rolled chocolate truffles), and my chef told me that I “set the bar” for the exam. Squee! How great is that?

Of course it’s my dream to become a truly skilled pastry chef — and of course I think I can do it — it’s just nice when someone I respect immensely throws a bit of fuel on the fire of my hopes and ambitions, y’know?

Look out, next semester, here I come!

On top of that, I was able to get a seasonal position (a second job, no less) helping out The Vancouver Club during their Christmas rush.

I recently had the luck of meeting their pastry chef, too, and she’s totally nice — she offered to let me come to the club one night and follow her around to see what she does for free, but this is even better.

Doesn’t it seem serendipitous that I’m able to work with her so soon after meeting her?

I don’t even know if I’m getting paid or not and I just don’t even care — money would just be gravy at this point — the opportunity of experience and the ballin’ reference on my resume is really all I’m lookin’ for!

Whoooooa shit — okay. Must calm down.

So, in other news, now that it’s the season of giving, my school is making cookie tins to sell and raise money for the local BC Children’s Hospital. Each pastry class has to produce at least 150 cookies to contribute to the tins.

I love the idea of baking for charity, and I was totally eager to participate no matter what kind of cookies my class decided to make, but imagine my surprise when my chef instructor asked me to make 150 cookies of my own recipe for the tins!

I was deeply flattered and humbled.

I went nuts perfecting the recipe.

I asked too many other chefs for their opinions and got overwhelmed with feedback.

I lost sleep.

But the cookies are finally baked and done and in their tins and ready to go and lots of people came together to make it happen!

Whew!

There’s just so much going right now!

On one hand, I’m a little worried about spreading myself too thin and getting sick or overwhelmed during the most intense time of the year — but on the other hand, I can’t wait to rise to this challenge!

We’ll just have to see how things go, eh?

eggnoggies06

Anyways, without further ado, here is the recipe I developed for my school’s charity cookie tins.

It’s a soft and cakey cookie with a very intense spiced nutmeg and egg nog flavour (even though this home version doesn’t contain any actual egg nog). One of my classmates even helped me name them — thus, they were dubbed “egg noggies”!

Egg Noggies

*original recipe by Christine

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark spiced rum
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder, like Bird’s
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon all-spice

Directions

Sift the flour, custard powder, baking powder, salt, and ground spices together. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Mix in the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and dark spiced rum — at this point the batter might look curdled, but that’s okay — keep mixing until the wet ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Gently stir in the sifted flour and custard powder mixture, mixing until no steaks of dry ingredients remain.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least overnight. Leaving the dough in the fridge to “ripen” for up to 3 days matures the flavour by quite a bit, but letting it sit that long isn’t necessary.

Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Scoop out 3 ~ 4 tablespoon-size mounds of dough and roll them into balls, spacing at least 3 ~ 4 inches (7 ~ 10 cm) apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Gently flatten the dough balls palm of your hand and sprinkle the tops with white sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F/175°C, then turn the heat down to 325°F/160°C and bake for another 10 ~ 12 minutes more. The cookies are done when the edges are browned and slightly crispy-looking.

Makes at least 10 large egg noggies.

If anyone wants the recipe in weight (grams), please e-mail me for a copy.

Enjoy these cookies with a latte or a mug of egg nog spiked with a lil’ more of that dark spiced rum, if you think you can handle the EXTREME LEVELS OF NOG all up in yo face. Yum!

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21 thoughts on “Egg Noggies, for Charity

  1. Janna Lynn says:

    😀 I don’t think I’ve ever felt excitement so profoundly conveyed through any blog post. YAY! 😀

    These egg noggies sound delish. 😀

  2. daisy says:

    Congratulations on all of your awesome news! Who needs sleep when you’re living’ the dream!!

  3. Wow Christine! That’s all completely amazing! Do you need to start watching your back? Any chance you might get your head flushed by jealous classmates!? 😉 Can’t wait to “be your customer”. Hugs.
    -Mir

  4. Love the flavors in these, but I don’t like cakey cookies — think I could blow them up with leavening so that they would puff, flatten and turn crisp or chewy?

    • Christine says:

      Crispness and chewiness are characteristic of cookies with less flour — if you want chewy, you’d leave the butter, but add more sugar, and take out some of the flour — if you want crisp, you’d take out some of the butter AND some of the flour while adding more sugar. It’s something you’d have to play around with.

      (Changing the leavening won’t have much of an effect on the texture of the cookie, so I’d leave it as is.)

      • Thanks. I know that the people at Cooks.com often use a lot of baking powder to make their cookies rise and collapse — they did this when they wanted thin crisp oatmeal cookies (they also added large amounts of butter and used mostly white sugar since brown retains moisture and creates a softer cookie). I just wondered if you had tried this technique while you were perfecting your recipe since you might have had a failed batch early on with my desired textures.

    • Christine says:

      Guh — unfortunately WordPress doesn’t allow for comment reply threads more than 3 long, so I’ll just reply here and hope your e-mail notifications are turned on. 🙂

      The baking powder trick is, I suspect, just a trick.

      Here’s how it works: leavening agents like baking powder react with moisture in order to create pockets of gas in baked goods. As the temperature in the cookie rises, the gas evaporates and leaves behind an air pocket — it doesn’t really matter how big or small that pocket is when it comes to the texture of a cookie (it has a bigger impact on the structure, which can be ruined with too much leavening). The cooks are onto something when they use white sugar instead of brown sugar — less moisture content is what you’re going for when you want crispness. Since sugar is hygroscopic, it completes with the flour in baked goods for moisture (which usually comes in the form of butter (18% average moisture), eggs (% varies, depending on white/yolk content) or liquid (water, 100%; milk, 97%)). What happens in the oven when you bake off a cookie with a high sugar content is that it “steals” moisture from the flour, which then contributes to its maillard reaction (browning) and, subsequently, the moisture is used up and evaporated. What’s left behind is a crisper, less hydrated cookie.

      What I imagine is going on with the cooks.com people is that the addition of more baking powder is creating more/larger air pockets in cookies that increase the speed of the drying process (kind of how a 1-inch thick piece of meat cooks through more quickly that a 3-inch cut) — trouble with this is that you might end up with a less well-structured, more crumbly cookie, which isn’t worth the risk since you can attain the same results with a longer baking time at a lower temperature.

      Science! 😀

      • Fascinating. So it would be a real challenge to change your cookies into thin crisp cookies without increasing the sugar content ( I love thin and crisp, but I don’t like super sweet either). Maybe it’s time to either a) just bake the cookies you invented and see what I think of the texture or b) find some thin, crisp cookies with similar flavoring agents. Option A would be less trouble. Thanks for the chemistry lesson.

    • Christine says:

      Well, you could try out the recipe with maybe half the flour and without the rum — that would decrease the cakey-ness considerably, but I’m not sure how they’d turn out. Maybe lower the baking temperature to 325°F and bake them for longer, too (but keep a close eye on them after 25 minutes).

      Oh oh — maybe try scooping them out smaller and pressing them a lot flatter.

  5. Josie says:

    I am so proud of you! Beware of any crazy classmates that would kill for a recipe or spot in first place — I agree with the other comment, so watch your back.

  6. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    That is so awesome!! Of course, I’m not surprised you’re doing so well in class… all the stuff you post on here is AMAZING! And those cookies look so good… That’s so cool you got to use your own recipe!

    • Christine says:

      Aw, thanks, Liz! I was totally psyched!

      But now that it’s all done, part of me wonders if the people buying the tins liked them, too… how they held up their texture and flavour over time… if they got jostled around or broke or anything… etc. I guess I’ll never know, tho. 😛

  7. This is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing this time of year (or all times of the year, for that matter)! You can do seasonal baking AND help people. Man, I want to eat your noggie.

  8. those look great!
    i love how chewy they seem 🙂
    and i bet that the cookies youl made willl be the most popular at the children’s hospital 🙂

  9. Kit-Kat says:

    I am a soy-noggy person (I was a big egg-nog fan). I have to revise and try out the cookies.

  10. peasepudding says:

    Congratulations with your results and definitely take advantage of following an experience pastry chef on duty even if it means not being paid, that dedication will take you far. Well done with the charity bake!

  11. Nothing beat the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do charitable works in the kitchen! Also, congrats on the exams, I am sure you were just beaming when you heard the new from the chef-I know I would be!
    These cookies look delicious, no doubt they were a hit with the recipients. Definitely a keeper of a recipe!

  12. Congratulations!! You’re TOTALLY acing it and I knew you would 😀 You must be so thrilled, and your work experience sounds amazing. Keep up the good word, and be sure to get your vitamins!

    These cookies sound so yummy too, and for a great cause. Thanks for sharing x

  13. Congratulations, girl!!!! 😀 This is so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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