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Vegan eggnog cookies deliver the flavors and spirit of the classic holiday drink

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Vegan Eggnog Cookies
Active time:30 mins
Total time:1 hour 20 mins, plus at least 8 hours for soaking cashews
Servings:40 cookies
Active time:30 mins
Total time:1 hour 20 mins, plus at least 8 hours for soaking cashews
Servings:40 cookies
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These are my new go-to holiday cookies for their melt-in-your-mouth satisfaction. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, and for good reason. Every year, I start the season by making vegan eggnog. It’s now become a much-requested staple in my family, and what better way to continue the tradition than with eggnog cookies?

I love the flavor of it in these cookies that is then taken to the next level thanks to the eggnog in the icing. I highly recommend using the icing recipe for all your favorite holiday cookies, too — it’ll definitely amp them up.

One tip: let these cookies sit for a few minutes on the sheet after they’re finished baking, and then let them cool completely on the wire rack.

The smell will be intoxicating and it’ll be difficult to resist, but I implore you to resist just a little bit longer. That short time allows the cookie to fully cook and the icing to set much better, too.

Recipe notes: You can whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon of the vegan eggnog and 1 tablespoon of rum or brandy until fully combined. If you use white rum, your glaze will be white; with dark rum or brandy your glaze may be beige.

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The cashews for the vegan eggnog must be soaked overnight. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before forming it into balls for baking. The dough balls can also be frozen on a baking sheet before being packed in an airtight container or zip-top bag and frozen for up to 1 month; if baking from frozen, increase the bake time for at least 3 minutes. The glaze can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

The glazed cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. The vegan eggnog can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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For the vegan eggnog

  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) almond milk or another plant-based milk
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) cane sugar (may substitute packed light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine sea or table salt

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) vegan eggnog (from above)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • Generous 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) cane sugar (may substitute light brown sugar or granulated sugar)
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/226 grams) vegan butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 1 cup (125 grams) confectioners' sugar, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons vegan eggnog (from above), plus more as needed (see recipe notes for a variation)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for decoration (optional)

Step 1

Make the vegan eggnog: Place the cashews in a small bowl, cover with water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. The next day, rinse and drain.

Step 2

In the pitcher of a blender, preferably a high-powered model such as a Vitamix, combine the soaked cashews, almond milk, cane sugar or light brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt. Blend until completely smooth and thoroughly combined, at least 3 minutes. The cashews should meld seamlessly into the eggnog, but you may have some particles left behind, depending on the strength of your blender. If so, you can pass it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove them (this is more important for the glaze than the cookies). You should get about 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters).

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of the vegan eggnog and the flaxseed meal, and let stand for at least 10 minutes to thicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Step 4

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and a handheld mixer, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed just until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Do not overmix or your cookies might spread. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, add the flaxseed meal mixture and vanilla, and mix on medium for 1 more minute. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing on low until just combined, about 15 seconds each time; don’t overmix. Scrape down the bowl again and lift the dough to see if there are any dried bits of flour at the bottom. If there are, mix on low one more time. The dough should be thick enough to scoop with your hand, but will be soft and pliable.

Step 5

Very lightly flour your hands, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a medium bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate until firmer, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 6

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Step 7

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a No. 60 disher or 1-tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the dough into heaping 1-tablespoon portions, about 20 grams each, and roll them into a ball between your hands. Place on the lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Step 8

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes, or until slightly crisp on the outside and still soft on the inside. (If your kitchen is very warm, place the second tray in the refrigerator for a few minutes before baking.) The color will be light on top and slightly golden brown on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes (don’t move them before that, as they’ll still be setting), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Step 9

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and vegan eggnog until fully combined (see recipe notes). Thicken with more confectioners’ sugar, or thin out with more eggnog, depending on the flavor and consistency you prefer.

Step 10

Place a rack inside a rimmed baking sheet or on top of a piece of wax paper, to catch the glaze that drips.

Step 11

Dip the top of each cooled cookie in the icing and return to the wire rack. Sprinkle lightly with the nutmeg, if using, and let rest until the glaze is firm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Serve, or transfer to an airtight container to store.

Nutrition Information

Per cookie

Calories: 110; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 77 mg; Carbohydrates: 17 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 1 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Jessica Hylton Leckie of the blog Jessica in the Kitchen.

Tested by Jim Webster and Ann Maloney; email questions to

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