These Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies with pecans and eggnog glaze are perfect for adding to your holiday cookie plates, bringing to cookie swaps, or gifting at holiday parties.
Happy November! Also, holy moly, how is it November already? As ridiculous as it sounds, it always seems like once Halloween ends, the holiday season officially kicks off. There are already Christmas commercials on television, for goodness sake.
But I can't complain too much because that means it's now totally appropriate for me to be posting holiday recipes here on We are not Martha. And also totally acceptable for me to be eating holiday recipes while in my pajamas.
There's no way I'm putting batches of cookies and other baked goods to waste. In any event, I'm excited to commence this holiday season with a gingerbread recipe. Because I believe that gingerbread is one of the more underrated flavors of the holidays and we should celebrate it as much as possible over the next two months.
I'm a huge gingerbread fan and have made several fabulous recipes in the past like these Gingerbread Rolls and this Triple Gingerbread Ice Cream. Believe it or not, my dog is also a gingerbread fan, which we found out last year when I made here these Gingerbread Puppuccinos.
And now I'm back with one of those recipes that's incredibly simple, but also ridiculously delicious... One that should most definitely be a staple in your holiday cookie planning! Gingerbread shortbread cookies with pecans and eggnog glaze.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
I used to think shortbread was the most boring cookie in the world (always my very last choice of Girl Scout cookie). And to be honest, it's still generally not my favorite. Unless that shortbread involves chocolate or is flavored with something delicious. And then it is my everything.
I first learned this after making Alison Roman's salted chocolate chunk shortbread. Inspired by those delicious cookies, I made these Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies. And I loved those so much, that I decided more shortbread needed to happen in my life and thus, these gingerbread shortcake cookies were born.
Even if the idea of shortbread cookies don't excite you, these gingerbread shortbread cookies are going to make your holiday dreams come true!
They require a few different steps, but are overall pretty easy cookies to make and will become a great addition to your holiday cookie platters!
These cookies involve classic gingerbread ingredients and you likely already have many of them in your kitchen. Here's what you need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground all-spice
- Ground nutmeg
- Decorative sugar
I also highly recommend making the eggnog glaze that's drizzled on half of each cookie- it's super easy! Here's what you need:
- Confectioners' sugar
How to Make Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies
Is gingerBREAD shortBREAD redundant? Possibly. But it just sounds so much better than ginger shortbread, so I'm going with it.
The batter is made with brown sugar, molasses, and lots of holiday spices. Once you mix the batter up, you'll separate it into two batches and roll those two batches into 2" logs that you'll chill for a couple hours.
To start, beat butter brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, nutmeg, and salt.
With mixer running on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat to just blend, taking care not to over-mix.
Now for the fun part! Divide the dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Fold plastic wrap over dough to completely cover and use your hands to roll the dough into a smooth log, about 2" in diameter.
Repeat with second half of dough and then place in fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours.
When dough is almost done chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together ⅓ cup crushed pecans and decorative sugar.
Taking one dough log out of the fridge at a time, brush the outside of each log with egg wash and roll in pecan/sugar mixture.
Using a sharp knife, slice that dough into ½" rounds. And place on your baking sheets about 1" apart.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn golden.
Let cool slightly on pan before moving to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
How to Make Eggnog Glaze
While the cookies are baking, whip up a super simple eggnog glaze that literally just consists of confectioners' sugar, eggnog, and nutmeg.
If you don't have eggnog or just don't like it (though I promise enjoying it as a cookie glaze is totally different than drinking a glass of it!), you can use milk instead.
Let the cookies cool and then dip each of them in the eggnog glaze and sprinkle on some more pecans.
Try not to eat any leftover eggnog glaze with a spoon. But hey, the way I see it, calories don't count for the next 2 months. I know that's really bad advice to give... But I just want us all to be happy and enjoy the holiday season.
If you're a fan of gingerbread, gingerbread shortbread is such a wonderful way to enjoy it. The cookies are a little bit crispy and a little bit soft, making them, in my mind, the perfect consistency. and the eggnog glaze adds just the right amount of sweetness, balanced out by the nutty pecans.
That sugary pecan mix all along the edges of the cookies? omg SO good.
It's the kind of cookie I see in my dreams over the holidays. Instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, it's definitely gingerbread shortbread cookies. And eggnog. All the time.
You can never have too many cookie recipes in your holiday repertoire and gingerbread shortbread makes the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie plate. Do you and your friends do cookie swaps over the holidays?
If so, this recipe is just unique enough that it's not likely anyone else will have too similar of a cookie (you KNOW everyone brings Hershey Kiss blossoms and decorated sugar cookies) and delicious enough that everyone will be excited to bring them home.
You can also put a batch of these gingerbread shortbread cookies in a pretty box or bag and bring them along as a host/hostess gift to any holiday parties you're invited to.
Or give them to your neighbors. Or the mailman or UPS driver. Speaking of, do you give your delivery people holiday gifts? I never know if food is acceptable or if they'll just immediately throw anything homemade in the trash.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
If you're looking for more fun holiday cookie ideas, I have so many delicious recipes! Here are some of my favorites:
- Eggnog Linzer Cookies
- Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Milk Bar's Cornflake Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies
- Eggnog Gingerbread Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Sour Cream Crinkle Cookies
- Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies
- Eggnog Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
- Pinwheel Swirl Cookies (from Bake Alish)
Of course, you can also simply whip up a batch of these and enjoy the way they make your home smell like the holiday season. And then sit on your couch with a batch of cookies and a glass of cold eggnog and be thankful for a little peace and quiet this holiday season.
And maybe a Hallmark Christmas movie or two. Oh, how excited I am for Christmas movies (though I sadly do not get the Hallmark channel anymore and Hulu just informed us they will be charging extra money for Lifetime Movies... Not the news I needed right before the holiday season).
Anyway, Chris generally claims not to like nuts in his desserts, but he fell in love with these cookies! I don't think he realized how much he liked shortbread either, until I started obsessively making it.
I'm lucky in that he might like cheesy holiday movies even more than I do, so I foresee many evenings of cookies and Christmas love stories in our future.
Are you kicking off the holiday season yet?
Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground all-spice
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ cup crushed pecans, divided
- ¼ cup decorative sugar
- 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp eggnog
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, nutmeg, and salt.
- With mixer running on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat to just blend, taking care not to over-mix.
- Divide dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over dough to completely cover and use your hands to roll the dough into a smooth log, about 2" in diameter. Repeat with second half of dough and then place in fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together ⅓ cup crushed pecans and decorative sugar. Taking one dough log out of the fridge at a time, brush the outside of each log with egg wash and roll in pecan/sugar mixture.
- Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds and arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn golden. Let cool slightly on pan before moving to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
- Dip cooled cookies in eggnog icing and sprinkle on remaining crushed pecans. Let icing harden before serving.
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, 3 Tbsp eggnog, and nutmeg. If icing is too thick, add another Tbsp eggnog, a little bit at a time.
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