Nutmeg Log Cookies

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Nutmeg Logs

Nutmeg Logs

Prep 30 mins   Bake 24 mins   Eat 54 mins

Last year my friend Mary gave me a gift of her Christmas cookies.  I felt so lucky to taste these creations that were handed down from her mother.  I had read all about them the previous year in the December 16, 2009 Los Angeles Times.  I had saved the newspaper clipping and had intended to make them one day, but I was doubly pleased to see and taste them the way she experienced them as a child.   I confess that my sweetie didn’t get many of them!

Every year, I teach a Christmas Cookie Baking Class at the Holy Nativity Community Hall and so I decided this year that we would make the Nutmeg Logs that Mary wrote about and see if they could measure up to hers.  I could not find the rum flavoring in her ingredient list, so I went with some rum out of my liquor cabinet –and added more of it, since we didn’t have the concentrated version.  I thought the Nutmeg Log team of Karen and Jeanine did a beautiful job creating these.

Here’s Mary’s recipe from the Los Angeles Times with some edits of mine learned from our class:

Print this Recipe

Nutmeg Logs

  • 1 cup butter, room temp (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs rum or 2 tsp rum flavoring
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated or ground if possible)
  • 3 cups sifted flour


  • 3 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs rum or 1 tsp rum flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tbs milk
  • 1 whole nutmeg (for grating as decoration)

1. Heat oven to 350°.  Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer.  Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, rum and nutmeg.

2. Slowly mix in the flour just until it is evenly incorporated.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into long logs one-half inch thick.  Cut the logs into 3-inch lengths.

4. Bake cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet until set and faintly colored around the edges, about 12 minutes.  Do not let bottoms brown.  Cool cookies on the rack.

5. While cookies are baking, mix frosting in a medium bowl.  Mix together the butter, rum, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Mix in milk until consistency looks like a medium thick spreadable frosting.

6. Place frosting into a piping bag with a small or flat tip or a ziploc bag with corner cut off.  Pipe about 1/2 teaspoon frosting onto each cookie.  Use fork to rake over the top to create a “bark-like” texture.

7. Before the frosting sets, grate fresh nutmeg over each cookie.  Store the cookies in an airtight container.  The cookies can be stored up to 2 months in the freezer.

8. Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

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