nutmeg buttermilk cookies

Saturday, November 2, 2013 |
I don’t usually keep buttermilk in the fridge, because when I do, it invariably goes bad before I can use the entire container.  And buttermilk that has gone off smells DISGUSTING.  Beyond belief gross.  If you’ve experienced it, you know.  If you haven’t, don’t ever let it happen.  Also, if you have any tried and true ways of using up buttermilk, please list them in the comments!  Anyway, back to the story, cookies, #lalala.  I had a little less than a cup of buttermilk in the fridge after making a loaf of soda bread, and (naturally) I went searching on the interwebs for cookie recipes made with buttermilk.  Then four and a half dozen cookies happened on a weeknight.  I never claimed sanity.

nutmeg buttermilk cookies

Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies (cookies modified slightly from Jen’s Favorite Cookies’ recipe, glaze from King Arthur Flour)


3/4 cup butter, room temperature
11/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk, plus 1 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar. In my case (without a stand mixer), this meant mixing by hand until most of the sugar was incorporated, and then beating with an electric hand mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.

Add buttermilk and mix well, and don’t worry if the mixture curdles – adding the dry ingredients will sort it out. Sift in the dry ingredients and nutmeg and stir gently with a spatula until the batter comes together completely.

Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet (I lined sheets in foil and then sprayed them with baking spray) about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, switching racks halfway through baking to ensure even heating.  Take cookies out when edges turn very light golden brown.  Cool cookies on wire racks before icing.

For glaze, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Spread small spoonfuls of glaze over cookies, and let sit at least 20 minutes for icing to harden.  If you have any questions about the glaze consistency, check out the tips and video on the King Arthur page.

Store cookies in an airtight container.  Makes 4-5 dozen.

You may have already gleaned this from the recipe, but it’s the tiniest bit fussy.  The ingredients are simple enough, but what with the glazing and sifting and shifting trays in the oven, they really take your whole attention for the duration of baking.  Be prepared, is all I’m saying.  As for the cookies themselves, they are very cake-y, with just a hint of spice.  The batter tasted like mild eggnog, but when it baked up that went right away.  My roommates and book club friends liked the finished cookies, and though I’m not a cakey cookie sort of person, I think they’re just fine (and I loved the glaze).

Recommended for: those who prefer a mild, unexceptionable cookie with a cake-like texture, and for the perfect thing to go with afternoon tea.

Interested in other food-related posts?  Check out Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking!


jama said...

I know well the smell of buttermilk that's sat in the fridge for a long time. Thanks for sharing this recipe -- at least I'll have another option for using up leftover buttermilk before it goes bad -- and I like a nice cakey cookie at teatime. :)

Beth F said...

I keep dried buttermilk (available in most grocery stores) in the refrigerator at all times. That saves me the need to deal with spoiled buttermilk (ugh!).

These sound like my kind of cookies and the KAF glaze sounds perfect.

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

That does seem like the perfect tea cookie.

Vicki said...

My mom loved buttermilk, especially with cornbread broke up in it, but I don't like it at all. I would try the cookies though.

And Beth said she keeps dried buttermilk...never heard of it but will look for it.

The Reading Date said...

Yum! These do sound like the perfect tea cookie. Great use of leftover buttermilk.

Anonymous said...

Chef Spike has a recipe for an amazing cornbread that uses buttermilk. It is my family's favorite. I also make buttermilk biscuits. Finally - martha stewart has a buttermilk pie that is delicious. I usually manage to use up the buttermilk before it goes off.

Laurie C said...

I usually like a crispier cookie, but I think the glaze on these would win me over too!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

It does seem like a lot of steps, but the final product looks wonderful.

Liviania said...

I make blue cheese scallion biscuits with buttermilk.

Also, I rarely have buttermilk in the fridge, so I usually mix plain yogurt and regular milk to substitute. (You can also mix regular milk w/sour cream.)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

These are great looking cookies, and the glaze looks wonderful - actually I could just eat a bowl of the glaze.

I'm like you - I seldom buy buttermilk, because I never seem to be able to use it up before it goes off. Buttermilk scones (or biscuits as you would probably call them) are one way of using up some of the surplus.

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