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Here’s the deal with these cookies: aside from the fact that they have one of the worst names in the history of naming—well, anything— hard boiled egg cookies are my absolute FAVORITE Christmas cookies to snarf down. Even though they sound about as appetizing as a whiskey shot with a pickle juice chaser, they don’t taste at all like hard boiled eggs. They are essentially chewy sugar cookies with a sweet-but-not-too-sweet, cake-like texture that puts me in a festive mood every holiday season.
I like these even more than Thin Mints. And I can eat an entire sleeve of Thin Mints. Is that convincing enough?
Last Friday, I shared with you my grandmother’s original recipe of her favorite cookies (kolaches) and what it meant to me to have these around now that she’s gone. I promised ages ago that I’d share both recipes, so I’m here to pay up and give you the details, even if you decide that the name is just too hard to get over. If it helps, simply call it a sugar cookie recipe without milk and without powdered sugar.
Or, you could call them “hard boiled egg cookies” in front of your kids and basically guarantee that you can hoard these delicious soft cookies all to yourself.I would go so far as to argue that the name and resulting hoardability is the best part of this recipe. It’s genius.
Supplies you might need:
- large mixing bowl
- wire cooling rack
- measuring cup set
- electric mixer or hand mixer
- cookie cutters
Super Soft and Chewy Hard Boiled Egg Cookies
Cooked egg yolks are an old school baking trick that make a pastry light, but soft and dense — which is how it still makes its way into this family favorite. This recipe is basically a dressed up sugar cookie dough, handed down from the women in my family with relatively few ingredients. It has a buttery flavor and a pillowy texture but isn’t too sweet. You can then decorate with icing or sprinkles, making it an excellent option for pleasing adults and kids alike. It also goes great with Santa’s glass of milk (or almond milk if Santa is lactose intolerant).
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (two sticks) of butter, softened
- 4 hard boiled egg yolks, sifted
- 4 whole eggs
- Optional: sanding sugar, egg wash, or royal icing (with sprinkles of course!)
- Prepare egg yolks: Hard boil 4 eggs and separate the yolk. Press the yolks through a sieve to get a crumbly mix.
- Create the flour mixture: In a large bowl mix together sugar, flour, baking powder, and the sifted egg yolks. This helps to make sure the dry ingredients are evenly distributed and you don’t wind up with a clump of egg or
- Make the cookie dough: Add in the butter, then the 4 whole eggs and vanilla. Makes a stiff dough.
- Chill and set aside: Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for about a ½ hour.
- Roll and bake: Spread a little flour on a cutting board to roll out dough with a rolling pin. Cut into favorite shapes with different cookie cutters and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are golden brown (about 12 minutes).
- Since this is part of a family holiday tradition, we often make deviled eggs around the same time, which helps to get rid of unused whites of the hard boiled eggs (if for some reason I haven’t snarfed them down when peeling off the shell).
- Mix the dough like a pie crust (it will be crumbly in bits until you add the eggs and vanilla).
- Keep an eye on your oven and timer to make sure the cookies come out on the lighter side and dial in the exact timing (your oven may be different from mine but 12 minutes is our sweet spot). I love a softer cookie!
- Egg wash on top will add a nice glaze and also helps the sanding sugar to stick a little better if the cookies have begun to cool.
- If you’re looking to go dairy free and not just milk free, you can use vegetable shortening or vegan butter instead of butter. While many butter alternatives have a 1:1 ratio when used as a substitute, double check with the conversion chart on the package if listed.
I prefer them plain with a small wash of egg white on top because I’m not a big icing fan, but the rest of my family is insistent on icing or adding sanding sugar to a few so that I’m not the only one who can enjoy them.
In our family tradition, I like to eat them while they’re still warm from the oven, which is also a fine time to dust them with sugar (if you didn’t do it before putting them in the oven), but you should generally wait until they’ve cooled to ice them. Mom has a long standing tradition of ignoring this rule altogether when baking, so I have fond memories of iced cookies with a see-through spot on top (or in the case of birthdays, whole top layers sliding from their base). Ahh, childhood.
(Speaking of, the entire time I was writing this post, I said the word “cookies” so much I had a memory flashback of watching Troop Beverly Hills. I know I’m dating myself, but does anyone else remember that movie?)