The inspiration behind this rum punch cookie came after being invited to a Bajan get together, or fete, as we like to call it. We were all asked to bring some food for the large gathering with some old friends I have not seen in years. That goes without saying that BYOB is an unspoken rule. I opted to bring a large leafy salad and some cookies. That’s when I thought to myself, why not marry the two and a BYOC… Bring Your Own Cookie! I was not in the mood to squeeze a good dozen limes to make a batch of Simple Bajan Rum Punch because I knew it could end in utter and total inebriation.
When it comes to cookies, I have two objectives: efficiency and greed. Let me explain. I want to make the most cookies possible, in the shortest period of time, all in one effort… for me. Volume is therefore very important to this gravalicious girl . That’s because I am known to eat at least one dozen all by myself, standing in the kitchen, with zero guilt. That’s until my tummy rumbles and I realize I have given myself a sugar coma that no glass of milk can solve. Greed accomplished.
But how do I achieve this level of efficiency you wonder? That’s where a cookie press comes into action. It’s what I like to refer to in my made-up baking lexicon as, “a weapon of mass construction”. You can churn out more cookies that you ever thought possible by one human being. That happens to be greedy smart in my books.
Back up 30 years, for old times sake. Yes I am long winded. Feel free to find the recipe somewhere below because I have not quite figured out in WordPress how to insert a link to bypass all the nonsense I like to talk about. As a youngster, my older sister could make a wicked chocolate cake*. I still remember licking that bowl like there was no tomorrow. Me, on the other hand, failed miserably at all of my cake attempts. The end result was usually predictable. My cakes ended up looking and tasting like what we know in Barbados as pone. For those of you who do not know what pone is, let’s just say it is a cake, that never really rises and is super moist. Tasty at times but not pretty and barely edible. It was then that I discovered I had better success at making cookies. After all, they are not supposed to rise as much as they are to melt and spread out.
Now back to my affectation for press cookies. Previous posts of mine include one for chocolate sugar cookies, and rose water sugar cookies. These rum punch cookies might just be the best ones yet. Seriously.
Sugar cookies are so incredibly versatile and always a crowd pleaser because they look like a factory must have made them versus a simple human. The added bonus of serving a cookie means that no utensils are needed for large gatherings, other than your trusty fingers.
This spritz recipe is basic with a few tweaks to introduce those “rum punch” ingredients of rum, limes and nutmeg. Let’s just get something clear, I only recommend rum from Barbados even though I have Jamaican roots (sorry folks, no contest).
“Rum Punch Cookies” by loopylocks
Makes about 7 dozen (cookie press) cookies
1 1/2 C butter, softened
1 C white (granulated) sugar
1 large egg
3 tsp Barbados dark rum
2 T milk (I used 2%)
3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt (optional)*
For the Rum Lime Glaze:
2 C icing sugar, sifted
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
1 tsp lime zest
2 T Barbados dark rum
2 T milk (I used 2%)
*I prefer salted butter because I think it brings out the flavour better in baking. Adding salt to the cookies is optional, but suggested if you use unsalted butter.
Set the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together – flour, salt (optional), baking powder and nutmeg. You can sift the flour if you prefer. I buy pre-sifted all purpose flour so I usually skip this step.
Soften butter in the microwave to room temperature if taking from the fridge. To do this, I cube the butter on a microwave safe plate and put on 30% power for 2 minutes. Scrape into a stand mixer. Using the flat paddle attachment mix butter and sugar on medium/high until light, creamy and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg, milk and rum, mixing well until smooth on medium/high speed.
Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet mixture using Stir speed until the batter is combined and no dry spots remain. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl if needed to make sure all the crumbly spots are well combined.
The consistency should be like Playdoh when you shape the dough into a log to fill the press. If you find it too soft for your press, put the bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and give it another try. The butter will harden so that it is easier to manage. You will be surprised how the dough melds together once you get your hands on it.
Using your cookie press, squeeze the dough through any choice of disc pattern onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are slightly brown. If you bake two sheets at the same time, your bottom sheet will be ready first. Take that one out and switch the top sheet to the lower rack while you are removing the first set to a cooling rack with a fine edged spatula. Remove the second tray that should be ready now. Cool completely.
Baking Tip – I like to wipe and cool the baking sheets with a paper towel between batches. In cooler temperatures this takes no time if you rest your tray outside. It just makes using the press easier. If the weather is warmer, I prefer to bake one tray at a time while I am cooling and reloading the second tray. Do what works best for you.
In a large bowl, sift the icing sugar. Then add the limes juice, zest, rum and milk all at once. Whisk well until very smooth. Immediately transfer the glaze to a Ziploc bag (a medium size works well). Cut a very teeny tiny hole at one of the bottom bag corners while the batter is in the opposite corner (so it does not start spewing out immediately). This will give you the ideal piping bag to apply the icing.
Take your cooled cookie sheets and cooling rack and line with parchment paper for easier cleanup. Place all the cookies as close as you can manage as you see I have done. This is for so when you are quickly working with the glaze so keep waste to a minimum.
Making quick zig zags, glaze the cookies. I personally do not like too much icing, hence the tiny snip on the bag. To give you an idea of how small, the itty bits of lime zest got trapped in the hole at times. That’s OK, they would eventually pop through, to my great satisfaction. When I was finished I still had a little bit of leftover glaze I put up in the fridge for a night cap!
You are almost done. At this point, the cookies are already dynamite. But in my opinion, they still needed that “extra touch” of nutmeg to bring home the rum punch taste. The nutmeg baked in the cookie does not have that raw nutmeg taste that you would expect from a real rum punch. You can forego this step if you are not a nutmeg lover like I am.
A note about nutmeg graters. For years we used a very basic small steel grater. Last Christmas we picked up at the Distillery in Toronto, a very fine German grater made by AdHoc. It does a really nice job of keeping the grind super fine. If your grater leaves the nutmeg a bit too course, I would suggest you skip this last step.
Let the glaze set up before transferring to a jar. Now it’s time to lower the flag…
Cheers! Hope you enjoy these RH** cookies :)
*In case you were feeling sorry for me when I was talking of my cake making history, I have since mastered the art of cake making and can now produce a chocolate cake I am always proud of because it most certainly is, good enough.
**RH is a Bajan abbreviation for the slang term “rasshole”. If you are from Barbados you will understand the acronym and the meaning behind it. My Aunt suggested the alternate name and I wish I had thought of it sooner.