4 dozen


2 1/4 cups all-purpose white flour

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

About 1/4 cup sugar or colored decorating sugar for shaping cookies



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and well blended. Beat in the egg and yolk until evenly incorporated. Beat or stir in the flour mixture until blended. The dough will be slightly soft. If the dough is too soft to handle, let stand for 10 minutes or until firmed up.

3. Sprinkle a work surface with sugar or colored sugar. With lightly greased hands, pull off pieces of dough the size of walnuts - generous 1-inch balls. Roll each ball back and forth between your palms to form an evenly thick, 2-inch -long rope. Lay the rope on the work surface and roll back and forth until it is about 5 inches long. Bring the ends of each rope together and press firmly to create a ring. Place on the baking sheets, spacing about 1-1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the work surface with more sugar as needed.

4. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 10-14 minutes, or until almost firm on top and lightly browned on the edges. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes 4 dozen.

Jessica Lopez