Rebecca Gottfred won first place for this recipe in 1994, beating out 221 entries. Gottfred made these cookies with her sister in their annual pre-Christmas baking session, and both of their families declared them a yearly must. The recipe doubles and triples easily, and the baked cookies freeze well.
- Chilling time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
- 2/3 Cups (102/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 13/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg or to taste
- 1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon rum extract or to taste
- Freshly ground nutmeg for garnish
1. Beat butter in large bowl of electric mixer until light; beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and salt; beat well. Stir in flour and nutmeg until well mixed. Refrigerate dough, covered, 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have ungreased baking sheets ready.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press down centers with thumb. Bake until barely golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
4. For filling, beat butter until light. Beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Add rum extract to taste. Beat well. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip with the filling. Pipe a star into the center of each cookie. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Chill until filling firms, 15 minutes.