fresh or ground
, cocoa or pecan halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Measure flour, baking powder, salt and spices into a bowl. Stir with a fork until well blended.
Measure butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, or by hand until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. While continuing to beat mixture, gradually pour in eggnog. (Eggnog substitute: if you do not have eggnog, use 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk and 1 egg yolk. This will mean a total of 3 egg yolks are added to the recipe.) Then, beating mixture on low speed, gradually and continually add flour mixture. Beat just until all flour is moistened. Overbeating at this stage will toughen the cookies.
Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least 1-1/2 inches (3.5 cm) between cookies. If you wish, tops may be decorated with freshly grated nutmeg, ground nutmeg, cocoa or a pecan half.
Bake in centre of preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until very lightly golden around edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator or frozen. These cookies are excellent with espresso.