Any time of year - and especially this time of year - I'll take the delicious simplicity of a chewy, soft and sweet snickerdoodle over any fancy, overwrought confection. It's even better to pair this underappreciated cookie with the most perfect of holiday beverages - eggnog.

Then I blended these two classic treats ... And came up with this eggnog snickerdoodle.

It totally makes sense. Though overtly rich and creamy, at heart eggnog is about clean vanilla creaminess with just a hint of holiday spice. You could easily say the same of snickerdoodles, which are a rich, buttery cookie with a clean vanilla taste and a light dusting of cinnamon-sugar on the outside.

Eggnog Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients:

•3 cups all-purpose flour

•2 teaspoons cream of tartar

•1 teaspoon baking soda

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

•2 cups sugar, divided

•1/4 cup plain eggnog

•1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy

•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•2 large eggs

•2 teaspoons cinnamon

•1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in the eggnog, rum and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated. Add the eggs, then beat until well mixed.

Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough to form balls. Roll each ball in the sugar mixture to coat evenly, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Leaving 2 inches between the cookies on all sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, but still soft at the center. Cool and store up to one week.

Yield: 36 cookies