Total time: About 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus cooling time for the cookies
Servings: About 7 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum flavoring
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 cups (12 ounces) sifted flour
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and rum flavoring. Beat in the nutmeg.
2. Slowly beat in the flour until evenly incorporated.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into logs one-half-inch thick. Cut the logs into 3-inch lengths.
4. Bake the cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet until set and faintly colored around the edges, about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on a rack.
Frosting and assembly
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk, more if needed
Nutmeg, to be grated for decoration
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, rum flavoring, vanilla and powdered sugar. Whisk in the milk. The frosting should have a buttercream-like consistency. Add additional milk if needed to achieve the proper consistency.
2. Frost the cookies with a scant half-teaspoon of frosting, marking each frosted cookie with a fork to give it "bark-like" texture.
3. Before the frosting sets, grate fresh nutmeg over each cookie. Store the cookies in an airtight container. The cookies can be made up to 2 months in advance (unfrozen and frosted); thaw before frosting.
Each of 84 cookies: 61 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 9 mg. cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 2 mg. sodium.