Rum extract gives these cookies a boozy maybe-I’ll-just-have-one-more-mug-of-nog taste; it’s available online and commonly sold in grocery stores. To ensure good-looking cookies, make sure the dough is soft and at room temperature so it pipes smoothly. I prefer Oxo’s spritz gun (sold as a “cookie press”) for its ease of use and cleaning, but any spritz gun will work. (Fun tip: Use it to extrude fresh, soft pasta dough the rest of the year to get more use out of it.) Uniform shapes like wreaths or rings work best since shapes with asymmetrical designs like Christmas trees can pipe unevenly. Finally, make sure your baking sheet is ungreased and unlined so that the dough sticks to the surface and maintains its shape.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out 2 baking sheets and leave them ungreased and unlined.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, the butter, cream, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, the rum extract, salt, cloves and egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes (see Baker’s Note). Add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
Working in batches, scrape the dough into a spritz gun fitted with a wreath disk and press shapes 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons nutmeg in a small bowl, then sprinkle the spiced sugar evenly over the cookies.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until lightly golden on the bottom, about 12 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough and spiced sugar.
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