I put mayo in my eggnog because Hellmann’s told me to — and I liked it

When I told a friend about agreeing to do this piece, she said, “Mayo-Nog? No. ‘No’ is right there in the name, clear as day.”

Hellmann’s says its daring holiday pairing of Frozen Mayo-Nog and Snickerdoodle Mayo Cookies complete with mayo and marshmallow glaze “shines a light on the fact that holiday celebrations are incomplete without this rich and creamy condiment.” Created in cooperation with mixologist Cody Goldstein of Muddling Memories and NYC bar Amy Fontaine’s, it’s available at the latter restaurant through Dec. 15 — $16 for the nog and $24 for the glaze-and-cookie pairing. For those of us with an untenable commute, Hellmann’s has thoughtfully provided recipes for home use.

I get my friend’s instinctive revulsion and confess to sharing it to some degree, but fresh off the success of this year’s emergency mayonnaise rolls and last year’s extremely unlikely positive Hidden Valley RanchNog review, I’m feeling lucky. Mayo makes a great substitute for egg in baking, and against all odds, eggnog turns out to be a natural fit for complex flavors.

Mayo and marshmallow glaze, though? Sounds like it might make the "naughty" list. Let’s find out!

I’m always a little squeamish about the raw egg in traditional eggnog, even when it’s pasteurized. Using mayo instead might actually be a little bit less viscerally disturbing.

A little bit.

You'll find the full recipe below, but to summarize, it’s milk, heavy cream, simple syrup, dark rum, cognac and apple brandy, spiked with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add almost as much mayo as booze, toss in a cup of ice, and blend until frothy. It’s sort of like a salad dressing Slurpee.

It’s also delicious.

I whipped up Hellmann’s Frozen Mayo-Nog at home. All you need is a blender and a stout heart. (Courtesy Heather Martin)
I whipped up Hellmann’s Frozen Mayo-Nog at home. All you need is a blender and a stout heart. (Courtesy Heather Martin)

I really thought this would have a terrible oily mouthfeel, that a teaspoon would be way too much cinnamon, and I wasn’t sure about the apple flavoring at all. The result is luxurious but not greasy — there’s enough other liquid and enough alcohol to cut the dairy and mayo oils effectively. Since it’s cold, the cinnamon is actually dosed about right, although if making the nonalcoholic chai version with strong tea, I might cut back just a bit on the added spices. The apple I wasn’t sure about turns out to be a real asset. It’s not too prominent, but it adds a freshness that I didn’t expect. It reminds me of apple pie with vanilla ice cream, but it’s just one note in the song, not grandstanding over the other flavors. As with Hidden Valley’s RanchNog, I prefer this to traditional eggnog recipes.

After my other mayo-related baking experiments, I wasn’t worried about the Hellmann’s snickerdoodle recipe at all. Basically, the recipe replaces the usual egg in a snickerdoodle recipe with mayo. Most mayos contain little egg and Hellmann’s is no exception, but mostly mayo’s egg-mimicking effects are down to its fat content, and the emulsification of oil and water into a stable compound. It holds moisture and carries flavor. It’s low in protein and doesn’t offer much binding power, but the gluten in the wheat flour does the trick well enough.

Snickerdoodles made with mayo bake up beautifully. (Courtesy Heather Martin)
Snickerdoodles made with mayo bake up beautifully. (Courtesy Heather Martin)

If you haven’t made snickerdoodles before, the baking time of eight minutes for giant cookies might seem a bit short, but it results in the classic chewy texture. The cream of tartar in any snickerdoodle gives them a tangy finish, and so mayo is a natural complement. It’s really nice to have an easy cookie recipe with no fresh eggs in it, too. It simplifies baking with young children and would cut down on their risk of food borne illness when dipping the dough in cinnamon sugar, but don’t be tempted to eat the raw dough — it’s still not recommended because unbaked flour can carry germs as well.

Now for the glaze. I have concerns.

The recipe instructs us to beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, marshmallow cream, and yes, Hellmann’s mayonnaise with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ... salt and pepper? A hint of salt enhances other flavors in many dishes, and there’s actually a tradition of adding black pepper to winter spices in things like chai or Scandinavian pepparkakor cookies. Hellmann’s hasn’t led us astray thus far. Let’s go for it.

Hellmann’s mayo and marshmallow cookie glaze has black pepper in addition to other warm spices. (Courtesy Heather Martin)
Hellmann’s mayo and marshmallow cookie glaze has black pepper in addition to other warm spices. (Courtesy Heather Martin)

Friends, it is heavenly. Cream cheese, marshmallow cream and of course mayo are each assertive flavors with the potential to overwhelm. Together, they’re perfectly balanced. I decided to use freshly cracked black pepper, and I love the complexity, but I only put a little on my cookie. This is a grown-up, sophisticated cookie. If making for children, or if you plan to really slather all three cups of glaze on your dozen cookies, I might back off on the amount and taste first. You can always add more.

Is Hellmann’s just trying to get us to use more mayonnaise with their holiday promotion? Sure. But it has really impressed me with this unconventional pairing. No one would guess there’s mayo in all three elements, and they’ve harmonized traditional flavors with novel ingredients just perfectly.

I’ll be leaving Santa Mayo-Nog and Snickerdoodle Mayo Cookies this year. Hellooooo, "nice" list!

Frozen Mayo-Nog (makes 2 servings)

  • 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

  • 3 ounces whole milk

  • 3 ounces heavy cream

  • 3 ounces simple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1½ ounces rum (preferably Ron Zacapa)

  • 1½ ounces apple brandy (preferably Laird’s)

  • 1½ ounces cognac (preferably Grand Marnier)

  • 1 cup ice

Add all ingredients into a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon.

Nonalcoholic Frozen Mayo-Nog

Replace rum, cognac and brandy with 3½ ounces of spiced chai tea (Tazo preferred).

Brew tea and let cool. Add all ingredients into a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon.

Hellmann's Mayonnaise Snickerdoodle Cookies (makes 12-14 (4-inch) cookies)

  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 sticks butter, softened

  • 87 grams Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar plus 2/3 cup, divided

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, blend together butter and mayo. Add in 1½ cups sugar and blend until light and fluffy.

  4. Add in vanilla.

  5. Add in flour mixture gradually until dough comes together.

  6. In a small shallow bowl, combine cinnamon and 2/3 cup sugar. With a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough. Roll into a perfect ball shape and roll into a cinnamon sugar mixture.

  7. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2 to 3 inches apart, slightly flatten with drinking glass. Bake for 8 minutes. Take out of the oven, flatten the cookie again with a drinking glass. Cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes.

Hellmann's Snickerdoodle Glaze (makes 3 cups)

  • 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 7 ounces marshmallow cream

  • 3½ cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 3 teaspoons black pepper

  • 1/4-1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half


In an electric mixer, whip Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla extract. Gradually whip in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in marshmallow cream. Blend in salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. Slowly add in milk or half-and-half until desired consistency.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com