Holiday Eggnog

Yes, the holiday season is here!  Thanksgiving is now a memory, and Christmas is fast approaching.  I really look forward to spending time with my family this time of year.  We usually celebrate our Christmas the Saturday before the actual day.  This tradition began around 30 years ago to allow my then young nieces and nephews to awake in their own homes to discover what Santa brought on Christmas morning.  So now that my nieces and nephews are grown and one has a child of his own, it still works out nicely to celebrate Christmas early because no one has to race around travelling, trying to visit multiple homes in one day.  

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, my mom goes crazy baking nearly ten different varieties of cookies.  A group of us will get together {usually me, my sisters and their kids} to help my mom ice the sugar cookies.  It's quite special to see three generations around the table icing cookies, talking, and laughing.  Last year my brother even came over to hang out with us.  Although he refused to decorate any cookies, he had no problem tasting them.  

Our Christmas revolves around food and games.  We normally have our dinner buffet style, which allow us to spend the evening playing cards and board games while grazing on the array of food.

This year, I'm definitely bringing eggnog to our Christmas dinner.  I really don't like bought eggnog; it tastes heavy and overly processed.  Prompted by an Eggnog Party sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs, I made fresh eggnog {adapted from Simply Recipes}.  It was delicious!  Even though I know it's high in calories, this eggnog was light, fluffy, and had a perfect balance of spices.  I was able to get this fluffy eggnog texture by incorporating whipped egg whites.  I wasn't worried about the salmonella risk because Safest Choice Eggs are pasteurized which eliminates the risk.  For more information on Safest Choice Eggs, just click their name and you'll be redirected to their website.  

Safest Choice Eggs is hosting an Eggnog Party from December 9-13, 2013 {yeah!}.  Several bloggers, including me, in the St. Louis region will be posting recipes using eggnog as the main ingredient.  Safest Choice will be giving away two prize packs to blog readers {that's you!} on December 13th.  Mark you calendars and tell a friend to check back next week to see how I used this eggnog recipe as a base for two Italian inspired desserts.  You won't want to miss it!  

 

For a printer friendly recipe CLICK HERE

 

Ingredients for Eggnog (makes 1 quart)

  • 4 Safest Choice Egg yolks
  • 4 Safest Choice Egg whites
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of organic whole whipping/heavy cream (235 mL)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp each of Rum and Brandy (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar with electric mixer until color lightens and eggs are fluffy.
  2. In a 3.5 Qt thick-bottomed saucepan combine milk, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Bring to medium heat, milk should be steaming, not boiling.
  3. Temper the egg yolks/sugar mixture by slowing adding a ladle of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking.  Continue whisking while adding another ladle of the hot mixture.  Once incorporated,  add this egg mixture back to the saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring with wooden spoon constantly.  Avoid boiling!    If you have a thermometer, cook until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F, otherwise check consistency with the back of the wooden spoon.  Liquid should be thick and coat spoon when you draw your finger down the spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and add heavy cream while stirring.  Strain out cloves through mesh strainer.
  6. Add vanilla and alcohol (optional).  Bring to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Beat Safest Choice egg whites with electric mixer until they form soft peaks (about 5 minutes).  Add 1 tsp of granulated sugar and continue to beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Gently fold into eggnog.  Serve immediately.  **Omit this step of adding egg whites if not using Safest Choice pasteurized eggs.  Be aware there is a salmonella risk when consuming unpasteurized, raw eggs.  It is recommended that children, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems refrain from eating raw eggs.  Be safe, and use Safest Choice eggs ;)