As seems to happen every year, the holidays are somehow just around the corner again. It’s almost time to start embracing cheesy Christmas music, unearthing your Christmas sweaters, and making lists.
My favorite part of the holidays is always sitting down to a giant feast with friends and family to enjoy all the decadent drinks and nibbles.
I’m big on homemade everything (yep, even the cranberry sauce!), and eggnog is one thing that’s infinitely better when you make it from scratch. It’s worth the extra effort, so ditch the flavorless store-bought cartons and make your own. If you’re not a fan of the drink, there are other creative ways to cook with these creamy, boozy flavors that might surprise you. You may even convert the eggnog haters in your family.
Start with a Great Basic Eggnog Recipe
The key to a great eggnog is not being modest with your flavorful ingredients. Don’t be shy with that nutmeg and cinnamon. Here’s the perfect eggnog recipe to get you started.
Ultimate Eggnog Recipe – Irresistible Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays
Makes: 8 servings
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup double cream
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthways, seeds separated
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to garnish
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- Combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds, and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When boiling, remove from heat and let the flavors infuse.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and ribbony. Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Add bourbon and stir.
- Beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form, and gently fold into the eggnog until combined. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
Tip: The eggnog mixture from step 2 can be refrigerated overnight or for up to 3 days, so you can do most of the prep ahead of time.
Avoiding Raw Eggs in Eggnog – Irresistible Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays
The Raw Egg Debate
Many people are concerned about the use of raw eggs in homemade eggnog recipes. According to the FDA, eggnog causes many cases of salmonella poisoning over the holidays. Salmonella mainly comes from egg yolks, but it can sometimes be found in egg whites. While some people believe alcohol kills any bacteria, if you’re still not sure and you want to be safe, there are ways to get around the raw egg conundrum.
If you’re concerned about the use of raw eggs, there are several options:
- Combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture while it’s still piping hot.
- Combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture and heat up to an internal temperature of 160ºF, stirring constantly.
- Try egg substitutes or pasteurized eggs in your recipe.
Eggnog Cupcakes Recipe – Irresistible Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays
Now it’s time to get creative with your eggnog. Here are two ways to switch up this classic creamy beverage to impress your guests.
Makes: 14 servings
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup eggnog (see Ultimate Eggnog recipe above)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups or grease with butter.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all cupcake ingredients except the butter, eggs, and eggnog.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and add flour slowly, beating until the mixture is a crumbly consistency. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the 1/2 cup of eggnog until combined and the batter is smooth and silky.
- Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake 18-22 mins until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.
- For frosting, combine everything but the powdered sugar and eggnog, beating until smooth. Add the sugar slowly and mix to combine. Add eggnog 1 tbsp at a time until the frosting becomes spreadable. Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and garnish with an extra sprinkle of nutmeg.
Makes: 36 1.5-inch squares
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup eggnog
- 2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 12 oz white chocolate, chopped
- 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper. Combine sugar, butter, eggnog, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan.
- Heat the mixture to 235ºF or until a drop of the mixture forms a soft ball in cold water.
- Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, marshmallow cream, vanilla extract, and walnuts. Beat until fluffy. Spread evenly into baking pan and cool completely. Cut into 1.5-inch squares and serve.
Eggnog Fudge Recipe – Irresistible Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays
Did You Know?
While we can all agree that the first half of the name “egg” refers to the fact that the drink contains eggs, there are a whole host of debated meanings for the “nog” bit. Some people claim nog was a kind of strong beer, while others say it refers to wooden mugs called noggins used to serve alcohol. Still others claim it was a combination of grog – colonial slang for rum – and noggin, the wooden mug, and that it was first called egg-n-grog. Still others think nog is related to the Scottish term “nugg” from “nugged ale,” an ale heated with a hot poker.
But whatever you believe, eggnog has been around since the 14th century, so it’s an undisputed classic in the lineup of favorite holiday beverages.
Photo: Getty Images