Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nog, Nog, Noggin' on Heaven's Door....

That is to be sung to the tune of Guns N' Roses because um, yeah... I think this Nog is pert near close to Heaven. Actually, I theologically completely disagree with my own statement but practically speaking, I'm just trying to tell you that this is unbelievably good Eggnog. I forced a few willing participants to imbibe in said Eggnog (one was my mother-in-law who formerly did not care for the libation) and they all came back for more! Success. *I should note for conscience' sake that I did not force the spirited version on anyone. Far be it from me to provide something not everyone can enjoy. Enter: the double batch, divided into near-equal spirited and non-spirited portions. At least, the portions started out nearly equal in size... until someone decided to turn the remaining virginal nog into its slightly more robust counterpart. This was my 3rd year to make Holiday Eggnog- I think I have successfully started a new tradition!!

Holiday Eggnog

6 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk, divided (I used whole milk- go big or go home, right?)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used some of my homemade rum-vanilla extract... mmm)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Additional whipped cream and ground nutmeg, optional

In a large heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Gradually add 2 cups milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer reads 160°, about 25 minutes. (It usually takes me 35-40 minutes since I go so slow to prevent scrambled eggs! Grab a good book to read while stirring.)

Pour into a large bowl; stir in the vanilla, nutmeg and remaining milk. Place the bowl in an ice-water bath; stir frequently until mixture is cool. If mixture separates, process in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to serve, in a small bowl, beat cream on high speed until soft peaks form; whisk gently into cooled mixture. Pour into a chilled punch bowl. If desired, top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Yield: 6 servings (about 4 cups). *I doubled recipe and then spiked half of it.

Spiked Holiday Eggnog: Reduce milk to 3-1/4 cups. Heat 2 cups milk with eggs, sugar and salt. Add 1-1/4 cups milk with vanilla and nutmeg. After mixture has cooled in ice bath, stir in 3/4 cup rum, brandy or bourbon. Proceed as recipe directs. *I used Captain Morgan's spiced rum since it was on sale. :)

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