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Egg Nog Notions and Potions

By Judi Gallagher –

One of my most vivid childhood memories is my mother bringing out the fancy crystal punch bowl and filling it with Sealtest egg nog. After we children were given our cups, mom added a splash of brandy to the bowl for the adults to toast. Enjoying egg nog was a seasonal family tradition from Thanksgiving through the New Year. While I don’t have a punch bowl like mom’s, I keep egg nog in the house this time of year, but I use it in a variety of culinary ways as an ingredient. I use it as a flavorful ingredient with sweet potatoes, whipped cream for gingerbread, batter for french toast and sauces for spice soufflés.

The origin of egg nog is debated. Some say the English claim as it as a derivation of posset, a Medieval European beverage made with hot milk. The nog part of the name is believed to stem from the word noggin, a Middle English term used to describe a small wooden carved mug used to serve alcohol.

I confess to enjoying a small glass of egg nog this time of year, sans the brandy or rum. Since the egg nog in stores is pasteurized, I would not risk making it homemade. You can easily spice it up with a dash of pumpkin spice seasoning. Here are two recipes I use often this time of year. And a toast to mom for those wonderful punch bowl memories.

Pumpkin Egg Nog Bread Pudding

I just love pumpkin, from pumpkin pie and pumpkin butter to pumpkin bread, so making pumpkin bread pudding is a natural for me. The problem is sharing. This tastes as good warm as it does cold.

1 cup half and half
1 cup egg nog
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread (about 10-ounces)
5 cups pumpkin muffins, cut into cubes
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes and pumpkin muffins. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11×7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Caramel Sauce
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Serve warm with caramel sauce.

4 large sweet potatoes
1 cup egg nog
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Eggnog

4 large sweet potatoes
1 cup egg nog
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Mix Together for topping:

3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon melted butter

Wash the skin and prick with a fork and roast sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven until soft inside- about 40 minutes.Let cool for 5 minutes before peeling. Place in large bowl and add brown sugar, egg nog, butter and a pinch of salt. Spray ramekins with food spray and place sweet potato mixture in ramekin. Top with brown sugar and pecan topping. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

One Response to “Egg Nog Notions and Potions”

  1. Cyndi says:

    I love Eggnog! I will be trying the Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Eggnog. And you just reminded me about using it for French Toast.

    Happy Holidays with Eggnog!

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