Eggnog latte? No thanks. A small glass of really good eggnog with a shot of Cognac or bourbon? Yes please! One of my favorite holiday treats.
Don’t even bother with the stuff you can buy at the grocery. Pick up a pint of cream (pasteurized, sure, ultra-pasteurized, no, there’s just no flavor left), make sure you have a couple farm-fresh eggs, some sugar, nutmeg, and the booze and you’re all set for when the mood strikes. This is one of those things, like cookie dough and caesar salad, where I roll the dice and eat raw eggs. If you need to be more cautious, cook the eggs, sugar and cream to 160° (follow this recipe from Alton Brown for the procedure) then cool it down before folding in the whipped egg whites.
Thank you to Rick Rodgers for this recipe and for his books that take stress out of holiday cooking: Christmas 101 (and Thanksgiving 101).
Eggnog, Small Batch
makes 4 cups
- ⅓ cup superfine sugar or regular granulated sugar
- 2 farm-fresh eggs, separated
- 2 cups heavy cream (not "ultra-pasteurized")
- ⅓ cup Cognac or bourbon
- freshly ground nutmeg for serving
Create superfine sugar from regular granulated, by giving it a whirr in your blender or food processor.
In small bowl, use a hand-held electric mixer to beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then set aside.
In medium bowl, use the hand-held electric mixer to beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick and light yellow, a couple minutes. Mix in the cream on low speed and decide how you want to handle the booze—you can leave your eggnog "virgin" and let people add their own at serving time or you can mix in the alcohol from the get-go, your choice. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk-sugar mixture. Transfer to glass jar and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy within two days. At serving time, top each glass with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.