Homemade (cooked) Eggnog

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Makes 6 cups (can easily be multiplied for parties)

Although it has taken a bit more effort than usual to get into the festive holiday spirit due to the unusually warm weather we’ve been experiencing here in New Jersey, we put up the Christmas tree last night, stockings have been hung, and I’m currently sitting with a mug full of my favorite part of Christmas: eggnog.

Honestly, few things make me happier than eggnog. It’s basically drinkable custard; making it is almost identical to the process of making ice cream besides the freezing part. It’s creamy and thick, and the addition of nutmeg somehow adds a feeling of warmth, even to a chilled drink.

I made this recipe for a holiday party, and because I was a little concerned about the whole raw egg thing and also didn’t want to spend the extra money to buy super fresh, organic eggs, I decided to make this eggnog cooked-egg style. This method was just as simple if not easier than using raw eggs. If you use alcohol in your eggnog, it is much safer to go raw as very few bacteria can live in the presence of alcohol, but, of course, mine was non-alcoholic. Either way, this is the method for cooked-egg eggnog!

Ingredients:
~6 large egg yolks
~1 cup sugar
~2 cups whole milk
~1 cup heavy cream
~1/2 to 1 1/2 cup bourbon, rum, cognac, or a mix, optional
~Freshly grated nutmeg, to serve

Mix the milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan and put over medium heat. Warm the cream mixture until just starting to bubble around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a separate bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the yolks (don’t turn off the stove). The main thing to remember here is that you want to keep a steady stream of warmed cream mixture flowing into the eggs to gently cook them– you don’t want your eggs scrambling. Make sure to whisk as you pour in your steady stream to ensure that your eggs cook gently. Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring gently, until thickened to your liking.

Pour the eggnog through a mesh sieve to ensure there’s no lumps. No matter how hard you try, chances are you’ll have a few tiny lumps of cooked egg in your nog.

Serve immediately or chill for up to 3 days before serving. For extra thickness, whip 1 cup of whipping cream and fold into the eggnog before serving.

Happy dining and happy holidays!!

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