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Eggnog

Eggnog is a holiday classic and we like this version from Alton Brown.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites*

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.
  4. Cook’s Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  6. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

*Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.

Spiced Rum

Another holiday favorite is spiced rum. Epicurious has a tasty version to try.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup dark rum

Directions

  1. Bring water, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a boil in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over moderately high heat. 
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in rum. 
  4. Serve hot.

Apple Cranberry Spritzer

For a non-alcoholic alternative, Town and Country suggests this mocktail from the Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Ingredients

  • Apple juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Sprite
  • Cranberries
  • Rosemary

Directions

  1. In a glass mix equal parts apple juice and cranberry juice. 
  2. Add a dash of Sprite. 
  3. Garnish with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

Christmas Cookie Cheesecake

To satisfy your sweet tooth, try out this yummy dessert from the Food Network. No matter how the decorating goes this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients

  • One 16.5-ounce tube store-bought sugar cookie dough
  • Four 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Red and green sprinkles, for decorating
  • One 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • Red and green gel food coloring
  • *Special equipment: two pastry bags fitted with small round tips

Directions

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Press the cookie dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (use the bottom of a measuring cup to help spread it out and make it even). Bake until the cookie is set and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with a large piece of foil and put it in a large roasting pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Mix in the eggs by hand, one at a time, until just combined. (Take care not to overmix or the cheesecake will puff up and crack). Pour the batter into the springform pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. 
  3. Bake until the outside of the cake is set but the center is still slightly loose, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan to a cooling rack. Run a knife around the edge and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. 
  4. Run a knife around the edge of the pan once more and unlock to unmold the cheesecake. Transfer to a serving platter or cake stand and smooth the edges with a knife. Pat the Jimmie sprinkles into the sides of the cheesecake making sure not to cover the crust or get any on top. 
  5. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder in a large bowl. Add 5 tablespoons water and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft glossy peaks form, adding up to 1 more tablespoon water if necessary. 
  6. Transfer about 1/2 cup of the royal icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Thin the remaining icing with 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it is the consistency of syrup (you know you have reached the right consistency if you drizzle a bit of the icing and it sinks back into the icing within 8 to 10 seconds). Transfer 1 cup of the thinned icing in another pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Divide the remaining batter between two small bowl and color one red and one green with the red and green gel food coloring. 
  7. Use the thick white icing to pipe a large scalloped circle around the cake leaving a 3/4-inch border. Use the thinned white icing to fill the center of the scalloped circle. Use an offset spatula to spread the icing out so that it is smooth. Decorate with the colored icing while the white icing is still set. Chill the cake until the icing is set, at least 1 hour.