Photo by Donna

Photo by Donna

Linus said it simply enough: “Peace and good will toward men.  That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”  Regardless of faith, race, sex. Peace and good will to all men and women.

And holiday cheer!  I’ve written about aged eggnog (that’s it above, last year’s shot; sorry, didn’t want to make Donna work today!), aged for at least three weeks and up to several years (longest I’ve managed to hang on to it is three years).  This experiment by NPR’s Science Friday proves that alcohol takes care of salmonella bacteria over a period of three weeks (and likely all other bacteria that would cause spoilage, thus its ability to age indefinitely).  I’ve also written about how to make eggnog on the fly in a comment on that post.

But for those who fear bacteria and can make it ahead of time, here’s a great way to make delicious cooked eggnog.

You’ll need:

1 cup of cream

1 cup of milk, plus 1/2 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise

nutmeg as needed

4 eggs, separated (reserve two whites for another use; they freeze great)

2 ounces sugar (1/4 cup)

12 ounces rum or brandy, or as much as tastes good!

Combine the cream, cup of milk and vanilla bean in a pot, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.  Let the bean steep for 10 minutes, then removed the pod, scrape the inner beans out of the pod and return them to the milk

Combine the yolks and the sugar and whisk to combine.  Whisking the yolks continuously, add the milk and cream.

Set a bowl big enough to contain the yolk-cream mixture in a larger bowl filled with ice.  Put a strainer in this bowl.

Return the yolk-cream mixture back into the pot and stir it with a flat-edged spoon or heat-proof spatula over medium heat until the mixture thickens, a few minutes.  It should coat the back of a spoon.  Poor it through the strainer into the bowl set in ice.  Add the remaining milk and stir to combine and to fully cool the mixture.

Optional: make a meringue by whipping 2 egg whites till frothy, then adding 3 tablespoons of sugar and whipping to very soft peaks.

To complete:

Combine 4 ounces of what you just made (it’s actually a thinned vanilla sauce) with 2 ounces of rum or brandy, add more nutmeg to taste, then add ice, meringue as desired and top with gratings of nutmeg.

Makes 6 cocktails (I haven’t tested quantities, so feel free to wing it as you wish!)

And to all those who come to this blog, many thanks and best wishes for warm, festive, happy holidays.

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25 Wonderful responses to “Merry Christmas
and Happy Holidays To All”

  • Judit & Corina

    Marry Christmas to you and your Family!
    Thank you for this “cooked” eggnog recipe, now we can serve it to our friends who can’t tolerate raw eggs. Every year for New Years Eve we are making the German eggnog version called “Eierlikör” and of course is made with raw egg yolks.
    Judit & Corina

  • Michael Franco

    “Peace on earth good will toward men” is one of the sweetest most sincere sentiments that really says it best. It is my wish for you, Michael and Donna and for your family, friends and readers.

    Many blessings,

    Michael Franco

  • Victoria

    That sounds delicious, but I’m still full from dinner so I will have to think about eggnog for New Year’s.

    Except…..maybe it would be good on Boxing Day! I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow.

    Thank you for all the information you share on this lovely site. This year I am especially thankful for oven-method turkey stock and that triple luscious lemon curd from Ratio.

    Happy and merry.

  • deeba

    Marry Christmas & a fantastic 2010 to you. I love the powerhouse of information & eye candy on your blog.
    BTW, the extra egg whites might do well being aged to make macarons!

  • lux

    We had a couple of bottles of fine California wine to go with the prime rib …. less work, still yummy.

    I hope Santa was good to the Ruhlman clan this year!

  • Tags

    May everybody have a Merry Christmas, a super solstice, a happy old year, and a happy new year, too.

  • Veronica Lamb

    I’ve had a Merry Christmas because one of my husband’s gifts to me was a copy of Ratio! (I also bought the iPhone app. It’s great!) As a born perfectionist, it has always been difficult for me to experiment in the kitchen for fear of failure or wasting ingredients. I hope your book will give me a starting point, and I look forward to being free from the bond of recipes. Thank you for writing this wonderful book! It’s just what I needed.

  • Elise

    I hope all had a great Christmas celebration.
    Thanks Michael for the tip on the All-Clad, it was a great gift for my husband. Now I am going to have to work on the collection for the rest of my pots and pans.
    Here is to a great 2010 and good eating.

  • Bob

    And a Merry Christmas to you and your family, Michael!

    My Christmas included a copy of ‘The Elements of Cooking,’ and this past week has seen me try the basic bread, gougeres, pancakes, and popovers from Ratio, whereupon my wife commented that ‘Ratio’ is a gold mine.

  • Jonathan

    We made 1958 Eggnog from the NY Times. Beat sugar and alcohol into egg yolks. Whip cream. Whip egg whites. Fold cream then whites into yolk/alcohol base.

    Serve with a spoon.

    Something quite different and yummy.

  • Spencer

    Happy Holidays all!

    Cracked my new copy of Ratio today, and bread is in the oven!

  • Sara

    Aged eggnog sounds fascinating! For the cooked version, I was about to thank you on behalf of pregnant women, and then recalled that this had 12 oz of rum. Oh well! Happy holidays!

  • Rhonda

    Here, Here!

    Hope everyone is having a fantastic “Feastivus”.

    To old and new friends alike, CHEERS!

  • Andy Floyd

    Thanks for the recipe. i am going to try it out this evening. You neglected to mention how much sugar to add to the egg yolks? 4oz? This sounds like a fairly thin creme anglaise which I imagine should taste great. I can also imagine taking this same mixture a few different directions: dulce de leche nog or caramel nog.
    Merry Christmas to you and I am enjoying your blog (and my Christmas copy of Ad Hoc).

  • allen

    I made a batch of the year old in 4 large 1.5 litre bale top bottles last year (1 for us and 3 as gifts) using some Booker’s bourbon, some Fleur De Canya 7 year old rum, plus a little Zaya rum and XO cognac I found at Trader Joe’s.

    Apparently I only made enough for us, my wife tried it and said we’ll be giving home made chex party mix as gifts this year and keep the delicous eggnogg for us. Next years batch will be twice as large so we’ll be sure and have enough for gifts. Of course we’ll share if you happen to stop by our house. Happy hollidays and the very best to all for the coming year!

  • Peggy

    I got an iPod Touch for Christmas and some iTunes gift cards. Guess what my first ap was? You better believe it was Ratio! I am loving it. Thank you SO much for putting that out there!

    On eggnog, when my son has early work days I’ll often serve him some eggnog. Of course, I leave out the liquor, and make it with full cream and maple syrup instead of sugar. I also add a teaspoon of whey (real stuff from separated milk, not the protein powder) and leave it at room temperature to “ferment” for a day or so. This process encourages some good bacteria growth and tempers the sweetness of the nog. It’s jarred up and ready in the fridge whenever he gets the urge!

  • gfweb

    Ehhh. I wouldn’t trust that NPR data to be universally applicable. Assuming it is reproducible, the results would only apply to that egg nog recipe. Change the ingredients or ratios and you might change the results.

  • Robert

    Jason DiLoreti caught it first. I was going to ask if I am an alcoholic because I know for a fact that is a bottle of Maker’s Mark and not any kind of “rum or brandy”. Me likey the addition of the Maker’s.

  • Rosemarie

    Foodieatfifteen.blogspot.com has an hysterical video of you, Keller, Ripert and himself hiphopping to Jingle Bells — you have some very cool moves! Thanks for the info on Sous Vide Supreme. My son bought one and it is ALL that.