One of my favorite holiday traditions has become making eggnog. I decided to try it a few years ago after a coworker told me about it, and she told me her mom cooked the eggs. I couldn’t believe it– I had so many questions. How many eggs do you use? A dozen or more, depending on how many servings you want. How do you cook that many eggs in a pot without them getting chunky? You constantly stir. OK, but don’t they still get chunky? A little, but you throw the mixture in a blender as the last step.
The first year I made it I went to the store and bought a dozen eggs and all the other ingredients. I got nervous as the eggs started to cook…..and chunk. I thought to myself, well this is going to be a big fail.
But it wasn’t–and my whole family loved the eggnog. I brought bourbon and whiskey for people to add to their individual cups, and served the eggnog in my grandma’s beautiful glass punch bowl. It was such a hit I couldn’t believe it.
So the next year I doubled the recipe. The second I walked in the door my aunts, uncles, and cousins started gathering around the table where I always set the punch bowl, and had their cups ready. Some with their own bourbon to add.
Well it wasn’t until the fourth year of bringing it that I had my very own free-range, all natural chicken eggs to make the eggnog with. I was so excited, and was super prepared. I knew that in the winter months some chickens stop laying regularly, and some stop laying altogether, so I individually froze the eggs to use for my eggnog. I made sure to tell everyone in my family the special and upgraded ingredient.
Now this year I’ll have duck eggs to use along with the chicken eggs! Here’s the recipe:
- 24 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 16 cups milk (split)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
*Before you start, fill up your sink with ice cubes and place a bowl into the sink so the ice cubes surround it. You will use this to chill the eggnog and stop the eggs from continuing to cook.
- Whisk eggs and sugar in a large saucepan until frothy and color lightens.
- Whisk in 8 cups milk until blended.
- Put saucepan over medium heat and constantly stir until the mixture thickens (usually a little over 5 minutes).
- Pour into your bowl in the sink and stir in the remaining 8 cups of milk.
- Toss into blender if needed. Sometimes a few chunky spots are just fine and no one will notice or care.
- Add vanilla extract and nutmeg.
- Chill for at least a couple hours before serving.
- Whipping Cream: Pour into bowl and beat until it becomes fluffy, and peaks form.
I always make my nog the night before our family gathering and transport it in large pitchers. And I keep the whipping cream in a separate bowl. Upon arrival and being surrounded by eggnog lovers, I pour the nog into my beautiful punch bowl, spoon some of the whipping cream on top, and sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon to finish it off.
It really is a wonderful holiday treat, and homemade makes such a difference. I think everyone in my family has tried it at one point!
Try it out and enjoy!