The same daughter who has a taste for sage, also has a taste for eggnog – not the store-bought kind. Oh no, she likes it freshly made on the stove and served hot. Thankfully, we have a ready supply of fresh eggs for experimenting with and a Dad who likes to cook up tasty creations. Lucky for her and her siblings, Dad can whip up a quick batch of eggnog anytime of the year… even months after eggnog cartons disappear from the grocery store shelves.
Dad likes to up the fun factor of eggnog by serving it with cinnamon sticks so the little ones can use them as straws to slurp up their warm eggnog. We wash these “straws” for future eggnog slurping. If not, we’d be going through cinnamon sticks at too wasteful a rate. We like to enjoy our eggnog during the cold, dark evenings of winter; the tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves just seem to fit that somber atmosphere.
4 cups milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
4 whole cloves
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ almond extract
¼ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Pour milk into medium-sized saucepan and begin to warm over medium heat. Add the spices to the saucepan and steep for 5 – 10 minutes to blend the flavours, stirring regularly.
In a separate measuring cup, mix ¼ cup sugar with 3 egg yolks. Temper this sugar-egg mix by slowly adding 4 ladlefuls of warmed, steeped milk and whisking constantly*.
Add this tempered egg mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly until combined. Allow to sit and thicken for 2 minutes.
Serve with cinnamon straws (or not) and enjoy.
*You want to temper the eggs so it will combine smoothly into your steamed milk. By slowly adding a small amount of warmed milk, and whisking it with the egg, you’ll gradually warm the egg mixture until it is steamy and ready to be added to the warmed saucepan. Failing to temper properly will result in clumps of unappetizing egg floating in your beverage.