Thursday, December 8, 2011

Traditional Holiday Nog

When you need to save space, a tall pitcher makes an excellent substitute for a small punch bowl. Even if you do without a punch bowl, punch glasses are a must! They’re great because they provide a measured pour, helping you gauge the quantity of punch to prepare. If you don’t have any punch glasses, your local thrift store will most certainly have some, courtesy of a kind-hearted person whose own punch bowl broke. Be sure to put out more punch glasses than you think you’ll need - some people will want just “a taste.” Punch glasses are also an excellent way to serve a first-course hot holiday bisque as you ease a stand-up crowd to the dinner table.  
Non-Alcoholic Traditional Holiday Nog:
12 large eggs, separated (5 large eggs = 1 cup)
½ tsp. salt
1-⅓ c. granulated sugar, divided
¼ c. rum-flavored extract (non-alcoholic)
5 c. half-and-half light cream
4 c. whole milk
2-½ c. whipping cream
Sprinkle of nutmeg, as garnish
Beat egg whites and salt until frothy. Gradually beat in ⅔ c. sugar and continue beating until mixture forms stiff peaks. In a punch bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat egg yolks until light. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating on high until thick and lemon-colored. Add rum flavoring. Very slowly add light cream and milk, beating constantly. In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into meringue mixture; fold into mixture in punch bowl. If you live in a cold climate, pop this punch outside for an hour. If not, try to find room in the fridge! Sprinkle eggnog with nutmeg before serving. Makes approximately 30 punch cup-size servings. Assuming each person returns to the punch bowl three times, this eggnog serves 10. 

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