The All About Eggnog Post

Happy December!  With only a few weeks until Christmas, I thought I would share some “Christmas Flavoured” treats today.  One Christmas flavour that I have always loved is eggnog. Well, I’m actually not a huge fan of just plain old eggnog, but add a little spiced rum and I’m sold.  I stumbled upon a recipe for eggnog cookies with an eggnog glaze a few weeks ago and I immediately put it on my Christmas baking bucket list.  I also found an eggnog fudge recipe that I was dying to try, especially since I’ve never made fudge before, and I was curious of the process.  Both these recipes were actually relatively simple and they both taste absolutely freaking phenomenal.  Eggnog flavoured cookies and fudge are a must for your Christmas baking this year.  I scooped the fudge recipe from recipegirl[dot]com  and found the eggnog cookie recipe from yourcupofcake[dot]com.

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I really love these cookies because they are the right kind of chewy while still having enough of a fluffy, airy texture.  I’m a huge hater of crunchy cookies, so these really fit the yummy bill when it came to it’s chewyness.  I also like that while these are eggnog cookies, it’s not all you taste when you bite into them.  This cookie has a great combination of flavours and the added eggnog glaze really gives it a kick of extra sweetness in every bite.  I REALLY loved these.  But, since I’m not a “oh my goodness eggnog is my favourite thing EVER” kind of girl, I decided to bring them along to my bestie’s house for a taste test.  She is a true eggnog lover.  She loved them and had no complaints… and my have even been a little sad that I didn’t bring more.  They passed the taste test from a true eggnog lover so trust me when I say that they will not disappoint you.

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When baking I made the cookie mounds relatively small.   The recipe yielded about 24 medium-small-ish cookies.  Make sure when baking that the cookie mounds are well separated as the spread our quite a bit when baked.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  You can glaze the cookies warm or cooled and then sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

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Eggnog Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Eggnog Glaze

  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons eggnog

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F Degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non stick cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Cream sugar and butter until light.  Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth.
4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined.  Do not over mix
5. Spoon dough mounds onto the prepared baking sheet, making the balls relatively small, as they will spread generously in the oven.  Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
6. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges barely start to brown.
7.  While cookies are in the oven, make the eggnog glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with 3 tbsp eggnog.
8.  Gaze your cookies warm or cooled and top with cinnamon.
Like I said, these cookies taste REALLY good, and will make an excellent addition to your Christmas baking.  Next came the fudge.  When I was a kid my parents traveled alot from Northern Ontario to Southern Ontario because of the type of work they did.  We made it a tradition to stop off at a trading post 45 minutes south of Sudbury to have a quick bite to eat and do some local shopping.  My mom would always buy me a small brick of Maple Fudge – it was my treat every time we went.  Since we only bought fudge when we took the long drive up to Sudbury, I just assumed it was the only place you could get “real fudge”.  Even when I learnt that you could buy fudge elsewhere, it still seemed like a really special, unattainable treat that one could not just simply make in your own kitchen.  Of course, during my baking escapades I have come to the realization that there is no recipe that is too complicating or too difficult to make in your own kitchen.  When I found this eggnog fudge recipe, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a go alongside my eggnog cookies.

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The fudge making process is simple really.  You just have to be prepared to work quickly when mixing your ingredients as you don’t want your mixture to start cooling while you’re still combining.  Start by bringing the sugar, eggnog and butter to a boil.  Continue to boil the mixture on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.  Make sure you are stirring constantly so that the eggnog mixture doesn’t burn.

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Remove from heat and mix in the white chocolate and nutmeg.  Continue to stir until the chocolate is melted.  Stir in the marshmallow cream (you will likely find this in the ice cream cone aisle…surprisingly enough) and rum extract (maybe next time we use real rum 😉 ?).  Beat the mixture until everything is well combined.  Pour into a foil lined and greased pan, sprinkle with nutmeg and cool.

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Ensure that the fudge is completely cooled and has hardened before you cut it, or it will break apart.  I popped mine into the freezer once it had cooled to room temperature in order to speed up the cooling process.  This fudge was REALLY tasty.  I cut the fudge into very small squares (since it’s so sweet.. you don’t need much and it will hit the spot) – it made about 30 squares.

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Eggnog Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 10.5 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, plus a little more for the top of the fudge
  • One 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract

Instructions

1. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil and let it hang over the sides. Butter the foil.

2. In a large saucepan combine sugar, butter and eggnog. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat or until a candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

3. Using a wooden spoon, work quickly to stir in chopped white chocolate and nutmeg until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in marshmallow creme and rum extract. Beat until well blended and then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle a little ground nutmeg on top. Let stand at room temperature until cooled. Refrigerate or freeze if you’d like to speed up the process.

4. When completely cool, cut into squares. Store in a covered container.

Fudge freezes well.  My favourite way to eat this is when it is super cold, so I must admit a few less people will receive fudge this year based on the amount I’ve snuck out of my freezer.  Since it’s December I will be doing TONES of baking –  sugar cookies, turtle doves, and lots more. Stay tuned, Happy Baking!

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Halloween Things Part I: Candy Corn White Chocolate Cookies and a DIY Costume

Halloween is such a fun time of year:  It means fun eats and treats, horror movies, zombies, monsters and parties.  It also means you get to dress up as who ever you want.  This year I decided to make my own costume (bear with me… it was the first time I ever used a sewing machine. Well, not ever, but certainly the first time in the last 10 years).  My boyfriend and I are huge into gaming, but aside from a few Resident Evil characters, I really couldn’t say I had a favourite female video game character from the last year.  So I racked my brain for days trying to figure out what I wanted to be, and after spending way too much time on my phone playing Minion Rush, I settled on a pair of Minions from Despicable Me.  How could I not? I love the movie and everything cute, so naturally a Minion fit the bill.  Unfortunately no one in town could sell me a costume and it was way too late to order online, hence the reason for my sudden ambition over making my costume this year… How hard could it be, really?  So I went to the store and bough all my supplies, tracked down a sewing machine, and got to work.

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I love love love minions.  These bright yellow cylindrical little creatures are just fantastic. I’m not going to lie… last week Ken and I watched Despicable Me so that we could.. “get into character” in time for Halloween.  That movie never disappoints me.  I haven’t seen the second one yet though so no spoilers!

So onto my costume.  First I made the Minion goggles and beanie hat.   I found some large glasses at a costume shop, popped out the lenses and then painted the frames black with acrylic paint.  I traced out two large circles of cardboard, cut out smaller circles in the middle, and then painted them silver.  Once dry, I glued the silver circles onto the painted black frames using a glue gun.  Next, I made the beanie hat (I used this tutorial to help with the “sewing” part of it).

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What you’ll need:

  • bright yellow fleece material
  • black pipe cleaner
  • a needle and thread or sewing machine
  •  scissors
  • measuring tape
  • beanie hat pattern (which can be found here)  *I kind of eyeballed it since my printer was out of ink and it turned out fine.
  1. Follow the tutorial up until the four domed edges are sewn together.  You can absolutely do this without a sewing machine (I did, since I hadn’t figured out how to use mine at this point), it just takes a little longer.
  2. Create the inside band of the hat by folding up the bottom section of the hat.  I glued it in place using fabric glue as I did not want a seam here.
  3. Cut 2 to 3 pipe cleaners into quarters. Poke small holes at the top of the hat using sharp scissors and then thread the bottom of the pipe cleaners into the holes.  Glue them in place with the help of a glue gun.

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I also decided to make our overalls, which was the most challenging part of the costume.  Some advice: if you ever see overalls, buy them, because when you need them, you will not be able to find them, anywhere.  For my jumper dress I cut out two large rectangles of dark blue fabric.  I made sure to use my measurements (waits, bust and hips) as a guideline, so it would make more of a coke bottle shape and less of a box shape.  I sewed both pieces of fabric together using a sewing machine I had to get a quick lesson from a co-worker on how to operate the thing – thanks Mel!).  For the straps i cut out long pieced of fabric that we about 2 inches wide, folder them in half, and then sewed the edged together.  I then turned them inside out (with a little difficulty).  I made sure they were the length that I wanted, and then sewed them in place.  I glues on two large buttons at the base of the straps on the front side of the dress.  I then traced out a Gru logo in felt and hot glue gunned it to the front of the dress.

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For my boyfriend’s overalls, I used a pair of his snow pants as a pattern.  I first folded the material in half.  Then, I folded the snow pants in half, and traced along the pants with a white tailor’s pencil, giving about an inch and a half of extra room around the pants.  I did this twice and then cut out the pattern.  I sewed the “middle” seam together first, and ended up with two pieces of pant-shaped fabric.  I then laid the pieces on top of each other and sewed together the edge seams.  Once i was done perfecting the seams i finished with, surprisingly enough, what resembled a pair of overalls without straps.

photo 3 I added the straps as I did with the dress, and then glued on a Gru logo to the front of the overalls.  Ken and I both purchased some yellow knock off morph suits so that we could be yellow just like minions.  I cut off the heads and hands so that I could get the look I wanted (and the feet too since we were both a little tall for the suits).  You can fold in the cut edges and secure with fabric glue if you’d like.

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The costumes were an absolute hit! I thought we were being pretty original with these costumes but apparently the entire world had the same idea – there was an absolute minion takeover this Halloween and I can’t wait to see more costume pictures!

Now onto some fun Halloween treats… This will be a two part post, and I will be sharing one recipe today and the other a little closer to Halloween.  Ken and I will be visiting a few Haunted Houses on the 31st.  I love being scared.  I love scary movies and creepy houses and scary costumes.  I love it all.  There are a few places around town that are supposed to be very well done and I’m hopping that I’m am scared silly when I come out of there. If not I know there will be a good selection of horror movies on TV that will hopefully give me a scare before bed.

One candy that always comes to mind when I think of Halloween is candy corn.  This extremely sweet, bright orange, yellow and white candy is a favourite of mine.  Stop reading now if you are looking for a healthy treat because this one is full of sugary goodness.

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Some cookie facts: These cookies are buttery and soft, and I used both cornstarch and cream in the batter, making the cookies extra soft without being cakey.  This cookie should not be cooked for more than 10 minutes.  The candy corn should be on the interior of the cookies, not touching the baking sheet as the corn could melt or burn.  I got this recipe from AverieCooks.com; this is the second recipe of hers I have tried and so far she is two for two.

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Now I did have some teeny tiny issues making these cookies (all my own fault I assure you).  The first was that I actually ran out of all purpose flour.  I didn’t even think that was possible.  On my way out to work yesterday morning I did a quick peek into my pantry and saw a huge bag of what I thought to be all purpose flour, but it turned out to be bread flour.  Not a huge deal… I used it anyway and the cookies turned out fine.  The only thing I found was that they didn’t quite “spread” when they were baking.  Whatever form they took when they were sitting in the fridge is the shape they stayed.  My other issue was that I a kind of missed the Halloween Candy Corn train.  Apparently it went by weeks again and everyone who wanted candy corn stocked up before I could get my hands on any.  I checked three stores and no luck, so I settled on berry flavoured candy corn.  It’s not quote the same (which is what I frantically explained to the cashier at the Bulk barn) but unfortunately I was SOL.  Next year I think I’ll pick it up much earlier.

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Candy Corn White Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes approximately 20 medium sized cookies. cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week, or in the freezer for up to four months.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups candy corn
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Baking Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla extract.  Beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cream, flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt.  Mix until just combined (approx. 1 minute), do not over mix.
  3. Fold in the candy corn and white chocolate chips.
  4. Place 20 large heaping 2-tablespoon mounds of the batter onto a large plate or baking sheet.  Flatten them slightly, cover with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to five days before baking.  (**Note from author: do no bake with warm dough as the cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly spray with cooking spray.  Place the cookie mounds on a baking sheet, spacing each mound at least 2 inches apart, and bake for 9 minutes or until edges are set and tops are just beginning to set.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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The purple candy corn does not take away from the taste, at all.  It’s just a different taste. This cookie still as Halloween written all over it. And it is so soft and gooey – no crunch just the way I like it.  I hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy Baking.
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