With so much to do around the holidays, I haven’t updated as much as I would like to. Days have been filled with work, Christmas gift shopping, and making the odd holiday treat. Generally at this time of year I’ve already baked loads–however, I still have so many leftovers from testing for the second cookbook I am going to put out some of those.
But wait — don’t get me wrong — there is plenty more to be baked! And because I love new recipes, I will share them as I bake them.
I was rummaging through the freezer yesterday and realized I don’t have nearly as many cookies and treats leftover as I thought! So this week may end up being a bit of a baking frenzy: and to be honest, that’s definitely okay with me.
Here’s what’s on tap:
So far I’ve made truffles, Lindor-style, with a creamy filling and chocolate coating. I’ve also made our family favorite peanut butter balls, adapted (but not really) from the classic Rice Krispie recipe. Because I don’t use the cereal for anything else, I always try to make another bar with it (plus, Mom doesn’t eat peanut butter so I like having an alternative). And those, my friends, are AWESOME. I’ll post that up, soon. I’ve also done up Nanaimo Bars, bark, and a couple others. Everything else, so far, is from the stash.
For my last article, I was revamping holiday favorites. This included the truffles (next post), as well as egg nog.
I was never a huge lover of egg nog and, truthfully, I’ve never had the “real” thing. I’ve only drank it out of the carton and never found the nondairy versions very delicious (though this has been changed this year).
Anyway, I came up with a recipe based on “real” egg nog recipes using cooked eggs, and we really loved it! It’s nice and thick, as opposed to being a similar texture to regular or nondairy milk.
Considering “real” egg nog contains up to a dozen egg yolks and heavy cream, essentially giving you a loaded dose of cholesterol and saturated fat, which is then loaded with sugar… well, vegan or not, it’s not really the best choice. Store bought varieties aren’t much different: 1 serving of most brands is about 290 calories, 11 grams of animal fats, and 35 grams of sugar.
So, instead, we use one of my favourite ingredients: coconut milk! Ah, yes, delicious, creamy, coconut milk with so many uses and so little recognition. By using coconut milk in place of heavy cream is a superb substitute to the classic cold toddy. And the egg yolks? Unless you’re a from-scratch egg nog aficionado, you won’t even know they’re gone. After all, often the carton varieties don’t use any yolks at all. All it takes it the right spices and flavoring and you’ve got it made.
(Well, not really. All it takes is making the recipe and then you’ve got it made. But you know what I mean).
Vegan Egg Nog
Just like cooked egg nog, this version starts with a custard base then is loaded with flavor and thick coconut milk, making for a twist on the original that is better for you, too. If desired, add rum in lieu of the extract, but keep in mind it won’t be as thick.
Serves 6ish (or 2)
3 cups nondairy milk (such as unsweetened Almond Breeze)
1 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup agave nectar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sorghum flour
1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator (I like Thai Kitchen)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 teaspoons rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nutmeg, for serving
Put 2 1/2 cups of the nondairy milk, the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Put the remaining nondairy milk, agave nectar, cornstarch, and flour in a large measuring cup. Whisk well. Pour about 1/2 a cup of the warm nondairy milk into the agave nectar mixture. Mix well. Pour the mixture into the pot with the simmering nondairy milk. Bring to medium heat, continually whisking until thickened, about 5 minutes. Once thick, remove from heat and whisk for 30 seconds vigorously. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Cover with a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
After the custard has set, take the coconut milk out of the refrigerator. Pour it into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape in the custard mixture, as well as the rum and vanilla extract, adding rum extract to taste. Blend until completely smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving, reblending just before serving. Pour into serving glasses and dust with nutmeg.
Just a note: I felt the cloves could have been omitted, it was a little strong at first. But once it sat for a few hours, the flavors came together and it was delicious! It didn’t stay as thick after a day or two in the fridge.
So I have to get baking: what are your favorite Christmas treats to make and bake?