Maple Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)

Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)
Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)

Eggnog is a surprisingly polarizing drink. Surprising to me, because of how much I love it. It is creamy, sweet, and lightly spiced (which you know I love if you read my recent gingerbread post). 

When drinking eggnog I try--try so hard- to make it last, sipping slowly the way you would with a glass of wine. It never really works, going down far too easy. 

This eggnog is just how I like it: creamy, sweet, with a hint of spice. There are a lot of variations on eggnog so if you would like to customize yours, here are some tips! 

On Spiking Your Eggnog: I prefer not to tamper with my eggnog, and let it stay like it was when I was a kid. Alcohol free. That's just me. There's likely a time and a place that spiked eggnog would fit into my life well, but regular old eggnog drinking isn't it. This recipe works either way: my friends stirred in whiskey, which adds to that sharp spicy flavor. Rum would be good as well! No matter what, top with fresh nutmeg (advice from my grandmother). 

To Cook or Not to Cook: This recipe will ask you to cook your eggnog on the stove-top. It doesn't take long, and it helps you get a thick, creamy eggnog. I've made it in the blender (i.e., skipped cooking), and the flavor is there but the creaminess falls a bit short (Plus, without adding alcohol, this makes drinking the raw eggs a little risky). Lots of recipes will ask you to whip your egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them in to get that creamy texture, but that is just too much work (...in my opinion 😉) considering you could also just stir everything on the stove for a few minutes. And while eggnog is usually enjoyed cold, warm eggnog straight from the stove is something else (and an experience worth having).

Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)
Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)

Maple Syrup > Sugar: This recipe calls for maple syrup rather than sugar. It does have a subtle maple flavor, but it's quite nice, and I'm surprised you don't see more maple sweetened eggnogs around. It might sound odd, but really, has maple syrup ever messed up anything?? Plus, it's an unrefined sugar. Three cheers for maple syrup! 

What's All the Fermentation Talk? Fermenting eggnog is the traditional way, and does several things. First, it mellows out any alcohol you may have put in. Second, whatever alcohol you have added kills off any bacteria (or so I've heard). Third, it gives flavors time to meld together. Have you heard of leaving your cookie dough in the fridge over night? Same idea. Key to fermentation: use booze. The alcohol is what kills off any bacteria. I wanted my eggnog now, so this recipe is a drink-it-right-away recipe. You can try adding booze and fermenting it for a few weeks if you're that sort of daring (use a 1/4 cup cognac and 1/4 cup rum).

Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)

Maple-Sweetened Eggnog (No Refined Sugar!)

Published December 7, 2017 by
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Serves: 12   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 6 egg yolks 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, cream, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a sauce pan and heat until almost simmering. Stir frequently to avoid scalding. 
  2. While the milk heats, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup maple syrup until frothy and golden.
  3. Ladle 1 scoop of the hot milk into the egg mixture, while whisking it quickly to avoid curdling. Do this two more times to temper the eggs and then pour the egg mixture into sauce pan with milk, whisking while you pour. Cook for 3-5 minutes while whisking constantly. Do not allow mixture simmer (or boil), as this will cause the eggs to curdle. 
  4. Once eggnog begins to thicken, remove from heat. At this point, you may add extra maple syrup if you would like, just taste it and adjust, stirring between each addition. (for me, the 1/2 cup we added in step 2 is enough, but if you are accustomed to store-bought you might want a bit more).
  5. Pour the eggnog through a fine mesh sieve to remove the whole cloves and ensure a silky smoothy eggnog.
  6. Pour in an air-tight container and chill in the fridge. Serve topped with freshly ground nutmeg. (I'm often impatient and drink it while it's still warm -- yummy that way, too!)

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Nutty Maple Baked Brie

Nutty Maple Baked Brie

We're not much for formal get-togethers, typically just telling everyone "come on over, we'll make [fill in the blank here]." And with that our friends will join us, bringing along more food to share, or drinks, as if it is a potluck, though no one named it such. I find this makes home feel even more like home: warm, relaxed, and comfortable. 

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Some times I get a recipe fit for a party in my head, so I'll whip it up but the surroundings rarely change. To me baked brie has always been a little on the fancy side when it comes to appetizers, but not because it's difficult to make. On the contrary, it's one of the simplest appetizers you can make, and it comes out of the oven looking rich and ready to die for (I mean, it is melted cheese, after all). 

Nutty Maple Baked Brie

For guests I'll serve baked brie with crackers, but I myself enjoy spreading the stuff on pear and apple slices--the sweet & savory combination has me hooked. Plus, this baked brie is topped with a fruit and nut mix (which makes it really easy to make) and also lends it's self particularly well to being spread on pear slices. 

And I know, I know, this recipe is not the *most* resolution friendly, but maybe your New Years resolution is to spend more time with people you love? In which case this one is perfect. Or perhaps you're resolution free this year, and if that's the case, dive right in!

Nutty Maple Baked Brie

Made in Nature provided me with product, but the recipe and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Made In Nature helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Nutty Maple Baked Brie

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

With only three ingredients, this brie is party ready in a few minutes!

Serves: 8   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 whole round of brie
  • 4 ounces of your favorite fruit & nut mix— I used the Maple Balsamic Mix from Made in Nature and it paired really well with the cheese!
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350°F. Place cheese in baking dish.
  2. Pile fruit and nut mix over cheese, and drizzle with maple syrup. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is soft but not melted.
  3. Serve: my favorite things to serve this with include slices of pears and apples, crackers/pretzels, and sliced carrots or cucumbers.

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