Eggnog is a typical holiday beverage. It can made with or without spirits, although most adults prefer the spirited version. Some people add whiskey, others add rum, and still others use brandy. But how did this often rich, boozy beverage become a holiday tradition?
It is believed that what we know as eggnog today originated from a medieval British drink known as posset. Posset is a hot milky ale-like drink. The milk was curdled with either wine or ale and spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon were often added. In the 13th century, monks drank this posset along with eggs and figs, and it was used as a remedy for colds and the flu. It was also considered a drink for the wealthy, since eggs, milk and sherry were in short supply and were expensive. The poorer people could only afford it on special occasions, such as the holidays, and they drank it with toasts of good health and prosperity for the upcoming year. Eggnog became more popular during the 1700’s, when the British crossed the pond and formed the colonies, because the farmers were able to produce more eggs and milk at a cheaper cost.
No one really knows for sure where the name eggnog comes from, although it is believed to have come from either the word noggin, meaning a wooden cup, or grog, which means strong beer. Wherever the term eggnog came from though, it is has been used for this rich, creamy, eggie beverage since the late 18th century. This is not just a British holiday tradition though. Mexico has a similar drink called rompope and Puerto Rico has one they call coquito, that is made with coconut milk.
I like eggnog, but I can only drink it in very small quantities. I bought some for our party, but it was hardly touched and I had a lot leftover. You all know how I hate to throw food away if I can help it, so of course, I re-purposed it. I have really been trying not to make so many sweets, treats and desserts, lately, because I have NO willpower when it comes to sweets, but every now and then I do make exceptions. Besides, it is Christmas time, so I am allowed to cheat just a bit, right?! I decided to make an eggnog bread pudding.
Bread pudding is a simple dessert that is loved by many the world over. It is known as a poor man’s dessert. Apple Bread Pudding with a Rum Caramel Sauce You can mix it up however you like. You can add fruits or chocolate or nuts. There is no limit to the variations you can make. This time, I had just a few chocolate chips left in my bag, so I added those to my bread pudding as well.
I had some dinner rolls that needed to be used, as well as the leftover eggnog. I waved my magic wooden spoon, and mixed those two items together, along with about 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp of nutmeg, and about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, and low and behold; eggnog bread pudding was made.
This is such an easy dessert to make, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. It is always going to be a favorite when it comes time for something sweet.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
I cubed my rolls, into large cubes. Then I mixed all the other ingredients together and poured them over the bread cubes and chocolate chips.
Once the liquid was poured over the bread and chocolate chips, I mixed everything together thoroughly, making sure the bread absorbed all the liquid. Then I poured it all into a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and pressed it all down firmly. Before putting the bread pudding in the oven I covered it tightly with aluminum foil, and baked it for about 35 minutes. I removed the foil and continued to bake it for about another 20 minutes to let it brown.
Usually when I make a bread pudding, I make a sauce to go with it. But because of the eggnog, this was already so rich, it did not need any additional sauce. I just added a dollop of whipped cream, and it was ready to eat.