If you love eggnog, I know you’ll enjoy this amazing loaf of bread redolent of the sweet, rich taste of our favorite holiday beverage.
My birthday was last Monday and this post was supposed to simply be about the bread my daughter made for me as a gift for that day. But life changes in an instant and I would be remiss if there was no mention of the tragedy we have all witnessed in a small town in Connecticut.
I live in a suburb of Denver and this event has once again opened the wounds of Columbine that will seemingly never end; what was once thought to be a horrific experience at a suburban school now seems to be a tragedy that is replayed over and over. My heart is breaking for the community of Newtown and I feel a profound sadness knowing too well the collective pain of a community that has lost children before their time.
If it were in my power I would do what I always do when someone is in need; I would makes pots of chicken soup in hopes that it would in some way soothe a hurting soul.
But I can’t do that so I give instead this post, written by my daughter, as the promise of another day, of life going on, wounds healing and the hopes that this season will be present for all of us but particularly for this community so far away yet so close in our hearts.
Emily is the writer in the family; even now she is in the process of having her first book published so of course I was thrilled when she offered to write this post about the bread she made. My hope is she will become a regular contributor. She helped me style the photos too and I think it’s turned out to be a great collaborative effort, so without further ado…please welcome my daughter Emily.
Tiny lights adorn the Christmas tree, beautiful carols fill the house, and a toasty fire beckons, while a cup of that quintessential holiday drink rests in your hand. Eggnog – a sweet, dreamy, rich blend of eggs, cream and sugar that is so closely associated with the season of Christmas that it is only available for a short window at the end of the year.
Which is probably a good thing, since it’s so over-the-top sinful. And if you could get it all year long, it would lose that connection to the holiday that makes it so special. One sip and I’m transported to my childhood, waiting anxiously for Christmas to arrive.
Our family used to order eggnog from a milk delivery service called Royal Crest Dairy (Mom’s absolute favorite) and boy, was it good. It was so thick we’d have to add a bit of milk to it to thin it out. And of course, a glass of eggnog wasn’t complete until it was topped with a fine dusting of nutmeg. As a grown-up, I like it better with a splash of something a bit stronger but any way you can get it is good.
Since my mom and I both have our birthdays in December, we’re used to the birthday/Christmas overlap. Our mutual love of eggnog and its association to a nostalgic sense of childhood led me to go looking for a way to incorporate this Christmas beverage into a special and decadent treat for her birthday.
I found a recipe posted on The Kitchn website for Eggnog Loaf and it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for – a golden yellow, tender bread with a drizzle of boozy icing. I whipped up a large loaf in my own kitchen and was pleased with the results, but I wanted a bit more nutmeg and a boost of bourbon in the mix (this is for my mom, the booze-queen, after all).
I doubled the recipe this time, and baked it into mini-loafs and sprinkled a little bit of nutmeg over the icing. Mom was thrilled with the result and naturally, she’s now planning to make some more to give out to the neighbors as gifts. As we celebrated her birthday last week, she ate a slice of eggnog bread with her coffee while unwrapping the birthday present I brought her.
This bread really captures the sweet, rich flavor of eggnog. When we first took a bite, the bourbon in the icing was a bit overpowering, but once you let it sit for just a while and the alcohol evaporates a bit, it is simply perfect.
The recipe calls for you to whip the eggnog until it doubles in volume and then to fold it into the mix. I would recommend taking the time to do this (just put it in the mixer, set the timer and go do other stuff) as it really does improve the texture of the crumb.
If you are an eggnog lover, try this bread – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Merry Christmas to all…and Happy Birthday Mom!
PIN IT! ‘Eggnog and Bourbon Holiday Bread’
Eggnog and Bourbon Holiday Bread
- 1 cup 5 oz whole-fat eggnog
- 1 ½ cups 7 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup 4 oz/1 stick unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup 7 oz white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp bourbon
For the Glazed Icing:
- ½ cup 4 oz powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons rum brandy, or bourbon
- Nutmeg to garnish top
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x5 loaf ban with parchment so that the extra hangs over the sides. Coat the parchment and exposed sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whisk the eggnog at high speed until it doubles in volume, 6-8 minutes. Because of the eggs and other ingredients, it won't actually form peaks like whipped cream, but it should become very frothy and airy. Keep the whipped eggnog in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it become creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the sugar until the mixture is looks fluffy and light-colored, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the butter mixture. Mix on low speed just until the ingredients come together into a dough. It's OK if there is still a little flour visible on the dough and the sides of the bowl.
- Using a spatula, gently mix 1/3 of the whipped eggnog into the batter. Pour the rest of the eggnog into the bowl and gently fold it into the batter. At first, it will look like the eggnog won't go into the batter. Just keep gently folding and stirring, and eventually it will form a smooth, glossy, pourable batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The loaf is done when the top is domed and golden-brown, and when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then lift it by the parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack. Remove the parchment. When the loaf has cooled but is still warm to the touch, whisk together the glaze ingredients and spoon over the loaf. Sprinkle the top with fresh nutmeg. Let the loaf stand until the icing is set and dry. Slice and serve.
- The loaf will keep at room temperature, covered, for about three days.