How to use leftover eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

While a lot of people have heard of eggnog — the delectable, spiced holiday drink, of course — a lot of people don’t actually know exactly what it is, or what eggnog even tastes like. This could be because the name of the drink is actually not as self-explanatory as it might sound. The name suggests they might taste “eggy,” but in reality, its flavor profile is much more sweet than savory. In fact, a glass of eggnog tastes like the farthest thing from morning eggs or a warm dinner meal — a glass of eggnog actually literally tastes like melted ice cream in a glass that’s somehow hugging your throat as you drink it. There really is no equivalent to eggnog — it’s one-of-a-kind.

Eggnog is both simple and intricate at the same time. The main ingredient is milk (or cream, depending on how rich you want it to be) — though you can also substitute the milk with nut or rice milk — followed by eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The wet ingredients are blended together in a pot and brought to a boil. At that point, you can either take it off the stove and serve it warm, let it cool and serve it chilled, or add in some bourbon, whiskey or scotch and turn it into a cocktail. When you add alcohol to the mixture, the taste changes from that melted ice cream flavor to a more complex flavor that’s heavy, warming and has a bit of a bite.

Whether you’re planning on serving your eggnog this holiday season boozy or alcohol-free, you should consider making it from scratch. Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but you have better quality control when you make it yourself — and, more importantly, you can get to know how the drink really tastes,and how you like it by playing around with different recipes, adjusting the sugar and spice levels, and testing out different alcohol combinations. Not all alcohols mixes the same, after all: Some people prefer liquors like peppermint schnapps, while other people prefer bourbon or aged scotches. Mess around with it until you find the recipe that works for you, and then master it.

While the traditional recipe is pretty simple, there are tons of ways to modify it to your liking. As long as you’ve got the staples that make it a proper custard, it’s going to taste like that classic Christmas-in-a-cup flavor. There’s really no wrong way to mix eggnog, and so many ways to enjoy it.

And what makes eggnog so special is that it’s really only around this time of year, so take advantage of the season that welcomes it most!

How to use leftover eggnog

Saint Nick’s Eggnog

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BEAT eggs, sugar and salt in large heavy saucepan until blended. STIR IN 2 cups milk.

COOK over low heat, stirring constantly but gently, until mixture is just thick enough to just coat a metal spoon with a thin film and temperature reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. REMOVE from heat immediately.

STIR IN remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. REFRIGERATE, covered, until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight.

Just before serving, stir brandy, liqueur, rum or bourbon into eggnog, if desired. For a festive presentation, garnish with whipped cream, ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks or candy canes.

Secrets of success: Low heat, a heavy sauce pan, constant stirring and patience are the keys to making the eggnog. If you increase the cooking temperature to try to speed the process along, the mixture is likely to curdle. Stirring constantly, making sure to cover the entire bottom and corners of the pan, prevents scorching and ensures that the mixture heats.

Watch carefully and test frequently toward the end of the cooking time, after about 10 to 12 minutes. The last few minutes are crucial. Undercooked eggnog will be thin and watery; overcooked custard will curdle. The difference is a matter of only a few degrees.

For perfectly smooth eggnog: Pour through a sieve before chilling.

For a richer eggnog: Substitute half-and-half or light cream for some of the milk.

To keep eggnog cold during a party, set punch bowl or pitcher in a bed of crushed ice, or freeze some of the eggnog in ice cube trays or ice ring using a bundt pan and add to bowl right before party.

Use leftover eggnog in French toast or pancake batter.

This recipe is a good source of protein.

When life gives you too much eggnog, turn it into an ingredient.

If there’s one beverage that takes the spotlight during the holiday season, it’s eggnog—even if you don’t like it, chances are you’ll end up with a bottle of the divisive drink. And even if you do enjoy it, eggnog fatigue is real: After all, you can only drink so much of it. Homemade eggnog lasts two to three days and the store-bought stuff is good for five to seven days, and depending on how much you have, using up extra eggnog can be a challenge. Whether you need to use a little eggnog or a lot, here are some ideas to make the most of that surplus.

WATCH: How to Make Homemade Eggnog

Upgrade your coffee

If you’re already a coffee creamer devotee, this one’s an easy fix. Just add a splash of eggnog to your morning (or afternoon) cup. You can also pair extra eggnog with espresso and make a Copycat Starbucks Eggnog Latte.

Make cookies

Use eggnog’s sweetness to add a festive twist to cookies. Hardcore eggnog enthusiasts will appreciate these Eggnog Cookies, which are topped with an Eggnog-Bourbon Buttercream, or these rich Eggnog Whoopie Pies. Meanwhile, these Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies put a nice spin on eggnog’s traditional flavors and couldn’t be easier to whip up.

Sweeten up breakfast

I’ve got three words for you: Eggnog French toast. Dress up your thickest, eggiest bread (We’re partial to challah and brioche) with eggnog and comforting spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Then, top it with easy bourbon syrup for a boozy kick. Add some fresh berries before serving for a nice fresh pop of contrast.

Make a cocktail

Sure, spiking eggnog is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with it. Play up eggnog’s sweeter side in dessert-inspired cocktails like this Eggnog Mudslide, Eggnog-Coffee Punch, and Eggnog Creamsicle. You can also impress your guests with this flashy Egg on Fire.

Make cake

For larger amounts of eggnog, go big and bake up an eggnog-inspired cake. You can incorporate the eggnog into your batter, as with this Spiced Eggnog Pound Cake, to add richness to a classic cake. The thick beverage also works as a custard layer, like in this Eggnog Magic Cake, or as a cream filling that accentuates a bolder flavor, as in our Gingerbread Cake Roll With Eggnog Cream.

When life gives you too much eggnog, turn it into an ingredient.

If there’s one beverage that takes the spotlight during the holiday season, it’s eggnog—even if you don’t like it, chances are you’ll end up with a bottle of the divisive drink. And even if you do enjoy it, eggnog fatigue is real: After all, you can only drink so much of it. Homemade eggnog lasts two to three days and the store-bought stuff is good for five to seven days, and depending on how much you have, using up extra eggnog can be a challenge. Whether you need to use a little eggnog or a lot, here are some ideas to make the most of that surplus.

WATCH: How to Make Homemade Eggnog

Upgrade your coffee

If you’re already a coffee creamer devotee, this one’s an easy fix. Just add a splash of eggnog to your morning (or afternoon) cup. You can also pair extra eggnog with espresso and make a Copycat Starbucks Eggnog Latte.

Make cookies

Use eggnog’s sweetness to add a festive twist to cookies. Hardcore eggnog enthusiasts will appreciate these Eggnog Cookies, which are topped with an Eggnog-Bourbon Buttercream, or these rich Eggnog Whoopie Pies. Meanwhile, these Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies put a nice spin on eggnog’s traditional flavors and couldn’t be easier to whip up.

Sweeten up breakfast

I’ve got three words for you: Eggnog French toast. Dress up your thickest, eggiest bread (We’re partial to challah and brioche) with eggnog and comforting spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Then, top it with easy bourbon syrup for a boozy kick. Add some fresh berries before serving for a nice fresh pop of contrast.

Make a cocktail

Sure, spiking eggnog is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with it. Play up eggnog’s sweeter side in dessert-inspired cocktails like this Eggnog Mudslide, Eggnog-Coffee Punch, and Eggnog Creamsicle. You can also impress your guests with this flashy Egg on Fire.

Make cake

For larger amounts of eggnog, go big and bake up an eggnog-inspired cake. You can incorporate the eggnog into your batter, as with this Spiced Eggnog Pound Cake, to add richness to a classic cake. The thick beverage also works as a custard layer, like in this Eggnog Magic Cake, or as a cream filling that accentuates a bolder flavor, as in our Gingerbread Cake Roll With Eggnog Cream.

Have you been wondering what to do with that leftover eggnog? Here’s a recipe that is sure to please. The cake contains the spices found in eggnog AND a nice dollop of actual eggnog. There’s another splash of eggnog in the glaze. Enjoy!

Eggnog Loaf Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 Tbsp. butter, softened

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the eggnog, mixing after each addition only until fully incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and eggnog, stirring after each addition. Do not to overmix.

4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Bake on the center rack for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.

5. Make the glaze by combining the confectioner’s sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add the eggnog a tablespoon at a time until the glaze is thick but pourable. Glaze the cooled cake and serve.

Drink it, eat it, and take or leave the eggs (and the alcohol).

How to use leftover eggnog

Behold: the best eggnog recipes for Christmas, both for eggnog lovers and those who think they hate the stuff. Try our eggnog drink recipes and our dishes made with eggnog and we think you’ll be feeling merry indeed.

We get that eggnog, however fun to say, may not sound delicious to some—a creamy, thick concoction of raw eggs, whole milk, and heavy cream with copious amounts of liquor and sugar…it blurs the lines between cocktail and cake batter (which is the same reason so many love it!).

But done well, eggnog is rich, balanced, comforting, and delicious—and it can be made without alcohol, or even without eggs.

However you feel about it, eggnog is an indispensable part of the Christmas season, in cartons on grocery store shelves from Thanksgiving all the way through the following year, and immortalized in movies like “Christmas Vacation.” We can’t stand behind those store-bought eggnog cartons and their cloying, preservative-laden contents, but we can raise a moose glass to good homemade ‘nog.

How to use leftover eggnog

National Lampoon Moose Mug, $19.99 at Target

Live the dream with your own moose mug.

We can also find creative ways to use leftover eggnog if there actually is any—better make a big batch just in case, because you’ll definitely want to try eggnog cheesecake and eggnog French toast too.

Eggnog Recipes

Including a classic eggnog, quick and easy eggnog variations, and eggnog without eggs (and without alcohol).

The Best Eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

Our classic ‘nog recipe calls for aging the mixture in the fridge for at least one week, and preferably three. One reason to age eggnog is that it gives the alcohol time to kill any bacteria that may be lurking in the raw eggs, but it also allows the flavors to mellow and blend into a perfectly balanced drink. It even improves the color and texture; a sort of alchemy occurs and it becomes thicker and a little golden. Get our Best Eggnog recipe if you’re prepared to make it ahead. But if not, just keep reading…

The Best Easy Eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

Christmas is only days away, so you don’t have time to age your eggnog, but that’s okay. Our eggnog punch can be made just a few hours before your party, and a stand mixer makes it easy. You’ll just want to wait ’til the last minute to whip the egg whites and fold them in. Get our Easy Eggnog Punch recipe.

You’ll notice that the eggs here are still raw, and we’re not gonna lie—there is some risk in that (just as there’s risk in eating raw lettuce), but it’s relatively minor, as long as you’re absolutely sure to buy fresh, organic, pasteurized eggs and you have a healthy immune system. If you just can’t, you can find recipes for cooked eggnog that gently heat the eggs to kill any potentially harmful bacteria.

How to use leftover eggnog

Walmart Grocery

Order your eggnog, or the ingredients for homemade.

Blender Eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

No stand mixer? Break out your blender for this eggnog, which can also be made right before the party starts. Another bonus if you have a small group, or you’re the only one that likes ‘nog: It makes a modest six drinks rather than multiple quarts of the stuff. Get our Blender Eggnog recipe.

Tom and Jerry

How to use leftover eggnog

This Midwest favorite is quite similar to eggnog, but slightly different in composition and method—and it’s served warm, perfect for a cold winter’s night. For the full effect, serve it in a Tom and Jerry punch bowl, which you can often track down on Etsy and similar sites. Get our Tom and Jerry recipe.

How to use leftover eggnog

When you read that title, bet you were thinking it would be some kind of booze, right? Nope, that would be too obvious. Add whatever kind of booze you like to your favorite eggnog recipe — rum, brandy, whiskey, sherry, or even tequila — and it’s going to taste awesome. If you’re into repetition and redundancy, there’s actually such a thing as eggnog-flavored vodka (via Food Network), or you could always get a jump start on a sober-curious New Year by drinking alcohol-free nog.

Whether you choose to booze it up or not, though, there is one ingredient that will add a sweet, fragrant note that can really take your eggnog to the next level: vanilla.

How to make vanilla-flavored eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

Should you be going to all the trouble of making your eggnog from scratch, even daring to ignore the dire warnings about under-cooked eggs causing salmonella from holiday Grinches (including the ones at Consumer Reports), then you might as well go all the way and use a real vanilla bean. The Cortlandt Daily Voice has a vanilla eggnog recipe that calls for a single split bean for about one quart of liquid, with the vanilla bean being simmered with the milk, cream, and spices in order to impart its flavor before the eggs and sugar are added.

But what if you’re going to go with store-bought eggnog? No shame in that. In fact, many bartenders happily use eggnog from a carton as a base for their seasonal spins on the holiday classic (via Bon Appetit). For pre-made eggnog, though, you’ll find it easier to add vanilla in its extract form. One vanilla bean is equal to about one tablespoon of extract, so you should be adding a tablespoon of vanilla extract for each quart of eggnog.

What you can do with leftover vanilla eggnog

How to use leftover eggnog

Chances are, leftovers aren’t going to be a problem since vanilla eggnog is just sooo tasty. If you do run out of holiday cheer (or the desire to drink eggnog, if there’s a difference between the two) while you’ve still got this beverage left in the fridge, though, vanilla eggnog can be used as the base for homemade ice cream.

You can also cook it until it thickens, then use it as a sauce for bread pudding, plum pudding, or figgy pudding, if you even know what that is. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the holiday season with your eggnog clasped firmly in hand as you sit by the fire.

Known as a creamy holiday comfort, a boozy celebration, and a traditional festive drink, eggnog can be enjoyed hot or cold, spiced, plain, or with alcohol.

Once you’ve had your fair share of eggnog, you may need a break from this rich and creamy beverage, but unfortunately, its shelf life does not allow it to be stored for more than a couple of days. The great news is that you can freeze eggnog and not a single drop has to go to waste.

Once thawed, eggnog can be used in smoothies and even in baking recipes and desserts. Here is how to go about freezing eggnog so you can celebrate with this holiday drink all year round.

Types of Eggnog

Eggnog is a creamy drink made with milk, cream, sugar, and eggs. The alcoholic version which can include brandy, rum, whiskey, or bourbon is sometimes referred to as ‘milk punch’. Eggnog is traditionally enjoyed in North America over the Christmas holiday season.

Pre-packaged eggnog which is purchased in-store has been heat-processed giving it a longer shelf life than the fresh homemade version. This rich, sweet dairy drink can be served cold, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, or as a comforting warm drink on cold winter days.

Can I Freeze Eggnog?

Eggnog contains raw eggs, cream, and milk which are all known to be heat-sensitive and highly perishable ingredients. The shelf life of eggnog in the refrigerator will, therefore, depend on exposure to light, heat, moisture, and its preparation method.

To extend its short shelf life, eggnog can be frozen, although it has to be stored carefully to prevent textural changes such as separation of the ingredients and a lumpy consistency.

Due to the process of pasteurization, store-bought eggnog will stay fresh in the fridge for five to seven days, while homemade eggnog only lasts for one to two days. This makes freezing the perfect solution to prevent waste.

Although freezing eggnog extends its shelf life up to six months, the consistency could change when thawed. This, however, is no problem, since even if eggnog is not served as a drink after freezing, it is still a great ingredient to use in baking, desserts, and cooking.

How To Freeze Homemade Eggnog

Leftover store-bought eggnog (which has already been opened) can be stored in the freezer using the same method as homemade eggnog.

Step 1: Cool

Let the eggnog cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Pour and Package

Pour the eggnog into freezer-friendly plastic containers with air-tight lids or use thick resealable freezer bags. Leave an inch of headroom at the top of the container or bag as the eggnog will expand on freezing which can cause the packaging to crack or burst open if too full.

Close the container tightly. If you are using freezer bags, ensure that there are no leaks and lightly press out any air before sealing.

Step 3: Label and Store

Label the container with the date and contents and place it upright in the freezer.

Tip: You may want to place freezer bags flat on a baking sheet to freeze, to allow them to freeze evenly and prevent any spillage. Once solid, remove them from the baking sheet and stack them in the freezer as a great space-saver.

How To Freeze Store-bought Eggnog

Store-bought eggnog is best frozen while it is still completely sealed and before it has been opened. Always place eggnog in the freezer well before the expiry date.

Step 1: Pre-freeze

Place the unopened eggnog carton upright in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid.

Step 2: Package

Place the frozen sealed carton into a freezer bag. This extra layer of plastic protection prevents freezer burn and the absorption of surrounding odors.

Step 3: Label and Freeze

Label the container with the date to keep track of how long it has been stored and place the frozen eggnog back in the freezer.

Step 4: Consistent Temperature

Fluctuations in temperature will affect the quality of the eggnog. Ensure it is kept at a constant temperature below 32˚F (0˚C).

How To Thaw Frozen Eggnog

With raw egg and dairy as its main constituents, it is extremely important to take care when defrosting eggnog to prevent spoiling. Remove the eggnog from the freezer and place it straight into the fridge to thaw.

Never defrost eggnog at room temperature as this will cause the ingredients to separate and become unpalatable or turn sour.

Even when thawed in the refrigerator, there is still a chance that the eggnog may separate. To reconstitute its creamy texture, give it a good whisk or blend it in a blender to create a smooth and frothy consistency.

To enjoy the eggnog warm after thawing, pour it into a saucepan and heat it on the stove over low heat. This stovetop method is recommended for the best end product and even heating.

Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave but you will need to check and stir it on 30-second intervals to spread the heat evenly and prevent it from overheating which will completely ruin the texture.

How long does homemade eggnog last?

Homemade eggnog will only last for one day in the refrigerator. If stored correctly, it will last for 4 to 6 months in the freezer.

How long does store-bought eggnog last?

Store-bought eggnog will last for up to 7 days in the refrigerator once opened. If frozen at a consistent temperature and well packaged, it will last for 6 months.

How can you use frozen eggnog?

Leftover or thawed eggnog is great for using in smoothies, cakes, rice pudding, biscuits, French toast, and oatmeal.

Can you refreeze eggnog?

No, never freeze eggnog after it has been thawed as it will spoil and become unsafe for consumption.

How can you tell if eggnog is off?

Eggnog that has gone bad will have a sour smell and lumpy texture. You may also notice a change in the original color of the eggnog.

Conclusion

Since eggnog can be frozen, it is not a bad idea to purchase a few cartons during the holiday season and keep some sealed for freezing so that you can enjoy this creamy drink long after the holidays are over.

Served hot or cold, eggnog is a comforting winter warmer or delicious blended into cool creamy smoothies. Eggnog is also a great addition in dessert recipes, cakes, biscuits, and bread pudding. Get freezing and celebrate the holidays all year long.