Thursday, May 30, 2013


If you've been following our blog, you might have noticed we're kind of on a mission to spread the joy of eggnog, that delectable nectar, throughout the whole year.  We set about to find at least one holiday in every month that is worthy of celebrating with eggnog.  So far we've got Hog 'Nog, Green Eggs and Nog, and Earth Nog.  But the month of May is almost out, and we haven't yet designated an eggnog holiday!  Fortunately, May 31 (tomorrow!) is the perfect day to celebrate with eggnog because, as we're sure you know, it's National Macaroon Day!  Macaroons are commonly made with egg whites and coconut (says even the dictionary), but what happens to the leftover yolks?  We humbly suggest a macaroon-flavored eggnog.

Two common flavorings for macaroons (other than the sugar and eggs) are almond and coconut.  For our purposes, we wanted extracts, since we're making a liquid treat rather than a solid one.  We had almond extract on hand, but not coconut extract.  Also, real coconut extract is ridiculously expensive, so we decided to make our own.  It's not hard--pretty much as easy as making a cup of tea, except it needs to steep for several days.

We filled a half-pint canning jar about three-quarters full with shredded coconut, and then added rum up to the bottom of the threads.

We let it steep for about five days and then filtered out the large pieces of coconut.  There are still small coconut particles, which could be filtered out with a a piece of cloth or something, but we don't mind them.  It adds a little extra coconut flavor.  Also, the filtered coconut pieces are now soaked with rum, so they can be used to 'spice up' cakes, shrimp stir fries, or a breakfast bowl of oatmeal.

For the recipe, we followed the first part of our recipe for Earth Nog, where the big bowl in the middle is the six egg yolks and first 1.5 cups of milk heated to 160 °F, and the other ingredients (second 1.5 cups milk, 0.5 cup sugar, one tablespoon each coconut extract and almond extract), are about to be added to it.  Technically, the order of addition to the hot milk/egg yolk mixture should be sugar (which will dissolve faster at higher temperatures), then milk (which will cool the mixture down some), then the extracts (which would lose more potency from evaporation at high temperatures), but in practice, it probably doesn't make much difference.

We tried garnishing the 'nog with some of the filtered coconut, but it didn't stay on top very well.  Probably we should add a dollop of whipped cream, then garnish that with the coconut.

But we don't have any whipped cream made up, so we'll just add a strawberry and call it good. :-)  Definitely tastes like a macaroon (other than the strawberry).  Good stuff, Maynard!

The recipe:
6 egg yolks
1.5 cups milk
another 1.5 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon each coconut and almond extract

Beat egg yolks and 1.5 cups milk until uniform.  Heat mixture to 160 °F, stirring often.  Add sugar, then add rest of milk and extracts.  Garnish with whipped cream, coconut, and/or strawberries.  Chill and drink.

How are you celebrating National Macaroon Day?  Can you think of other uses for rum-soaked coconut, or other ways to garnish macaroon-flavored eggnog?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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