Winter is officially here and with cold weather comes major cravings for my favorite seasonal comfort foods! Every year I look forward to creamy eggnog on the store shelves, fresh sufganiyot in the bakeries, gingerbread-house competitions on The Food Network, and sipping warm apple cider under a cozy blanket in my living room. In case you are like me and crave these seasonal traditions all year round, you can now have them whenever you like! Why wait for the cold weather blues to savor delicious eggnog and gingerbread when you can make it fresh and delicious all year round?! And even better than that, why not make it pareve so you can eat it after any meal!
The sweet aroma of ginger, cinnamon and cloves filled my house while my first from-scratch Gingerbread Loaf baked in the oven. I’ve made the boxed variety before but nothing comes close to earthy and sweet homemade gingerbread! After preparing the thick gingery dough and adding hot water and smooth molasses, I added a few tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger to add extra spiciness and texture to the densely moist cake. What came out of my oven was gingerbread -- so intensely dark, chewy, heavy, and spicy in all the right ways! This is not your garden-variety gingerbread loaf and I have to warn you that it could easily be devoured in one sitting.
Since my house was already filled with the scents and flavors of winter, it was clearly time to add creamy Homemade Non-Dairy Eggnog to the mix. I’m sure you’re thinking eggnog made with soy milk could never taste as good as the dairy variety, but this recipe will change your mind! In fact, I think this homemade version, with its thick creamy texture and spicy nutmeg flavor, tastes better than any eggnog I’ve tried in the past.
I stirred the eggs, sugar and soy milk continuously for around 45 minutes to create an egg custard, then mixed in vanilla extract and nutmeg to sweeten the mixture. After the mixture cooled and I was ready to serve the eggnog, I whipped up a small batch of whipped cream and folded it into the cold custard. The flavors of the eggnog developed into a sweet, creamy, and blissful reminder of the best parts of winter.
Since I could now have two of my favorite winter treats whenever I wanted, it was time to turn it up a notch. So instead of eating my homemade gingerbread loaf with a swig of non-dairy eggnog to wash it all down, I combined the two recipes and created Gingerbread Eggnog Bread Pudding Muffins to snack on at any time of the day. By using my basic bread pudding recipe for inspiration, I was able to create the ultimate winter wonderland on a plate. I soaked two loaves of spicy gingerbread in cold creamy eggnog, added flour, margarine, baking powder and spices and baked the mixture in a mini muffin cake pan until ready to eat.
All of this joyous baking means I no longer have to wait for the cold weather to come around in order to sit under a warm blanket in my living room, sip on my warm apple cider and snack on my favorite winter flavors. I can now eat my little gingerbread eggnog bread pudding muffins whenever I want!