Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas A to Z Letter E

Welcome Back to Christmas A to Z
E …is for Eggnog and Evergreen
Eggnog may have originated in East Anglia, England; or it may have simply developed from posset, a medieval European beverage made with hot milk; eggs were added to some posset recipes. The "nog" part of its name may stem from the word noggin, a Middle English term for a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol.
I enjoy eggnog during the season, but I prefer having mine without alcohol. As a matter of fact, I love adding it to coffee and tea instead of milk. We always seem to think of Eggnog as a drink, but have you ever had eggnog cupcakes? They are delicious.

Here is a recipe I found at Lindsay’s Life, Love and Sugar Website:

Eggnog Cupcakes
Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
Eggnog Cupcakes
1 2/3 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup salted butter (170g), room temperature
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup (120ml) eggnog
1/4 cup (120ml) milk
Cupcake Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, egg whites, vanilla, nutmeg, eggnog and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Fill cupcake liners a little more than half way.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Eggnog Icing
1/2 cup (115g) butter
1/2 cup (95g) shortening
4 cups (480g) powdered sugar
4 tbsp (60ml) eggnog
1/4 tsp rum extract
1 tsp nutmeg
Try an Apple Bar Recipe w/ Organic Sugar.
1. Combine butter and shortening and mix until smooth.
2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add eggnog, rum extract and nutmeg and mix until smooth.
4. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Add a little more eggnog, in necessary, until desired consistency is reached.
6. Top cupcakes with icing.
Note: You may notice little bits of butter in the batter, but that's ok. They will melt into the cupcake as they bake.

EvergreenEvergreens have been used to decorate homes for the Christmas Season for many years. Its Christmas time and I love how the fragrance and beauty of evergreens adds to celebrating this holy season. Many of us add Christmas trees, wreaths or garlands to our homes. Collectively, evergreens for early Christians symbolized everlasting life because their boughs stay green all year.
Many kinds of evergreens are used in decorating our homes. Each type of evergreen has its own meaning in the language of flowers.
The most commonly used evergreen for wreaths is balsam and it has the symbolic meaning of eager anticipation; a familiar emotion associated with Advent.
Fir boughs, symbolizing a lifting up, and pine that conveys the meaning of eternal life.
Spruce boughs represent hope in adversity, and isn’t that a lovely sentiment when we think of what Mother Mary faced before the birth of Jesus.
Cedar is one of the more fragrant and longer lasting evergreens and indicates incorruptibility and healing, and so it is associated with eternal life through Christ.
Juniper symbolizes protection, and that they do well!  If you’ve ever had to trim juniper branches you know how prickly and harsh they can be. (A great shrub to plant under windows to ward off intruders!)
Any cones, nuts, or seedpods used in decorations symbolize new life and resurrection, pointing Christians toward Easter.

I hope you will join me again tomorrow for more of the Christmas Celebration
Carolyn and the Bears

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