First, I want to apologize because there was no Wednesday post this week. We’ve been dealing with major Internet issues that no one, not even our Internet company, could figure out right away.  Four new routers later, three new modems later, three different visits by tech guys, dozens of hours on the phone and an email begging the president of the company for help later, we are back up and running!  Now, let’s get to the eggnog pound cake because I feel like I’m starting to write my own Internet version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Last December, I wanted to bake something with eggnog in it to start making it really feel like Christmas.  Even when our house is all decorated, our tree is up, and I’m playing/singing Christmas music, it doesn’t always feel like Christmas is only two weeks away (it still doesn’t, right now).  And, I love eggnog.  I love store bought eggnog, homemade, spiked or not spiked.  It’s all so good to me.

This time of year is a little different in Phoenix because it will be bright and sunny, maybe with a chill in the air (yesterday it was 77 degrees!!) while the rest of the country has snow on the ground.  So, there’s not a noticeable shift that Christmas is only 2 weeks away until the clouds change as Beth from 99.9 KEZ says.  She calls them Arizona’s Christmas clouds.  I can’t explain it, but she’s right.  Bonus: if you don’t know, 99.9 KEZ plays Christmas music 24/7 this time of year.  Woo Hoo!!

For my baked eggnog goodie, I made an eggnog pound cake with a crystal rum glaze.  Side note- if you don’t drink, you can totally substitute the rum in this recipe with water.

Here’s what you’ll need:IMG_0047

You’ll want to pour the rum (or water) on the raisins and let it soak while you mix the rest up so they soften and so that if you’re using rum it infuses the flavor into the raisins.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees (or 175 degrees Celsius) and butter a 10 x 3 bundt pan.  Lightly coat the pan with flour.  You’ll want to pull the ingredients out and let them get to room temperature. If your pan has a darker finish, you can reduce the heat to 325 (or 160 Celsius).

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Next, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.

Put your butter into a mixer and using the paddle attachment, on medium-low speed, mix until the butter’s creamy and smooth (approx. 30-45 seconds).  If you need to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides, go ahead.  While mixing, slowly add a constant stream of the sugar until all of the sugar is added in and well-mixed (about 5 minutes, you want the mixture light and fluffy).

Keeping your mixer on medium speed, add in the eggs a little at a time.  Take caution not to add too much at once.  Add about a tablespoon, let it mix completely, and then add another tablespoon until the eggs are all added in and fully incorporated.

Next- lower the mixer’s speed to the lowest speed you have.  My slowest speed on my mixer is called “stir” and that’s what I used.

While in the lowest speed, you’ll incorporate the sifted mixture and the eggnog.  You’ll need to do this in portions.  Start and end with the flour mixture.  Take a quarter of the flour mixture and a 1/3 of the eggnog and alternate adding them in and letting them become fully mixed in.

So, 1/4 flour, mix, 1/3 eggnog, mix, 1/4 flour, mix, 1/3 eggnog, etc… until you’ve got it all in.  You’ll probably need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides during this process.  Totally fine.  You just don’t want to over mix the dough.

Add in the vanilla after you’ve got a smooth mixture that’s starting to resemble bread dough (it will look smooth and shiny but is starting to get sticky).

Next, gently fold in the raisin mixture that’s been soaking by using a rubber spatula or something similar and put your creation into your chosen bundt pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes.  Mine took closer to 60.  You want the top of it to spring back when you lightly touch it and obviously for a toothpick to come out of the center with a bread-like substance (rather than dough).  A clean toothpick’s okay too but if you take it out when you see the bread resemblance on the toothpick it will likely be more moist.

Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

While you’re waiting for it to cool, mix up the glaze.  You literally just put the sugar, rum, and water in a bowl and stir.  Easy as can be.

After you’re done and it’s semi-cool so you can touch the pan, flip the bread over onto the rack and remove the pan (mine just slid right off). After that, I flipped it right onto the platter I wanted it on and while it was still slightly warm and used a pastry brush to coat the entire cake with the glaze.  I wound up pouring the rest on to drizzle the glaze after I had completely coated the cake.

Next step: ENJOY!! Here’s my husband smelling the wonderful smells this cake creates before he does the last step of enjoying it!  We didn’t even wait for it to cool down completely before partaking.

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Do you have favorite items you love to bake during this time of year? Are there any with eggnog in them?  I’d love to hear about your favorites!

I hope you’re enjoying your holiday season so far this year!

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