During the hectic holiday season we could all use a little power-up. So what better holiday treat than eggnog and cookies to pick you up while wrapping presents, decorating the house or preparing the holiday meal?
This year I worked on a Mario-themed power-up eggnog and sugar cookie presentation. The glasses are decorated to resemble the 1-Up and Super Mushroom, while the cookies are Super Leaf, Super Star and Fire Flower. All of the recipes are easy to make and tasty to eat.
Power-up Mushroom Eggnog
This eggnog recipe is tasty and will be a hit at any party or get together. The eggs in this recipe are fully cooked so you don’t need to worry when serving it to your guests. This makes about ½ gallon of eggnog.
4 cups milk
5 whole cloves
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups light rum (optional)
4 cups light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (yes vanilla is listed twice, measure separately)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a saucepan, mix together the milk, cloves and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Slowly bring mixture to a boil over very low heat.
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the hot milk mixture while whisking. Pour all of this back into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes or until thick. DO NOT BOIL. Strain out the cloves and allow to cool for about an hour.
Finally, add in your rum (this is optional and can be omitted for a family friendly version), 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the nutmeg. One night in the fridge and this delicious drink is ready to serve.
Decorating the Glasses
Take some marshmallow fluff in a jar and mix with a little food coloring to achieve the red and green colors. Wipe a bit on the inside of the glasses to achieve the desired look.
Power-up Sugar Cookies
This recipe is an old family favorite. This makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on the size. Freezing the dough after you have cut out the shapes helps your cookies hold their shape in the oven.
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, lemon juice and vanilla until well combined.
Beat in 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add in the remaining 2 cups flour. Beat until soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 3 discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Work with 1 dough disc at a time. Unwrap dough and place on floured parchment paper (the parchment paper should be cut to size to fit your cookie sheets) and roll out to ⅛” thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Remove excess dough. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets and freeze for 10 minutes.
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove parchment paper from the cookie sheets and leave to cool on a wire rack or heat resistant surface. Allow to cool completely.
Decorating the Cookies
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1lb)
6-7 tablespoons water
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until icing forms peaks and loses it sheen. This will take about 7-10 minutes. I recommend a stand mixer if possible.
This will make the medium consistency royal icing I used on the eyes of the power up cookies.
To achieve the smooth look of the icing on the rest of the cookie you need a flow consistency. Add ½ teaspoon water per cup of royal icing, adding in a few drops at a time until you get the consistency you desire. To check to see if it is a flowing consistency, drop a bit of the royal icing back into the bowl and it should sink and blend in by the time you have counted to 10.
Color your icing as desired and fill your piping bags. I used a Wilton number 2 tip on my bags. Pipe out the edge of your design and fill in the cookie. Use a toothpick or scribing tool and push the icing around until the cookie is filled in to the edges.
I allowed the first layer to dry about 10 hours before I added the other designs.
Start with a white oval and let that dry for about an hour. Add a ring of yellow around your white oval and allow to dry. Add the red ring around the yellow. Pipe on the green stem and leaves. Finally, use a bit of the medium consistency black icing for 2 small lines for eyes
Pipe on a yellow star and use your toothpick or scribing tool to pull the points of the star out. Allow to dry and add on 2 small black lines of the medium consistency black icing for the eyes.
I drew on the shape of the leave with a food coloring marker. Take a light and medium brown and pipe on stripes to the shape you have drawn. By doing this quickly the light and medium brown icing will flow together and leave a smooth flat surface without any ridges you’d get if you allow them to dry before adding the other color. Pipe on a stem in the medium brown color. Finally add 2 small black lines with the medium consistency icing for the eyes.
I hope you have as much fun making these as I did. I am sure they will be a hit at your next holiday gathering of gamers or as a special treat for you to enjoy yourself as you wind down from the hustle and bustle of the holidays!