Colorado Egg Producers

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Tis The Season For...Eggnog and Holiday Baking Courtesy of the Colorado Egg Producers Association

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The holiday season is in full swing, which means lots of food, family and friends. And no holiday celebration is truly complete without everyone’s favorite holiday drink – eggnog! As one of the most versatile foods, eggs can be used to create delicious drinks, meals and holiday baking treats.

The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association wants you to be at your best in the kitchen this holiday season. By using eggs locally produced in Colorado and following our fool-proof secrets to baking with eggs and at high altitudes, you will be sure to wow loved ones, neighbors, colleagues and even Old Saint Nick with delicious recipes you will be proud to serve.

“Incorporating locally produced eggs into your holiday baking makes for healthy and delicious treats,” said Derek Yancey, a Colorado egg farmer. “As Colorado egg farmers we are committed to the best possible care of our chickens, ensuring you get a safe and wholesome product you will be proud to serve to your loved ones.”

CEP is a membership organization representing seven farms throughout Colorado. CEP is committed to doing what’s right for its community, as illustrated by the regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Egg farmers throughout Colorado pride themselves on providing eggs to Coloradans. We are also proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs. You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. To see video of how chickens are raised in both cage and cage-free environments or to find a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com. Find CEP on Facebook at facebook.com/COEggProducers.

This winter, CEP is rewarding kids who egg-cell. Colorado elementary school students can enter to win an omelet breakfast for their school cooked and served by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, John Salazar; representatives of Food Bank of the Rockies and Colorado egg farmers. For every student who enters, CEP will donate one egg to Food Bank of the Rockies to help feed those in need in time for Easter celebrations. Find out more at coloradoeggproducers.com.

You can also feel good about the nutrition eggs will lend to your delicious delicacies. A nutrient dense food, eggs contain every major vitamin and mineral except vitamin C. The protein from eggs is the highest quality of any food, and is found in both the white and the yolk of an egg. So whether you are making eggnog, custards or meringues you are sure to benefit from the nutritional value of eggs.

Here in Colorado, it is important to take the high altitude into consideration when you are cooking. The following high altitude tips are provided courtesy of joyofbaking.com, baking911.com and ochef.com.

High Altitude tips: The main factor affecting baked items in higher altitudes is the lower pressure. This leads to lower boiling points, faster evaporation of liquids and more rapid rising of batters when baked. Basic adjustments and a little experimentation can compensate for higher altitudes.
• Reduce the amount of baking powder the recipe calls for. For each teaspoon decrease 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon.
• Reduce the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. For each cup decrease 2-3 tablespoons.
• Increase the amount of liquid the recipe calls for. For each cup add 3-4 tablespoons. Eggs and butter are considered liquids.
• Fill baking pans half-full, not the usual two-thirds, as high altitude cakes may overflow.
• Increase the baking temperature 15-20 degrees, unless using a glass pan, and reduce the baking time by up to 20 percent.

Are you in the mood to be creative this year? Try making your own eggnog. Below is a classic eggnog recipes for you to try out.

Christmas Eggnog
12 egg yolks
5 cloves, whole
4 cups milk
4 cups cream
3 cups light rum
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a saucepan over low heat, blend the milk, cinnamon, cloves and half a teaspoon of the vanilla essence. Keep stirring while mixture heats, and remove from heat just before boiling point. In a bowl, mix together the sugar with all those egg yolks. Make sure you whisk them well so that they're light and fluffy. Gently and a little at a time, pour in the milk mixture while continuing to whisk. Transfer mixture back into your saucepan over a medium heat while continuing to stir. Keep stirring until your eggnog mixture starts to resemble custard. Never let the mixture to reach boiling point! Pour and strain the mixture into a jug, making sure to remove the cloves. Stand jug in the fridge for an hour or two. Gently stir in the cream, light rum, remaining vanilla and ground nutmeg. Put back into the fridge overnight. Serve in cups with a little extra ground nutmeg, cinnamon or baking cocoa sprinkled lightly on top. Makes 8 servings.
 

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