Learn to make eggnog bars and other perfect holiday desserts

Eggnog bars / (Photo by Chris Hunt/Special)

Eggnog bars / (Photo by Chris Hunt/Special)

It’s that time of year again — time to put your kitchen to the test and whip up some delectable holiday treats for your loved ones (or yourself!). Try these eggnog bars, and check out perfect holiday recipes for snowy-topped brownie drops and champagne cake with champagne butter cream frosting here.

Eggnog Bars

These dessert bars don’t contain eggnog, but the use of spice and spirits definitely evokes the holiday beverage. Though author Rosie Daykin specifies brandy, I chose Irish whiskey, to lovely effect.

2 cups graham-cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 (8-ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese

1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk

1 large egg

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brandy (may use rum, Bourbon, rye or Irish whiskey)

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan, and line with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, allspice and butter. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Remove and set aside. Leave oven on.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the condensed milk, egg, flour, brandy (or other liquor of choice) and nutmeg. Continue to mix until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the baked graham base, using a small spatula or knife to spread evenly. Sprinkle more nutmeg on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is firm.

Remove from oven, and allow the dish to cool completely in the pan or place in the refrigerator overnight.

Run a small knife around the inside of the pan. Carefully remove the slab from the pan, and cut into 16 bars. Make sure to use a long knife to avoid cutting and dragging the knife across the bars. It is also helpful to wipe the blade between cuts to ensure a clean cut. Serves: 16

— Adapted from “Butter Celebrates!” by Rosie Daykin (Knopf, $35).

Per serving: 290 calories (percent of calories from fat, 59), 5 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 19 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 184 milligrams sodium.

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