When Walkers Shortbread offered to send me a box of products to try, I welcomed the opportunity. As you know, I'm only ever interested in reviewing high quality products or equipment that I would actually have on my table or in my kitchen. Though I hadn't yet tried any of the other sweet or savory biscuits from Walkers, I grew up eating Walkers shortbread. It was the standard for shortbread in my family, the only highly regarded store-bought baked good in a family of excellent bakers.
Every different shortbread I or my mother (and probably her mother as well) made was compared to Walkers. And when you look at the list of ingredients, you can see how it can be compared to homemade. It contains only four ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar and salt. No long list of unpronounceable things that have no business in our food!
The shortbread comes in several shapes (I like the fingers). Walkers has other biscuits (cookies), such as White Chocolate & Raspberry, Belgian Chocolate Chunk, Oat & Heather Honey (all delicious) and also savory biscuits for cheese. They even have an organic line now, Duchy Originals, which I would love to try, but it's not available outside the UK at this time.
(Makes about 2 quarts)
6 large egg yolks (Make a batch of meringues with the whites!)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot milk
2 cups cold milk
1/2 cup or more brandy or rum, optional (I just use 3 tablespoons of cognac as a flavoring)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg plus more for garnish
1 cup whipping cream
1 At least nine, or up to 24, hours before serving time: In bottom pan of double boiler, heat an inch of water to a gentle simmer. In top pan of double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and salt until well blended.
2 Gradually whisk in hot milk and cook over hot but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers between 160 and 170 degrees (but do not boil). Just pull a tall stool up to the stove like I do 'cause it's gonna take a while, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3 Stir in cold milk. Strain custard into a two-quart bowl; stir in brandy* or rum, vanilla and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours.
*Actually, you could leave out the alcohol and let each person add his own favorite tipple or have it alcohol-free.
4 To serve: Whip cream until soft peaks form. With wire whisk, gently fold whipped cream into custard. Pour eggnog into chilled 2- or 2 1/2-quart punch bowl or pitcher; sprinkle with nutmeg.
Note: You might also like Hazelnut Shortbread and A Proper Cup of Tea.