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What you'll need [Photographs: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

My good friend recently encountered what I imagine is a pretty common problem come the holidays: she hosted a Christmas party over the weekend and found herself up to her elbows in leftover eggnog on Monday.

I get it—I'll have maybe one glass of nog a year, but that's it. After that, any leftovers are going to sit in my fridge, waiting to haunt me in the new year. At least that's how it used to go. 2013 is the year of eggnog whipped cream.

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Here's what you'll need:

1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream
1/3- 1/2 cup eggnog
1 tablespoon sugar (or confectioners sugar)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

And that list is forgiving. Basically eggnog, while fatty, isn't quite creamy enough to hold peaks on its own. That means you'll need about 1/2 cup eggnog for every cup of heavy cream. Even that will change slightly depending on the consistency of your nog. For example, I buy Strauss Eggnog (for reasons I've elaborated on before) which is made only with milk instead of the more common combination of milk and cream. That means I use a little less than 1/2 cup, needing a little more heavy cream to reach the desired consistency.

On the other hand, Strauss is full flavored (you can see the nutmeg piled at the bottom of the glass bottle before you shake it) so I need less added spice than a more eggy, less spicy nog. The best part about this recipe is you can fiddle as you go (if you really are just using up leftovers, it's a perfect time to experiment.)

The method is straight-forward: combine everything in a bowl and whip to medium-stiff peaks. As is true for any time you make whipped cream, popping your bowl and whisks into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before you start are best practices.

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Everything's better on a Nilla Wafer

The resulting whipped cream is sweet and lightly spiced. It's a great, simple way to upgrade any dessert this holiday season. Or a Nilla Wafer. Merry Christmas to me.

About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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