This recipe for Polish kogel mogel (KOH-ghel MOH-ghel), known as gogel mogel in Yiddish, is a dessert that resembles thickened eggnog. It can be made with or without alcohol.
Kogel mogel dates to 17th-century Jewish communities in Central Europe, but it gained a resurgence in popularity during the Communist era of the 1980s when sweets were hard to come by.
Polish Egg Brandy (likier jajeczny) is more like traditional eggnog. Because the eggs in this dessert are not cooked, use pasteurized eggs.
- 2 large egg yolks (pasteurized)
- 3 teaspoons honey (or 3 teaspoons sugar)
- Optional: 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- Optional: rum or vodka (to taste)
- Optional: raisins (to taste)
- Optional: nuts (to taste)
- Optional: tiny marshmallows
- Place egg yolks and honey or sugar in a small bowl and whisk until creamy and thickened. Add cocoa powder if desired. Transfer to a serving glass or ramekin. This dessert can be eaten at room temperature or chilled.
- If desired, rum or vodka can be added, as well as raisins, nuts, marshmallows or any other ingredient you desire. Although these are not traditional, they are slowly creeping into modern Polish versions.
What Is Traditional Eggnog?
December is National Eggnog Month in the States. Traditional eggnog is a blend of milk or cream, eggs, nutmeg and usually liquor of some sort, such as rum, brandy or whiskey.
Nonalcoholic versions of eggnog have been served to those who are ill and children as a fortifying bevereage. Some eggnogs are made by separating the yolks from the whites and whipping the latter to make a frothier, more airy drink.
The debate rages on as to how eggnog was developed and by whom. It is speculated that the tradition began in Europe as a riff on the milk-and-wine punches often served at parties. It was used as a toast to one’s health and consumed by the upper class.
The name, one version has it, comes from Colonial America where colonists referred to thick drinks as “grog” and eggnog as “egg-and-grog.” It was the colonists who first added rum to the original recipe. As time went on, the South continued that practice while others added whiskey or brandy.
Toasting with an alcoholic beverage is a pleasant holdover from days gone by that is traditional on auspicious occasions like the holidays, weddings, baptisms, funerals and more. The most popular drinks for toasting include the following: