Eggnog and hot chocolate. What else is there to Christmas, except snow? In this case, the eggnog has been cooked slightly because of the concern with raw eggs.

HOT CHOCOLATE

(4 servings)

Lisa Yockelson makes this steamy hot chocolate with Lindt Excellence or Tobler Tradition, both available in three-ounce bars. Serve it in big cups, topped with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder, alongside the ever-present holiday cookies.

2 3-ounce bars bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 1/2 cups milk

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup light cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the chocolate in a heavy medium-size saucepan and melt over low heat. Stir in the milk, adding it in a slow, steady stream. Add the salt. Heat the milk until warm, whisk in the light cream, and heat until hot. Off the heat, blend in the vanilla. Pour the hot chocolate into large cups and serve.

Per serving: 439 calories, 12 gm protein, 23 gm carbohydrates, 39 gm fat, 24 gm saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium.

COOKED EGGNOG

(Makes 1 1/2 quarts)

Ellen Brown starts this eggnog with a base of egg custard. While it is certainly rich, there are recipes that contain more butterfat.

2 cups milk

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened at room temperature

1 cup liquor (rum, bourbon, brandy or anything you like in eggnog)

Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to steam. While the milk is heating, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl at high speed until thick and lemon colored. Add the vanilla, reduce the speed to low, and slowly add the hot milk.

Return the mixture to the pan and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, and chill well.

Before serving, whisk in the softened ice cream and liquor.

Note: The custard can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap.

Per 1-cup serving: 405 calories, 7 gm protein, 39 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 8 gm saturated fat, 312 mg cholesterol, 84 mg sodium.