OK gang, due to the volume of discussion and frustration regarding Connelly’s vs. Mrs Bowen’s vs. Flaherty’s, I’ve taken it upon myself to root out a decent recipe for homemade Tom & Jerry batter. Here’s the result of my research and experimentation (it should be noted that I pilfered 95 percent of this from an online recipe):
12 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 pounds powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Beat egg whites and salt in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form (when you lift your beater straight up the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape).
Beat the egg yolks to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and powdered sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture; mix. Stir in the cloves, allspice, and the egg whites; beat until well blended. Batter can be frozen or kept in refrigerator for several weeks.
To make a Tom and Jerry, put one jigger of dark rum and one jigger of brandy in a coffee cup, add a heaping tablespoon of batter, fill the cup with boiling water and garnish with a little ground nutmeg (most aficionados consider it a sacrilege to stir the batter, but I have one friend who won’t have it any other way).
Heaven!! A true PDD (Perfect Duluth Dram). And it only took me a half hour or so to whip up (plus this recipe makes a lot — several weeks worth for our household and a rotating cast of holiday guests). Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. My wife, upon hearing the recipe, remarked, “That’s cake frosting! No wonder people love it!”
One final caveat: use pasteurized eggs, available at Cub Foods, but — curiously — not at Mount Royal, last time I looked.
Cheers, and happy holidays!