Grazing. That’s what I would call it. Rarely is our home filled with so many delicious… mostly high calorie, delectable foods. And I have been eating little bites here and there round the clock since Christmas. I figure my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape will kick in soon. But for now I am going to savor every bite. For dessert and for breakfast, my favorite treat is Christmas Bread Pudding. This recipe comes from my parents who started with a good recipe and have made it absolutely divine. I usually make it once a year on Christmas Eve and somehow that makes it even more delicious.
I need to warn you. There is nothing “Make it Do” about this recipe. Frangelico and Jack Daniels are expensive. I do only use the liquors for my bread pudding, so they last from year to year and happily it’s an investment I only have to make occasionally. Hopefully they don’t go bad!
I love the idea of bread pudding, which does have a “Make it Do” origin. It was created as a way to use up old dry bread, rather than letting it go to waste. I always have to buy croissants specifically for the bread pudding, then let them sit around for a few days or so because old bread works best. It really soaks up the liquid when it’s dry.
CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING
- 1 pound Croissants, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup Frangelico (a hazelnut liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread out croissant cubes evenly in pan. In a separate bowl whisk eggs. Add whipping cream, milk, sugar, Frangelico, vanilla extract and almond extract and whisk until well blended. Pour evenly over bread cubes. Sprinkle in dried cranberries and push down with a spoon to let the bread soak up all the liquid. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread into custard mixture. (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until pudding is set in center, about 40- 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm, with a drizzle of Jack Daniel’s sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
Serves 12 to 15
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp. whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey (or Bourbon)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.
Start with suitably dried out croissants.
Cube them and spread them evenly into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Add the Craisins. I love Craisins. I’m not a raisin fan, especially when they are baked. But Craisins are a little tart. And their color is so festive. They taste perfect in this pudding.
Sprinkle them evenly over the croissant cubes.
I whisk the heck out of the eggs. Then whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Pour the liquid evenly over the bread and press the bread down into the liquid with a spatula. Let it sit for a while and press it down again. Make sure all the bread is wet.
Put into a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. I bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I want to take a moment to explain what “coming out clean” means. It doesn’t mean totally clean. It just mean that it the knife is no longer eggy. And center isn’t very jiggly. I usually cook my pudding around 50 minutes. I hope that makes sense. I am cracking myself up about eggy and jiggly.
While the pudding is in the oven I make the Whiskey Sauce. I first melt the butter, then add the rest of the ingredients. I bring it to a low boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. You don’t want to scorch the cream.
Serve it warm with whipped cream on top. It is so rich and delicious. I hope you love it as much as I do.