Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 20: Brownie Bread Pudding

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! We decided to cook in for the holiday and made a wonderful ham with a yummy cranberry glaze, homemade mustard (for another Blog), scalloped turnips (from the Pioneer Women’s web site), and broccoli. A pretty good meal!! We were about 2 hours behind schedule somehow and didn’t eat until 9pm, but hey, we had fun anyway.

We were trying to decide what to do for dessert, of course we were planning something chocolate, and it got decided for us. A few days before Valentine’s Day, one of Scott’s co-workers had brought in some brownies for their Valentine’s party and they were like bricks! They were made from one of those brownie pans that is shaped like a zig-zag so that every piece of brownie has edges. Well, I guess they got over baked or maybe the zig-zag pan is just not what it’s cracked up to be?! Who knows? Anyway, Scott said why not just make a bread pudding out of the dry brownies & the next thing I knew we had a bag of brownies at home to make bread pudding. So the challenge began!

Well, first let me say, bread pudding is about my most favorite dessert in the world. There is something about bread pudding, with just simple ingredients, you can make so many varieties of sweet and savory bread puddings. Valentine’s Day 2004, Scott researched about 50 bread pudding recipes on the web and put them all together in a bread pudding cookbook! Ah, how romantic! It was a wonderful gift and I have been making all sorts of bread pudding for years now. So now I needed to adapt a recipe to use brownies instead of bread. I decided on a chocolate bread pudding recipe and just omitted adding chocolate, replaced it with brownies and reduced the amount of white bread. I was amazed how wonderful this bread pudding turned out. (okay, they're brownies, how bad could it be?!) We were going to add cherries in the recipe and forgot to put them in. So we decided to soak the dried cherries in some liqueur and then just pour it over the top, and let me tell you, an excellent choice!! Our little cherries were so drunk on Grand Marnier, they were amazing!

Well, have fun with it. Bread pudding is pretty forgiving and you can pretty much add whatever you want and it will pretty much turn out great! This was definitely a hillbilly recipe and thanks Emeril for getting me going!

Yummy Brownie Bread Pudding

  • 3 cups dry brownies

  • 1 cup day-old white bread

  • 2 cups Half & Half

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier (separated in half)

  • ½ cup dried cherries

Special ingredients: Grand Marnier or any type of brandy or specialty liqueur you would like would give a nice little flavor to your topping

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.

Step 2: Pre-soak the dried cherries in 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (super yum!)

Step 3: Wisk together eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier

Step 4: Add Half & Half to the egg mixture. Mix well.

Step 5: Cut brownies and bread into 1-inch size pieces

Step 6: Place white bread in the milk/egg mixture and let soak for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Place brownies in the bottom of the greased pan.

Step 8: Pour white bread, egg, and cream mixture over the brownies.

Step 9: Bake in the oven for about 45-55 minutes. Bake until the pudding is set. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve the brownie bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream (my favorite type) and pour the soaked cherries over your ice cream. You could even heat up the drunken soaked cherries a little and then pour them over the ice cream, that would be pretty good too!

Enjoy just one of my favorite bread pudding recipes. It is any easy dessert & pretty impressive. And it might be a little hillbilly!

Recipe credit to: Adapted from Emeril’s Creole Christmas

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