bread puddingIf an evil man told me I had to choose between keeping my thumb, or never having bread pudding again in my entire life, I would chop of that appendage before the guy could even finish his ultimatum. Whack! Gone. Then I'd take some bread pudding to my face and all would be better again.

Needless to say, I'm a fanatic of this dessert. In fact, I find "dessert" to be a bit of a misnomer -- bread pudding is great for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. There is never a bad time to have it. Simply put, I love it and don't think I could live without it.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding With Brown Sugar Sauce

Ingredients for the Bread Pudding:

  • 6  cups dry firm white bread cubes or dry French bread cubes*
  • 1-1/4  cups semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

*To dry bread cubes, spread them out in a pan and bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Stir once or twice and remove when dry.

Preparation:

1. Place dry bread cubes in the bottom of a well-buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish (3-quart rectangular). Sprinkle the chocolate and pecans, walnuts, or almonds over dry bread cubes and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread, the chocolate pieces, and the nuts. Gently push down on the bread cubes with the back of a large spoon, making sure the bread absorbs the egg mixture, and the chocolate pieces and nuts are covered with the egg mixture.

3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If the top starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil until custard is set. Cool the bread pudding slightly. Serve warm with Brown-Sugar Sauce. Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients For the Brown Sugar Sauce:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

 1. In a saucepan, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch, then stir in water. Add the half-and-half or light cream, light-colored corn syrup and the butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly (mixture may look curdled).

2.Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Serve warm over bread pudding. (Cover and chill any leftover sauce for up to 3 days.) Makes 1-1/2 cups sauce or twelve 2-tablespoon servings of sauce.