Bread pudding is not only a stand-out on any holiday table, but true comfort food, especially during the cooler months of the year. The pudding is served warm with a custardy center and it’s always a nice contrast to the crunchy top that you break through with your spoon. Traditionally it’s made with cream, milk and eggs, but sometimes it’s fun to play with the flavorings and use something festive, like eggnog.
Eggnog is a treat to sip on while at a Christmas party or in front of a roaring fire. The creamy consistency makes it truly a splurge beverage, so enjoy every gulp. Warming spices like nutmeg bring this drink into the holiday spirit and a small dash of cinnamon, adds to the already spectacular cheer.
Soaking cubes of dried bread into a bath of eggnog just seems like a great start and adding a splash of rum and vanilla to Santa’s party is definitely in order. The chunks of bread drink up every last bit of custard and the entire dish is baked until golden brown and puffy, like Chris Kringle’s cheeks at Christmastime.
The warm caramel sauce makes this dessert even more special and you might even catch a family member or two sneaking a finger-dip into the bowl right before serving. Scoop the pudding out onto plates and pour the amber sugar on top and wait for it to roll over the sides like an erupting volcano. If this doesn’t bring on the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will? Merry Christmas!
4 cups cubed egg or French bread
2 cups light eggnog or almond nog
3 tablespoons rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
splash of rum, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cubed bread on a sheet pan and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, nog, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk until combined.
- Add toasted bread to custard and stir. Allow bread to rest in custard for 20 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a greased 1-quart oven-safe dish. Place on sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until deep golden brown and puffed on top.
- Remove and dust with powdered sugar immediately. Wait a 5 minutes and dust again.
- In a saucepan, add sugar and 1/4 cup water. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook sugar until deep golden brown (do not stir during cooking) about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add cream, whisk until mixture becomes smooth. Add butter, vanilla, salt and more rum – whisk again until creamy. Serve with pudding. Enjoy!