When I was younger, the thought of bread pudding really weirded me out.  Now that I’m what most folks refer to as…an adult… I LOVE bread pudding.  That’s why I’ve spent time perfecting it!

Normally my go-to is a delicious bourbon pecan bread pudding.  While that’s  still one of my favorites, last year I experimented with the recipe a little bit and I was so happy I did because the result was an instant hit with everyone and the dessert really screamed it’s the holiday season!!

Just in time for the holidays, I present: Eggnog Bread Pudding!

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This serves 10 happy mouths!

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • A 1-pound loaf of challah bread (You can use brioche but I prefer challah)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (or both!)
  • 4 cups eggnog (I used vanilla flavored)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rum (I used dark. You can omit this if you don’t want alcohol it, though it will cook off and just leave the flavor behind.)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Directions:

Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and put the cubed challah in it. Sprinkle with the pecans, dried cranberries and/or raisins.  I used raisins and cranberries in mine and wanted pecans because I normally use them in my other bread puddings.  I was out of pecans and my brother-in-law asked why I left them out and I had to admit I was out.  Add the pecans! Unless you have a nut allergy.  Then leave the pecans out and maybe double up the raisins and/or cranberries…  =)

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Whisk together the eggnog, milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl into a custard-like mixture.  It will look similar to this (and not very pretty, I might add!):

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Pour the custard mixture over the bread in the baking dish; giving the bread a stir to make sure it’s coated. Let the pudding sit for 1 hour, so the bread can fully absorb the mixture.  I usually put it in the fridge for about 40 minutes and then take it out for the last 20 if I’m using a glass dish so my dish doesn’t crack going straight from cold to the hot oven.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once it is ready, put the dish in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until puffy and set. Remove, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. This is absolutely lovely when served with some fresh whipped cream.

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Fresh Rum Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/110ml) heavy (double) cream
  • 1 teaspoon confectioners’ (icing) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rum (omit this if you don’t want rum whipped cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)

Directions:

Just before serving, make the whipped cream by beating the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, rum, and vanilla until the cream just holds its shape and is no longer runny.  Put on top and enjoy!

Let me know if you try this out!

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