A few days ago I pondered on what I should make for the Christmas Party that the Stephieface Clan will be attending tomorrow, and for a while I toyed with the idea of Twinkie Bread Pudding. The glitch in that idea at the end was that your average box of Twinkies has (I think) 10 cakes, and each box of 10 costs about $3.79ish- the recipe calls for 24 Twinkies, so that would be a little over $11 for one ingredient, I’d still have more to go. There is a thrifty part of me that screamed, “What the hell are you thinking?! You aren’t dating these people!”…. so I opted for something else instead.
There was another recipe that caught my eye called Almond Croissant Bread Pudding. (If you can’t tell, I lean towards slightly nontraditional foods.) So I decided to go with that….. until I went shopping for the ingredients. In the original recipe, it called for almond paste. I had no idea what almond paste was. When I found it in the store, the thrifty part of me screamed again- a tiny 8oz can of Almond paste costs $5.99. I then began to ponder why I attend festivities where you are asked to bring something. In the end I made this:
I call it….. Nuthouse Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (Nuthouse being where I would be sent were I to follow through with any of my earlier bread pudding plans). I used the Almond Croissant recipe with a few changes:
1. Instead of 6 large croissants I used 2 thingies of mini croissants from Walmart. I have no idea what to call the thingies, its the plastic cake packages turned upside down and filled with minis that state they hold 1 oz of minis (and have about dozen or so inside).
2. I opted for milk chocolate chips instead of the almond slivers, because chocolate is just awesomer than nuts (in more ways than just cooking).
3. I also substituted some nut filling stuff for the almond paste, the stuff was called Baker brand fine dessert nut filling in a wee jar. That was on sale for $2.
4. I omitted the Amaretto, because… well… I’m just not fond of the flavor.
I followed the recipe pretty much as written except for the substitutions, and then only adding a layer of chips between the little rounds of croissants and the big ones (not a lot, just like 25 chips or so). I have no idea how it tastes, but I should find out tomorrow- wish me luck!
The recipe for the Almond Croissant Bread Pudding;
6 large croissants, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
8 large eggs, beaten slightly
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon Amaretto
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond paste (3 ounces), cut into bits
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
Butter a 13 x 9-inch pan and place the smallest croissant rounds in a layer at the bottom, then top with a layer of the larger ones.
Whisk eggs and sugar well together, then add milk, Amaretto and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour over croissant rounds. Sprinkle with almond paste and push down with a spoon so that the bread absorbs the liquid. Let set for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Sprinkle almonds all over the top and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm or room temperature.
Please note that if you too are going to use the disposable foil baking pans like I did, when you move this baby in and out of the oven, and transporting it anywhere, you MUST give it support underneath. To navigate the oven, I used a cookie sheet turned over, and to transport it I had several layers of cardboard that I placed the pan on and tied it with string. This gets so heavy that the foil pan can collapse in half. So save yourself the trouble and support that bread pudding!