Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding























    Who says you can't have chocolate for breakfast!  Who says you can't have dessert?  I love bread pudding!  I would chose it over any kind of cake or pie.  If I see bread pudding on a menu, I order it.  There’s just something so comforting about a slab of warm bread pudding especially one with chocolate running through it! This is one of my favorite of all the bread puddings I make.  You will love this one!  


Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

12 ounce bag of mini chocolate chips

8 large croissants or a loaf of Brioche, Challah, or any sweet bread













If using Croissants, tear each one into pieces to cover the bottom of dish.  If using bread, cut the brioche loaf into 1-inch pieces and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.













Drizzle with melted butter. Toss in chocolate chips with the bread cubes. 












In a large bowl, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. 










Whisk eggs until smooth. Add hot milk mixture to eggs slowly, stirring constantly.













Do not whisk or custard will have too much foam on the surface. Strain custard over bread and chocolate. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow custard to soak into bread. 











Place baking dish in another larger pan. Pour hot water into larger dish to reach 1 inch up side of dish. 











Bake the bread pudding for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until custard is set and brioche is golden. 












Serve warm.



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Butter Pecan Pancakes










Do you like Cracker Barrel Pancakes?  Then you’ll love these.  Light and fluffy with just amount of flavor and crunch. If you're in the mood for buttery pancakes, make this recipe for your next batch.  So good!

Butter Pecan Pancakes  

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

¾ cup chopped pecans 

Preheat your electric griddle to 350 degrees. If you’re using a large skillet set the heat on medium. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.






In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until well-mixed. Set aside.














In another medium-size bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the cooled melted butter until well-blended. Next, whisk in the buttermilk.














Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until almost all of the flour is moistened. Do not over mix the batter. A few lumps are okay.












Brush the heated griddle or skillet with oil or butter. Pour the batter in 1/4th cup portions onto the griddle. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of each pancake.  Cook until bubbles appear on top of pancakes. Then flip over with a spatula until golden brown.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.








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Rich and Creamy Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes












This recipe is beyond everything you could imagine potatoes could be. 










What do you call a casserole filled with tender slices of potatoes, baked in a rich cream sauce?  Do you call it Scalloped potatoes or Potatoes Au gratin.  It doesn’t matter what you call it when potatoes are made with Smoked Gruyere cheese, they’re fantastic!  Smoked Gruyere comes in different kinds and brands.  My favorite is Apple Smoked.



My recipe calls for nutty Gruyère cheese, which is folded in a rich, roux-based creamy sauce that's poured over sliced potatoes and baked.  Everyone loves cheesy potatoes and when you make them with smoked Gruyere cheese, they’re even better!  These melt in your mouth!





Rich and Creamy Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes


2 tablespoons salted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups whole milk or half and half

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 ounces Smoked Gruyere, shredded

½ cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

2 lbs. (about 5 large) potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick.

½ cup chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 












Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Just until the flour has cooked through.





Whisk in about 1/2 cup milk and cook, whisking, until thickened. Add another 1/2 cup milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, another 3 to 4 minutes.










Add the nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and half the Gruyere cheese. Cook gently for a few minutes, making sure all the cheese is melted. 











Grease or butter an 8-inch square baking dish or a round 10 inch casserole. You can use non-stick spray if you prefer.  Arrange half of the potatoes all over the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. 












Layer in half of the cream mixture and spread with spatula or the back of a spoon.









Arrange the other half of the potatoes on top, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining cream sauce, remaining Gruyere shredded cheese, the Monterrey Jack cheese and chives.  










Cover tight with foil and bake for 60 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned on top, an additional 15-20 minutes. 












Let cool for about 10 minutes, then serve. 











Tips for best results

I use Yukon gold but you can use any potato. Russets also work. 












Slicing the potatoes. To have evenly sliced potatoes, I prefer to use a mandolin slicer. If you don’t have one, you can do it with a sharp knife. Just try to cut the potatoes thin and evenly.














Sauce. This recipe is all about sauce! It’s rich, creamy, and flavorful. When you make it, just make sure you simmer it enough to get the right consistency, so it won’t be too liquid or thick. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon.









Potatoes so tender they melt in your mouth. A sauce so rich and creamy with a touch of smokey goodness.  This is a keeper my friends.

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