Monday, April 8, 2013

Holy Bread Pudding!!

OH MY God... this recipe was right on the money! Last week, I whipped up a pumpkin beer bread, which was really great, but since I live alone, it went unfinished. In fact, I only ate a few slices because it was so dense (in a delicious sop-up-your-soup kind of way). Also, I hate throwing food away if it can be re-purposed, so I decided to use my leftovers to make a bread pudding. Now I know what you're thinking, "I'm never eating at Heather's because she'll feed me old food!" So not true, but when it comes to throwing away a perfectly delicious beer bread or taking advantage of its crusty texture and making a sweet comfort food, you'd better believe that sucker won't end up in the bin.

If you don't already have a beer bread on hand, you can make this one, substituting white sugar for brown sugar and adding 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. You won't be disappointed. Just be sure to use a beer that will complement the flavor of the other ingredients. Applehead is pretty delish.

This looks kind of disgusting, but it's bread pudding- it's not
supposed to be pretty! Fear not, though, it's delicious!
I gave up dairy milk eight or nine years ago and have been drinking almond milk since, so this recipe uses milked nuts rather than genuine baby cow formula. However, if you're more of a dairy fiend, feel free to make a substitution you're comfortable with. I also used eggbeaters rather than whole eggs, but if you'd prefer to use a more natural ingredient, use four eggs

Additionally, since I was a few slices short on beer bread, I improvised and used a few slices of whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread. Bomb diggity.

1 beer bread prepared as indicated above
1 cup eggbeaters
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Yes, it's that easy!

1. Preheat oven to 350'.

2. Cut your bread into chunks.Try using clean kitchen scissors rather than battling with your bread knife, which probably isn't sharp anyway! Let's face it, your knife set is from Target, right?

3. Toss your bread into a prepared baking dish.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix till your arm flab shakes like mad. (Not judging-- my tris could use a few reps, too).

5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and do your best to completely saturate it.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes. Pin It

Chocolate Pistachio Icebox Cupcakes

As you may know by now, I gave up baking for Lent, which has since passed, but I have yet to have a moment to update my blog. That's not true; I just haven't felt interested in sharing lately. But I'm back and in generous form!

So as usual, I threw a birthday party for four of my coworkers, and although I ordered the majority of the food from LaSalle Bakery (OMG YUM!), I simply could not let a party pass without bringing something in. Add to that, the fact that the celebration took place two days before St. Patricks's Day, which meant that I felt compelled to make something green. Predicament #1: I had a sneaking suspicion that my coworkers (who think I'm crazy anyway) would not appreciate me blending up spinach smoothies. Predicament #2: I could not bake. What's a girl to do, what's a girl to do?

I pondered this for several weeks (hours, actually), and then it hit me. Icebox cake... in individual form! I'll admit that I was so excited about this idea that I bought the wafer cookies with which I would construct my masterpieces, one month in advance of the party. And there they sat in my cabinet, longing to be eaten. Worst month of my life, really.

So anyway, these are ridiculously easy, and would actually make a great kid-friendly kitchen project. I'll have to keep this in mind for when I have a slew of children running around my home.

A box of thin wafer cookies. There is a Swedish brand that makes them.
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 box pistachio pudding (Or you can use whatever you want)- Do not buy sugar free unless you enjoy the taste of chemicals.
Food coloring, if desired
Stuff to sprinkle on top. I wish I'd had rainbow sprinkles, but it seems as though mini CC's were all that were taking up residence in my food decoration pantry.

1. Combine heavy whipping cream and pudding in a large bowl.

2. With a hand mixer, beat the cream mixture for about five minutes, or until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency. This is actually how I make frosting the majority of the time!

3. Determine how high you want your cupcakes to be. These were made with three cookies. Then, count your cookies and divide them up!

4. Arrange wafer cookies into single layers and pipe or dollop whipped cream onto the bottom cookie. Press another cookie on top of the cream, and repeat.

5. Pipe one more dollop on the top cookie and sprinkle with fancy stuff, if desired.

6. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours so that the cookies get soft. I let my chill (ha ha... I love puns) overnight, then brought them to work in the morning, and served them around 1pm.

Pin It