Bread pudding was once considered a poor man’s dessert. It is made from scraps of stale bread soaked in a custard of milk and eggs and baked until a thick pudding-like consistency is accomplished. The first bread puddings were soaked in water and spices to sweeten it. Today’s bread puddings have come a long way. The thick, rich custards of today’s variety replace the bland water of the original bread puddings. Raisins are often added along with other dried fruits to create an extra special dessert. With all of the improvements made to the original dessert, bread pudding is often considered a culinary treat that many upscale restaurants serve as a specialty dessert.
This bread pudding is so easy and delicious, you will surely add it to your arsenal of favorite dessert recipes. It makes quite a bit so it is a great dessert to serve at a large dinner party. Make sure the bread is a few days stale and thoroughly soaked before baking. If the bread is too fresh, it will be more like mush instead of cake-like. Pour the rum sauce on top while it is still hot so it can soak into the bread pudding and be even more decadent! Enjoy!
4 c scalded milk
8 thick slices of stale French bread, diced into cubes
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/2 stick of butter
1/3 c dark rum
1 c powdered sugar
1. Soak bread in scalded milk for several minutes. Reserve milk in separate bowl and transfer bread to a greased pan.
2. Add the butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla to the reserved hot milk and mix until well combined.
3. Slowly pour mixture over bread and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
For the rum sauce:
1. In a saucepan, add butter, powdered sugar and rum.
2. Stir until melted and slowly add egg yolks.
3. Cook until thick and pour over cooked bread pudding.
Breads are not typically associated with desserts, however many “cakes” of the past were actually sweetened breads served as an after dinner sweet treat. The varieties are endless. Traditional dessert breads contain nuts, spices or fruits and are prepared for special occasions or during the holidays. Fruit cake is a good example of a traditional dessert bread. Dessert breads are a great alternative to a cake or pie because they can be topped with ice cream, homemade fruit spreads or served warm with fresh, creamy butter. They are also great served with coffee so you can eat your dessert for breakfast!
This cinnamon bread is incredibly cinnamon-y. It is a great addition to your holiday spread or would make a tasty coffee cake served at brunch. It is considered a quick bread recipe because there is no kneading of dough or proofing of yeast required. In other words, it is quick and easy but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. Serve it warm with apple butter and coffee. Enjoy!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp butter
1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.
2. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
3. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and butter until it appears crumbly.
4. Put the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top of the bread batter and swirl in with a butter knife.
Typically when a recipe calls for buttermilk, biscuits or pancakes come to mind. But this old fashioned ingredient yields more than just breakfast treats. Buttermilk is a wonderful addition to desserts because of its thick consistency and unique flavor. While its name is deceiving, buttermilk does not contain butter. It is made of the remaining milk after butter has been churned, then left to ferment to create that great tangy flavor. Buttermilk is a lovely addition to desserts because it makes cakes and pies moist, rich and creamy.
This old fashioned buttermilk pie has lemon zest added to give it a brighter taste than its counterparts. Lemon is the perfect combination to the creamy buttermilk creating a rich, surprising flavor unlike tradition buttermilk pies that call for vanilla and are much sweeter. Serve this old fashioned treat at your next dinner party or family get together and wow your guests at the simplicity and richness of such a subdued ingredient. Pair a slice with some vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream and enjoy!
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 unbaked pie crust
1. Combine lemon zest, sugar and flour in large bowl.
2. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.
3. Stir in the melted butter and buttermilk. Mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until set in the center.
5. Cool and serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.
Last night, the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was revealed on The Oprah Show. Sue Compton is taking home the Grand Prize of $1 MILLION! Congratulations, Ms. Compton! Now, let’s see the recipe!
Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups
– 1 package (16 oz) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies (24 cookies)
– 4 teaspoons sugar
– 1/3 cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Chopped Walnuts, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup Hershey’s® semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
– 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Seedless Red Raspberry Jam
– 1 1/2 cups vanilla bean ice cream, softened
– 24 fresh raspberries
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place 1 cookie dough round in each muffin cup. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Place 2 teaspoons of the sugar in small bowl. Dip end of wooden spoon handle in sugar; carefully press into center of each cookie to make 1-inch-wide indentation. Cool completely in pan, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix walnuts and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds, until smooth.
4. Run knife around edges of cups to loosen; gently remove from pan. Dip rim of each cup into melted chocolate, then into walnut mixture. Place walnut side up on cookie sheet with sides.
5. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave jam uncovered on High about 15 seconds until melted. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam into each cup. Freeze cups about 5 minutes or until chocolate is set.
6. Spoon ice cream into cups, using small cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon. Top each cup with fresh raspberry. Store in freezer; let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Kara’s Cupcakes is the vision of executive pastry chef, Kara Lind.
For Valentine’s Day, Kara’s Cupcakes is offering the “Sweet Package”: a selection of four “lovely” cupcakes that will make you swoon. Presented in a custom white box adorned with Kara’s Cupcakes signature wrapping. The perfect gift for your sweetie!
Price: $15 per box
Location: Kara’s Cupcakes has five locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. More info on their website at karascupcakes.com
Dean & DeLuca
Dean & DeLuca will be featuring the following cupcake treats for Valentine’s Day:
Melt My Heart Cupcakes: These cupcakes are filled with chewy chocolate caramel, which is sublime when gently warmed. The cupcakes are made from scratch in small batches. Made exclusively for Dean & DeLuca by Two Hearts Bakery in San Francisco. Nine cupcakes $55
Valentine Mini Cupcake Chocolates (in the image): Knipschildt Chocolatier in New York City created these chocolate confections to look just like miniature cupcakes. Three different ganache fillings: Champagne, strawberry, and passion fruit. Set of 9 $45
Cakes for Occasions specializes in creating the finest gourmet cakes, cupcakes and sinfully delicious pastries. Owner Kelly Delaney and her creations have been featured in a wide range of media, including NBC’s Today Show and FOX25 Morning News in Boston.
Cakes for Occasions just came out with a heart-shaped box filled with a bakers dozen (13) mini cupcakes. The assortment of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet cupcakes are all coated with chocolate. The delectable treats are packaged in a heart-shaped box and sell for $17.
This Valentine’s Day, we decided to feature some of the most beautiful cupcakes out there. The following are just a few suggestions (in random order) we have received from our readers. If you own a bakery shop or sell cupcakes online and have gorgeous Valentine’s Day cupcakes, don’t hesitate to contact us! If we like your “artwork”, we might feature you, too! Check out Part 2!
Sweet and Saucy Shop
Sweet & Saucy Shop specializes in custom desserts that taste as good as they look.
Melody Brandon, Owner and head Pastry Chef, realized her passion for desserts and stopped her pursuit of a career as a teacher and jumped head first into the world of butter, sugar, and flour! She headed to pastry school and graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts as a Pastry Chef. She started Sweet & Saucy Shop with the desire to create gorgeous, delicious, modern looking desserts.
Price: $3.oo – $3.25 each. Cupcake with custom fondant accents range in price from $3.50-$7.00 each. Their mini cupcakes: $1.50 – $2.00
Cupcake’s cupcakes will whisk you away to your childhood with just the first look!
One of their Valentine’s Day cupcakes: Black Bottom Cupcake – a dark chocolate cake with chocolate chip cheesecake baked in complimented with cream cheese icing . Mix & match a dozen -$30.00 or $2.75 each.
All of their cupcakes are made to order with real butter, whole milk and buy organic ingredients whenever possible with no preservatives. Nine flavors are baked every day for our customers. Their cupcakes are made-to-order, so they are at their very best! Special orders are always welcome with 24 hour notice.
Location: Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Columbia South Carolina; website: FreshCupcakes.com
Choose from their richly moist chocolate cupcake to their luscious classic red velvet to something fun like cookies ‘n cream and then pick your design. Both featured cupcakes are topped with their creamy vanilla butter cream frosting (one tinted pink). Their layered fondant hearts with red sprinkled edges and their fondant “XO” cut-out design with heart-sprinkled edges (see the gallery below) are the perfect Valentine’s treat that say “Wow.”
Kupcake Kitchen is a special-order cupcake company located in Santa Clarita, CA. All of their cupcakes are baked from scratch using only the freshest ingredients, are made to order, and are never frozen.
Prices: $15 for 12 mini kupcakes or 6 standard kupcakes.
Decadence D’Or (from Sweet Surrender) is a sumptuous cupcake, handcrafted from the most exclusive, rich, and enterprising ingredients around the globe. One main ingredient in Decadence D’Or is Palmira Single Estate Chocolate. This special chocolate varietal is derived from the rare and fragile Porcelana Criollo bean and cultivated to its fullest state of richness exclusively at the Valrhona plantation in Venezuela. Complementary to the Palmira Single Estate Chocolate is Tahitian Gold Vanilla Caviar. This fruit, after it is ripened for nine months, then hand-harvested, cured, sweat, dried, and hand-split, is obtained only by tedious manual extraction; it is truly a delicacy, both in taste and exclusivity. Topping the Decadence D’Or is the masterfully smooth Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac, 100 years in the making, and edible, metallic gold flakes, each painstakingly hand-placed. Finally, once baked to perfection, this grand dessert is encased in a stately, hand blown sugar Fleur-de-Lis and presented on a handmade exclusive elegant crackled-gold glass curved plate and bowl. Talk about the royal treatment!
Chef Long Nguyen, executive pastry chef of The Venetian and The Palazzo is the visionary genius behind all the exotic cupcake flavors and Chef Johann Springfield, head baker makes the cupcakes a reality.
Location: Sweet Surrender, located on The Palazzo casino (Las Vegas) floor next to guest elevators; special orders can be placed by dialing 702-607-0753.
Diana Sproveri Cupcakes
Since last Fall, Diana Sproveri Cupcakes have been delightfully devoured by Hollywood celebrities, busy executives, and hard-working mommies. Diana Sproveri’s designer baked goods have appeared in Sunset, People, and Good Day LA.
Why all the munching and buzzing? Diana Sproveri cupcakes are artisanal, decadent, and crafted from heirloom recipes. No matter the occasion, they make a great and delicious dessert!
Pricing: Online pricing is $36 per dozen. With premium Valentine’s gift-wrapped packaging, $47/dozen.
For Valentine’s day their special cupcake menu will include:
Cream Puff: Vanilla bean cupcake filled with fresh whipped cream, dipped in pure chocolate ganache, topped with a dollop of buttercream and an edible petal of gold Sprinkle Heart: Vanilla bean cupcake frosted with vanilla bean buttercream, rolled in solid red sprinkles that shape a heart. Vanilla Rose: Vanilla bean cupcake baked with a hint of rose essence frosted with a vanilla rose buttercream, topped with a small chocolate rose Cherries Jubilee (aka Bleeding Heart): Vanilla bean cupcake filled with cherry pie filling that overflows out of the vanilla bean buttercream. Take a bite and cherries flow out!
Some other cupcake creations that make great gift items and can be shipped nationally and won’t break your budget include: original “Cupcake in a jar” (see gallery below) and Cupcake truffles: An assortment of decadent chocolate cupcake truffles for the Valentine holiday, decorated with chocolate drizzles and chocolate hearts
Location: Yummy Cupcakes has two locations in LA but they ship nationally so anyone can enjoy their 175+ designer cupcake flavors, 42 vegan flavors, and 100% natural ingredients. Website: YummyCupcakes.com.
Sweet E’s, “the mini bake shop” is LA’s premier Dessert Delivery service. Sweet E’s bakes the perfect size treat, 2-3 bites of pure delight. They offer an array of deliciously convenient mini cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, and more! Everything at Sweet E’s is baked from scratch using only the finest ingredients, then hand decorated and delivered straight from their ovens to your table.
Sweet E’s specializes in customizing cupcakes, cakes, & cupcake towers to match the style and theme of any event. They will help you visualize your dream and design your creation specifically for you.
Valentine’s Day Special: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake Strawberry cake with milk chocolate frosting.
Price: Valentine’s Day cupcakes – $66/2 doz.
Location: With a kitchen based in North Hollywood, hand delivery is available anywhere in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Website: SweetEsBakeShop.com
Every Valentines Day, Kumquat Cupcakery- a catering company in New York City, drops the minimum of 3 dozen to 2 dozen cupcakes and adds a cute little holiday card. This year they are doing something really special: they are offering a box of “roses”! An assortment of vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet cupcakes adorned with different shades of frosting in the shape of roses.
Kumquat Cupackery was mentioned in many printed magazines and even on Martha Stewart!
Makes 24 Servings
Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 10 min.
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
– In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
– Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
– Combine filling ingredients; set aside. Punch dough down; divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 12-in. square. Spread filling over dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style; pinch to seal.
– Cut into 1-inch slices; place on greased baking sheets (four slices per sheet). Cover with waxed paper; flatten slices with palm of hand into 3-in. circles. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
– Cover with waxed paper and flatten or roll into 5-in. circles. Brush with butter. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and pecans; sprinkle over butter. Cover with waxed paper; roll or flatten again. Discard waxed paper.
– Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until browned. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen.
Palmiers or elephant ears are addictive puff pastry cookies, crunchy and caramelized with granulated sugar. A generous layer of Love’n Bake Cinnamon Schmear gives them an added dimension.
Use purchased puff pastry following the package instructions for thawing them. We’ve found that heating the Cinnamon Schmear briefly in a microwave helps make it more spreadable, especially if you prefer a thinner layer of filling. For a more even appearance, you can flip the pastries once they have baked half way. (We found this step unnecessary but share it for those who might be interested.)
Our thanks go out to Nicole, another intrepid Internet gastronaut, who had the idea of using Love’n Bake™ Schmear as a filling for this iconic French pastry.
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
– approximately 1/2 – 3/4 cup Love’n Bake™ Cinnamon Schmear, at room temperature
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper
Sprinkle a work table with half of the granulated sugar. Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry and place it on the sugar-coated work table. Roll out the puff pastry sheet into an even rectangle about 12 x 14 inches
Spread an even layer of Love’n Bake™ Schmear over the puff pastry. (To make it easier to spread, transfer the Schmear into a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 10 to 30 seconds.) Score the center of the puff pastry using the back of a knife. Tightly roll up each end of the pastry until they meet in the center.
Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining sugar and Schmear. The filled puff pastry can be refrigerated for up to 2 days to be cut and baked at a later time
Divide each log of rolled puff pastry into 15 uniform slices, each measuring slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. Place the dough, cut-side down, spaced 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press down lightly on each piece of dough with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Bake the pastries until well puffed, golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pastries and let them cool on a wire rack
Serve dusted lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
About: This recipe is courtesy of American Almond Products Company. Since 1924, American Almond Products Company has been crafting artisan-quality specialty nut ingredients for professional bakers, pastry chefs and chocolatiers. They recently created Love’n Bake™ to introduce home cooks to their products –all-natural almond paste, marzipan and hazelnut praline as well as its ready-to-use almond, chocolate and cinnamon Schmear™ fillings. The secret ingredient of professional bakers, Love’n Bake™ has been featured in the N.Y. Times, Food and Wine Magazine and newspapers nationwide. (In November, readers of O Magazine were treated to a Chocolate Pistachio Pie made with Love’n Bake™.)