Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Event: 20 Days

I can't believe it is 20 days to Christmas!  It is such a busy time and it flies by so fast!  Here is what is on  the calendar today:

Around here, we often have people over for dinner in the middle of the week, especially around the holidays.  When we do, I am always challenged to come up with a simple dessert to serve along with a simple meal.  It can't take too much time in the day to make, but has to be indulgent (what dessert isn't indulgent?).  This dessert is a perfect candidate for middle of the week entertaining during the holidays. 

Croissant Bread Pudding w/ Citrus Carmel Sauce

Bread Pudding
4 large croissants
1 red baking apple
6 eggs
1/2 c. plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
2 c. half and half
1 orange
1/2 c. pecans chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly spray baker with nonstick cooking spray.  Slice croissants from top to bottom into 1/2 inch slices.  Set aside 16 of the largest slices.  Cube remaining slices and place in bottom of baker.  Arrange reserved slices over cubes in an overlapping circular pattern.
2.  Core and slice apple, leaving peel on.  Tuck apple slices between croissant slices.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 c. sugar.  Warm up half and half in microwave (on HIGH) for 2 minutes or until hot.  Slowly add half and half to egg mixture; whisking until well blended.  Carefully pour egg mixture over croissants.  If necessary, lightly press croissants down to coat.
4.  Zest and juice orange (you will need about 2 tsp. zest and 1/4 c. juice); set juice aside.  Combine remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar, orange zest, and pecans; sprinkle over croissants.  Bake 30-35 Minutes or until golden brown and set in center.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Citrus Carmel Sauce
3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/2 c. golden raisins (optional)
1/4 c. orange juice (reserved from above)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a Microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds or until hot.  Serve sauce over bread pudding.

The recipe is from Pampered Chef.

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