Costco sells these big flats of croissants (12 to a pack). I often gaze at them lovingly (lustily) and then pass them by thinking – what on earth would I do with TWELVE large croissants?? The answer to this question is to serve four of them to your (or my) family for breakfast, and place the rest of them in a plastic bag. The next part is the hardest part. You have to wait. For two whole days. It’s an eternity. I know it is. But you can do it. After that you tear up the croissants (with your bare hands – quite a satisfying process, really), simmer some cream, throw in some eggs, sugar, AMARETTO, dried cranberries and chocolate and VOILA, bread pudding. You could make a little sauce to go on top, or whip up some slightly sweetened cream, or just eat it for breakfast pretending that croissants and dairy make an excellent start to the day (and there’s FRUIT, don’t forget the fruit).
Amaretto Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (serves 8-10)
- 1 cup Amaretto
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 8 large egg yolks
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 1-2 day-old large croissants
- 6 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Start a day ahead (or at least first thing in the morning). Soak the dried cranberries in 1 cup of Amaretto overnight. The next day almost all of the Amaretto will have been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Spray a 9×12 baking dish with vegetable spray (e.g. Pam).
Add the heavy cream to a medium saucepan. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often.
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Pour the hot cream mixture into the sugar while whisking constantly. If you don’t keep whisking you’ll curdle the egg yolks and end up with lightly scrambled eggs floating in your bread pudding. Blech.
Roughly chop the croissants and place in a large bowl. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the top and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the cranberries and any remaining Amaretto that wasn’t absorbed, as well as the chopped chocolate.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until set. Serve immediately with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.