Caramel Almond Bread Pudding

IMG_2615Hello all– Every summer our group of young moms come on over for breakfast and then we’re off for a morning of thrift store shopping.  It’s some good laughs to compare the bargains we come up with!  Who doesn’t love a teddy beat shaped mug? Or an ashtray with a California map imprinted?  (ashtray??!) Love those girls!

So last Saturday, we were catching up around the table over this bread pudding and mugs of coffee. It was just sweet enough with custard-y filling and crunchy almonds–topped with caramel.  Just fine for breakfast with friends.

CARAMEL ALMOND BREAD PUDDING

Almond Butter:
1 cup unsalted toasted almonds
2 tab. butter
1 tsp. amaretto
(or almond extract or vanilla)*
2 tab. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Bread Pudding:
3 cups half & half (or whole milk)
1 tab. amaretto*
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 soft-ish baguette**
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tab. sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting to serve
Caramel sauce for serving***
optional– Whipped cream if you’re serving this for dessert (or breakfast– if you’re up for whipped cream for breakfast!)

IMG_2648

To make the almond butter, put the 1 cup toasted almonds, butter, 1 tsp. amaretto, 2 tab. sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt into a blender and blend into a paste (I used my trusty rusty sick blender since I don’t have a real honest blender).

Then in a large bowl, whisk the eggs until thoroughly mixed.  And stir in the half & half, 1 tab. amaretto, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Set aside.

Slice the baguette into neat slices (about 3/4″ thick)– and arrange them overlapping in a 10″ square or round baking dish.****  Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let it sit for an hour (or refrigerate and let sit overnight).

Sprinkle the 1/4 cup sliced almonds and then the 1 tab. sugar over the top.  Cover the dish with foil, tenting it up so it doesn’t touch the bread.

Bake the bread pudding for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.  Then remove the foil.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more until the top is golden brown.

To serve it up, dust the top with a little powdered sugar shaken through a sieve and have a little pot warmed caramel on the side to pour on top if you like.

notes:
*I use amaretto in place of almond flavoring because it’s so much less expensive and a big bottle will last about forever.  Vanilla would do just fine if that’s what you have on hand.
**I used a softer store brand baguette.  The nice thin ones with the super hard crust wouldn’t soak up the egg custard as well.  The original recipe I worked from called for brioche bread.  I think you could use most any loaf really.
*** I used Hershey’s caramel sauce warmed in the microwave since I was making several other dishes for this meal.  You could make your own lovely homemade sauce if you want!!
****A 7″x11″ would work as well.  I have a large-ish tart pan that was OK.

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19 thoughts on “Caramel Almond Bread Pudding

  1. It’s funny you mentioned an ashtray…… I have never smoked, but my mom did. She had a Christmas Ashtray that I loved 0 so 1940’s style…. well, I have it now and out it comes each Christmas. Never used, anymore, for ashes but I just love it. It has pinecones and evergreen branches painted on it and a red “garnet” set in it – I guess a berry. LOL Love those old strange things…… 😀
    cate

  2. Oh I love almonds almost just as much as pecans and who doesn’t love caramel! This bread pudding looks amazing and one I must try!! You can always find fun and sometimes CRAZY things at thrift stores can’t you?
    Have a great weekend Rhonda!!

  3. Hi Rhonda – look how you arranged the bread in a spiral, that is so unique! One of the things that always turned me off to bread pudding is that it is kind of gloppy. I don’t think this recipe would be with how you have arranged the bread. – Kat

    • thanks Kat– Gloppy is just fine for how it tastes– but I totally know what you mean about the pretty part– that’s part of the fun of cooking– making it look good enough to eat, don’t you think?? Fun to hear for you!

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