pumpkin pie bread pudding

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Last week I was forced to thaw my pumpkin challah ahead of schedule in order to complete its photo-op and I knew that re-freezing it really wasn’t an option. Since I didn’t want all of the challah to go to waste I had to do something with it (poor me), so I went to the easy option: bread pudding.

I took my other bread pudding recipe and adapted it slightly… well, by “adapted” I mean “poured a can of pumpkin into”… That counts as “adapted,” right?

I also switched from white sugar to brown because, to me, pumpkin just screams “BROWN SUGAR” and reduced the liquids a bit to make up for the additional liquid provided by the pumpkin puree. I probably could have reduced the liquids a bit more since I had originally planned to only had 1 cup of pumpkin puree… then I got tired thinking of what I would do with the rest of the can of pumpkin and just dumped the rest of it in.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? There is some real science going on here, guys.

I worried that it might be too much liquid, and maybe it was, the pudding took way longer than others have to bake, although that could have been because I insisted on opening the oven door every ten minutes to check on it. (Shame on me, I should know better.)

I’ve included the recipe as I made it below, along with some notes in case you’re interested in scaling back on the liquid.

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So I took the pudding out of the oven with trepidation, terrified that it was going to be a soggy, soupy mess. Then, after I let it cool off a bit on a wire rack I popped into the fridge to firm up. This step is important…

The refrigerator is where the magic happens.

In the refrigerator, what was once a warm bread pudding transforms into some sort of magical bread pudding/pumpkin pie hybrid. The top of the pudding stays wonderfully crisp while the bottom turned into what I can only describe as pumpkin pie.

Like, literally, the exact taste and texture of a creamy pumpkin pie.

It. was. amazing.

The refrigerator also has the added bonus of firming up the bread pudding enough for you to actually slice and serve it versus having to scoop it with a spoon.  Slicing the pudding also makes freezing it an option. If that’s your thing, you can see my notes on freezing the bread pudding at the end of the recipe.

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I topped my bread pudding with a healthy dollop of freshly-whipped cream (spiked with some cinnamon).  I suspect that a scoop of ice cream or creme anglaise would be a nice touch, too.

pumpkin pie bread pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 casserole, 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cups stale bread (I used pumpkin challah)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips

Instructions

  1. Cut bread into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the bread and cinnamon chips.
  3. Once combined, add the bread and cinnamon chips; toss to coat.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325F. While the oven is preheating, set the bread pudding on the counter to take the chill off.
  6. Once the oven is preheated, remove plastic wrap from bread pudding and cover pudding with aluminum foil bake 20 minutes covered, then remove cover and bake for an additional 30 -50 minutes, until the bread pudding no longer releases liquid when pressed and the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  7. Cool bread pudding on a wire rack for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve (4 hours or up to overnight). This is where the magic happens.
  8. When ready to serve, either reheat individual servings of bread pudding for about 30 seconds each (being careful not to overheat them) in the microwave or reheat the entire pan in the oven by placing it in a cool oven, covered with aluminum foil. Set oven to 350 and by the time your oven is heated the bread pudding should be warmed through (you can poke it to check, if you like).
  9. Serve with creme anglaise, ice cream, or cinnamon-spiced whipped cream.

Notes

My bread pudding came out beautifully, but you could easily make the following modifications if you are short on any ingredients, however your cooking time may be slightly less: - You could use just 1 cup of pumpkin puree instead of one whole can, keeping other liquid ingredients the same - If you are using a full can of pumpkin puree, you could easily get away with reducing the whole milk and cream by another 1/4 cup each (or just reducing one by a half cup) - You could use all heavy cream or sub in half-and-half instead of using a mixture of heavy cream and whole milk

*As is - this recipe will create a nice crust on top of the bread pudding. If you prefer to not have a crusty top to your bread pudding, leave it covered for the entire baking time.

*The bread pudding magic really happens after its chill in the fridge, so you could serve it fresh from the oven but I strongly recommend the chill. This is what transforms the lower portion to the texture of pumpkin pie.

*You can (and I did) wrap individual servings of bread pudding tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them to enjoy later. Place in refrigerator to thaw and then heat for 30 seconds in the microwave (or warm in the oven).

http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/14/pumpkin-pie-bread-pudding/

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thursday things – a better way to chop onions, owl facts, peanut butter pudding, and more

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We are a couple of weeks into spring now so it’s only fitting that we are brushing triple digits, with our highs in the upper 90s. If anyone who does not live in the southwest US is looking for a summer room-mate – I’m free. Totally. Seriously.

Save me?

Please?

In food news I found one of those “kitchen tips” that is actually helpful (instead of rage-inducing). A whole new (to me) way to chop an onion. Seriously. I tried it and it was glorious and I will be chopping onions like this from now on.

I also stumbled upon what might just be the coolest cake ever. If you can call it a cake… It’s like a cake/gyro hybrid (is your brain melting yet?) I mean, they call it a cake so I think we can call it a cake. Let’s just stick with cake, OK?

Also, did you know that honey lasts forever? If so, did you know why honey lasts forever?

Ever confused about how much (or if) to tip? The answer is to always tip, but here’s a chart from Food Republic to help you decide how much.

I’m normally not a fan of videos because they require too much commitment. I mean, a whole minute and half of my time PLUS I have to turn on my sound? Come on now. But this one is worth it.

And this one only requires half of the commitment, because sound is completely optional. I think the moral of this one is that FH and I need to get a ping pong table.

I’ve also solved a problem that has been plaguing me for my whole life. The lack of peanut butter pudding. Has anyone else noticed this?

No? Just me?

There are a million flavors of pudding, aside from the usual chocolate and vanilla you can get butterscotch, pistachio, even cookies and cream and gingerbread… yet for some reason no one has created a peanut butter pudding that I can purchase at the grocery store.

How can this be!?

Well, after enduring this hardship for 29 years, I finally made my own. I wanted to keep it as easy as possible, so I just doctored an instant pudding mix to include peanut butter.

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And it was glorious.

Never again shall I have to endure a life without peanut butter pudding, my friends.

Never again! (But seriously, Jell-o, get on that, will you!? Powdered peanut butter exists, PUT IT IN A PACKET WITH YOUR PUDDING MIX! WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THESE THINGS!?)

peanut butter pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 box instant french vanilla pudding
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Melt peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl on 50% power until smooth and runny, about 30 to 60 seconds.
  2. Beat milk and pudding mix in a medium bowl until the mixture begins to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add peanut butter and continue beating another 2 minutes until combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least five minutes.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/04/10/thursday-things-a-better-way-to-chop-onions-owl-facts-peanut-butter-pudding-and-more/

COOKIE MADNESS: Easy Pudding Cookies

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Well, it happened.  I’ve fallen victim to that evil thing known as the “common cold”.  Or, as I’ve been referring to it, a “commercial cold”… you know, like they show in the commercials.  Where some poor soul is like  sneeze, sneeze, blow nose, sniffle… I almost never get sick so I didn’t even know that was a real thing.  I thought it was just a dramatic take on the common cold.  I should have known better, the TV would never lie to me!

Why am I telling you this?  Because I’m running on very little sleep, have been up since 2:30 am, and am writing this at the wee hour of 4:00 am… without my glasses, because I didn’t want to turn on a light on my way out of the bedroom.

So I’m sure this particular post will not be winning any literary medals (to say the least).  I’m sure a more responsible party wouldn’t be writing their post at 4:00 am on the morning they plan to post it, but let’s just not talk about that.

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These cookies use the magic of pudding to stay nice and chewy.  For these cookies, I used butterscotch pudding, but I’m more excited for all the other flavors you could make.  You could use any flavor of pudding you want to make an infinite number of flavor combinations. I used butterscotch and chocolate, in a throwback to my chewy butterscotch bars, I immediately regretted not adding marshmallows.  WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME??

Oh hey, with Christmas rapidly approaching, any of you Instagramers out there, go ahead and follow @wee_eats and tag your own cookie pictures with #cookiemadness for a chance to be included in my Christmas Cookie recipe roundup!

Pudding Cookies

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small (3.9 oz) package instant pudding (I used butterscotch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups mix-ins of your choice (I used a mix of butterscotch chips and chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment

2. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffly.  Add dry pudding mix and beat until well-mixed, then add the eggs and vanilla extract.  Add the flour in two additions, mixing until just incorporated.   Stir in your mix-ins.

4. Scoop by tablespoons onto baking sheets.  Mine didn’t spread much (possibly because I left them in the fridge too long and the pudding mix may have had too much time to pudding-ify) so I ended up gently smooshing the tops flat to avoid scoop-shaped cookies.  So my note to you is opposite of what I do with most of my cookies – DO NOT CHILL the dough.  Bake these right after mixing.  Maybe bake only a couple of cookies in the first batch (one smooshed and one not smooshed) to see if smooshing will be necessary.

5.  Bake 10 – 12 minutes until edges are just lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  (I cool mine on the sheet until the oven beeps for the next batch to go in, but that’s because I swap between two baking sheets).

You may also like:

butterscotch bars

oreo snowflake cookies

no bake cookies

oreo dirt

dirt main

Dirt is the quintessential Halloween treat. I remember I first enjoyed it at my grandma’s Halloween party. I don’t know how old I was, but I was young enough to be at my grandma’s… for a Halloween party. So, I was pretty young, I guess. I don’t remember the specifics of grandma’s dirt recipe, but I know that every recipe I saw after that had cream cheese. Since I spent the majority of my life (up until the last few months, actually) hating cream cheese, I had to create my own equally (or more-so) delicious version.

So, I don’t know if this is officially “dirt”, but it’s a creamy chocolate dessert, covered with oreos, that you can stick worms and other fun stuff in to make it look like a graveyard (if you’re going Halloween-y). Otherwise, you can opt out of the extra decoration and just enjoy yourself some creamy, chocolatey, oreo goodness.

Oh, and you don’t have to do individual servings. If you’re going “halloweeny” sometimes it’s better to do one big cake pan and turn it into a graveyard (I’ll post a picture of that version later). :)

Dirt

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 large package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 container whipped topping
  • 1/2 package (or more…) Oreos, crushed
  • gummi worms, or other decorations (if desired)

1. Make pudding according to package directions.

2. Spread pudding on bottom layer of dish, reserving about 1/4 – 1/3 of the mixture in a separate bowl.

3. Mix half of the whipped topping and half of the crushed oreos with the reserved chocolate pudding. Spread on top of pudding layer.

4. Cover with remaining whipped topping and a generous sprinkling of Oreos. Go on, dump ‘em on there…

5. Decorate with gummi worms, gummi bears, “grave stones” (aka cookies); if desired. Chill a couple hours in the fridge before serving.

* To make “grave stones”, dip elf cookie, graham cracker, anything that general shape, into melted white chocolate or white candy couveture ( if you have some black food coloring, you can turn it gray ). let dry, and using a food-safe marker or icing write “RIP”

* To make “ghosts” dip nutter butter (or anything that shape) into white candy couveture, draw or pipe on the little black eyes and mouth.

* You could also use rolled fondant instead of couveture if desired. It all depends on how fancy you want to get. If you’re not that into it, just do gummi worms, or even just cute halloween-y cupcake toppers – it’s the easy way out :)