Soft, cozy blankets by the fire. Warm hugs and laughter with relatives around the table. Familiar songs playing in the background while you celebrate with friends over a warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread pudding that’s oozing with creamy sauce, slowly melting ice cream, and a warm caramel topping. What does your ideal holiday look like?
I think that I’ve pretty much summed up my winter fantasy, but the stark reality of LIFE just might have another agenda! Because if I’ve learned one thing after raising three young boys through the holidays, it’s that the season is anything BUT perfect.
Don’t get me wrong: Thanksgiving and Christmas are certainly annual celebrations that we look forward to with great anticipation. We definitely enjoy some extra time laughing and snuggling with our loved ones while dining on delicious food. But these days are not idyllic scenes from a Charles Dickens novel! Instead, the joyful moments are often contrasted with toddler tantrums, mile-long Wish Lists for Santa, and the stress of finding everyone a gift while already strapped for time and pulled in a million different directions. This is called life, and I’m grateful for it every single day. But it’s not easy, and I’m the first to admit that I need all of the help that I can get!
The bread pudding that I’m sharing today is my best attempt at calming the chaos of the holidays while treating my family to something special. Because even during our busiest season, there’s always time for a sweet, homemade treat — especially when it only requires 10 minutes of prep! That’s the best of all worlds, right?!
For bread pudding, you obviously need delicious bread! I like to use our favorite soft and fluffy Martin’s Dinner Potato Rolls in this recipe because they are slightly sweet, making them ideal for a dessert dish.
After drying the bread by toasting it slightly in the oven, it’s ready to soak up all of the delicious warmly-spiced custard that bakes inside. A sprinkle of brown sugar on top results in a perfect caramelized, crusty exterior to offset the moist and tender inside.
We like to finish the bread pudding with a few extra toppings. A warm caramel (or chocolate) sauce works well, along with either ice cream or whipped cream. If you’re serving the dessert for Thanksgiving, a butter pecan ice cream or a pumpkin ice cream would be perfectly festive. For Christmas, try Eggnog flavored ice cream or cinnamon ice cream. And when all else fails…go with vanilla! But beware…this bread pudding will disappear fast, and you might just find yourself having that ideal holiday after all!
Holiday Spice Bread Pudding
- 3 cups 4 rolls cubed Martin’s dinner potato rolls
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- For serving: vanilla ice cream; whipped cream; caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 ½-quart (or 9-inch square) baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven until dry and crusty (but not browned) – about 5 minutes.
While the bread is in the oven, prepare the liquid ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Place bread cubes in the prepared dish. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm, topping with ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce.
Serving a larger crowd? You can easily double the ingredients and bake the bread pudding in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Do you love Martin’s products as much as we do? Be sure to enter the Martin’s Holiday Cookbook Contest this season! There’s no purchase necessary to enter. Just visit THIS SITE by Monday, January 2, 2017 to share your favorite holiday recipes. The winner will receive the “Ultimate Holiday Host/Hostess Prize Pack,” which is valued at approximately $560. You can find out more details, check out the rules, and enter the contest HERE. Good luck!
This post was sponsored by Martin’s. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Seasoned Mom possible!