As I mentioned in my previous post, I traveled to Spring for work for the week. What I don't think I've mentioned before is that my boyfriend works for Deloitte & Touche, a large public accounting firm. Of course, my travel plans happened to fall on the last week of their "busy season." That fancy little collection of words basically entails their employees working all hours of the night for several weeks and you can bet that we rarely, and I mean rarely, ever saw each other. Wait, don't we also have three dogs that never got to see their daddy? Yep, there's the [three] little kinks in my story. Fortunately, I was able to persuade a great mutual friend of ours to house/puppy-sit for the week. Seroiusly, thank the LORD he is around.
Aside from [madly] cleaning the house last weekend, I figured a nice little breakfast treat for our knight-in-shining-armor was desperately needed. If you've ever been to our house, you can vouch for me that we literally do not have any food besides MAYBE some chocolate chips that I used in a previous baking venture (ask my dad who visited for Christmas and claims that he lost 10 lbs. while he was here). It's sad, and comical at the same time, but I'm working on it.
Anywho, I came across the recipe for Bread Pudding Muffins from JoyofBaking.com a while back. Another one of my guilty, guilty pleasures? Bread pudding. So this fun twist definitely caught my attention. Instead of baking the bread pudding in a 13x9-inch pan, which is usually the standard way, this recipe separates the mixture in to individual muffin cups. A beyond perfect breakfast item for people on the go or just a quick snack in the afternoon.
The bread pudding itself is filled with luscious bread, cranberries (or raisins, your choice!), and chunks of apple. Another great thing about these that I found is that the longer they are able to sit, the more flavorful they become. So making them ahead of time is actually recommended and that always makes life a little easier, doesn't it?
MmMmmMm. I ALSO recommend that you go make these right now. Whether they're for breakfast, lunch, or dessert, everyone will thank you! Happy baking! .
Bread Pudding Muffins
7 c. bread cubes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 c. half & half or light cream
1 c. milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries
1 small apple, peeled, cored and diced
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place rack in middle of oven. Butter or spray with nonstick vegetable spray 12 muffin cups.
2. Place bread cubes in large bowl and add cream and milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and butter.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and lemon zest. Stir dried ingredients into bread mixture and then fold in raisins and apple chunks.
4. Evenly divide mixture among muffins cups. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Yield: 12 muffins
- If you've made bread pudding before, most recipes call for stale bread. Knowing this, I let the bread (I used a loaf of challah from Trader Joe's, by the way) sit out for a day. However, I DON'T recommend doing that for this treat. My muffins turned out a tad dry at first (they got better as the days went on, as I mentioned they would) and I'm almost certain it's because the dry bread soaked up all of the liquid.
- When you mix the bread with the cream and milk, I would put the ingredients into a 13x9 pan and press down slightly to get the wet ingredients entirely over the bread (and keep the mixture in the pan the entire time until you're ready to put it in the muffin cups). I initially did this step in a bowl and the constant folding to combine the milk and bread tore up the bread just a bit.
- I used cranberries and a small Pink Lady Apple (my personal favorite) this time around. The tartness of the cranberries with the sweetness of the apple was just...good!