. It's that time of the month again! No, not that time of the month. Get your head outta the gutters, it's the holidays! ☺ But you guessed it, it's ICC time!! And as you know, one of my favorite parts of the months [nerd alert!]. I had such a blast making Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls and Mini Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes, how could I not look forward to this?!
So what did we have to work with in December? Well, very festive ingredients for sure...
Cranberries and Eggnog
However, I will say that when I first saw eggnog, I had a little [or more than usual] blank in my head. I've only ever done anything with eggnog just last year when I made Eggnog Cheesecake [which I have not posted, but if you would like the recipe let me know and it'll be my next Tried & True Tuesday]. And when I baked with it for the first time, it was also the very first time I had ever tasted eggnog. So I felt a little behind the eight ball with this ingredient.
I did know that I wanted to do something decadent and rich. Something perfectly holiday-like. And what I came up with is just that. Not bragging, but just puttin' it out there.
My little concoction of Cranberry Eggnog Bread Pudding is absolutely wonderful. It screams Christmas, winter, and any other word you can associate with this time of the year. Seriously, it's scrumptious. I was a tad skeptical thinking this would dish would turn out, but the eggnog worked perfectly as a substitute for heavy whipping cream, giving the bread a little sweetness and extraordinary spice. The cranberries add a burst of tartness every other bite, complementing the breadiness and eggnoggy flavor juuuuust right.
And the texture of this bread pudding? I know, for some people bread pudding is just not their thing. But the combination of bread, liquid, and flavor are just right, not too soggy or too dry. But landing right in the center, a tender and moist bread pudding. I will be using the base of this recipe for years to come, it's that memorable.
I realize my blog has been flooded with cranberry treats lately, but what can I say, it's the holidays [that rhymed]! So you can bet you're favorite present that I'll be throwing out some more cranberry recipes, I can't help it. I'll try to mix it up a bit for you though.
Anywho, another great ICC experience! Let's hope it rolls on into the New Year. Happy eating! .
- The eggnog flavor in this recipe is by no means over powering. I was pretty nervous about this happening, because as we all know, the flavor of eggnog is very distinct. But I really do think the amount I chose to add is just right; however, if you're an eggnog fanatic or not so much, you can adjust the amount of eggnog you'd like to use, just add or take away the same amount of heavy whipping cream to equal 2 cups of liquid.
- I chose to use cherry-flavored cranberries. I personally adore these but you can use whichever type of cranberry you'd like.
- I used exactly 1 round loaf of cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest Bread Company [my definite go-to business for any type of bready goodness]. I chose this bread because I thought the extra cinnamon would be wonderful, but you can use what ever type of bread you have on hand.
- Not sure if you took note, but I would like to point out my brand new 2 quart Emile Henry baking dish that I won from a giveaway over at Zoe Bake's. First, I NEVER win anything, so I was literally jumping up and down when I found out. And second, this dish is the bomb.com. It's absolutely beautiful and if you don't know anything about the brand, well...it's one of the best. It would sure make for some good holiday gifts ☺
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1-1/2 c. eggnog
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 c. dried bread cubes
1 (6 oz.) package dried cherry-flavored cranberries
1. In a small bowl, combine eggnog, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Gradually whisk milk mixture into egg mixture.
4. Place dried bread cubes into an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle cranberries evenly over bread, making sure some of the cranberries get into the center of the mixture (I just lifted up a few pieces of bread here and there to get the cranberries evenly spread throughout).
5. Pour milk mixture evenly over bread mixture, making sure to get all of the top pieces covered. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon to moisten bread. Cover with foil and chill for 1 to 24 hours.
Yield: 12 servings