There are days in this life when you just need a good dose of carbs. Sweet, rich, custardy carbs. Days when bourbon and butter never hurt.
With that said, allow me to present my totally over-the-top dessert concoction: Gingersnap Bread Pudding with Bourbon Butter Sauce. It’s bread pudding, but it is so, so much more. It is your ticket to comforting, custardy, carbohydrate heaven.
So what makes a good bread pudding? Good bread is a good place to start. Challah is my loaf of choice. It’s already a delicious, rich, eggy bread and it’ll soak up your sweetened custard like a sponge. Dried fruit is a must. Raisins are great, dried figs, or apricots in this case. A boozy component is essential. I soaked the apricots in bourbon and then, to be on the safe side, I made a bourbon and brown sugar sauce to drizzle (fine, drench) the bread pudding with. And, just for fun, I crunched up a bunch of gingersnaps and threw in a handful of candied ginger.
Added bonus: bread pudding is the absolute easiest homemade dessert. Just tear up a loaf of bread, crunch some cookies, and soak some dried fruit. Whisk up a custard with eggs, cream, and milk. Combine and bake. You’re almost there.
Occupy yourself while the bread pudding bakes by making a most decadent sauce to pour on the top to put this dessert completely over the top. Melt butter and whisk in brown sugar, bourbon, a couple of egg yolks to thicken things up, and a pinch of salt. Oh, boy.
There are problems in this world that can only be solved with a massive dose of carbs, cookies, butter, and bourbon and there is the kind of comfort that can only be found in a slab of bread pudding.
Uh-oh, this is a slippery slope; if bad days taste this good, I might want them to come around more often.
- FOR THE BREAD PUDDING
- 1 c. Dried Apricots, cut into strips or diced
- ½ c. Candied Ginger, cut into strips or diced
- 3 Tbsp. Bourbon
- 9-10 c. Challah, cubed or torn
- 2 c. Gingersnap Cookies, broken into bite-sized pieces, divided
- 5 Eggs
- 3 c. Whole Milk
- 2. c. Heavy Cream
- ½ c. Sugar
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- FOR THE BOURBON BUTTER SAUCE
- ½ c. Butter
- 1 c. Brown Sugar
- ¼ c. Bourbon
- 2 Egg Yolks
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9"x13" baking pan.
- Combine apricots and ginger in a small bowl. Add bourbon, stir. Allow to stand while you prep the rest of the bread pudding, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, combine bread and 1 c. of gingersnaps. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the soaked apricots and ginger.
- Pour liquid ingredients over the bread and gingersnaps. Evenly mix (your clean hands are the best utensil to accomplish this) and transfer to buttered baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining gingersnaps over the top. Bake until lightly golden and set, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- While the bread pudding is baking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Add the brown sugar and bourbon, whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the egg yolks while whisking. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, if desired.
- Serve the bread pudding warm with the warm bourbon sauce. Add a scoop of ice cream if your day has been particularly rough.