Friday, February 12, 2016

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Best Bread Pudding: Apple Dumpling French Toast Bake

Years ago LtDan and I went Sunday driving after church and ended up in the Waxahachie town square.  There was only one diner open that Sunday afternoon and we entered through the screen door and had a delightful home cooked meal, but what I will never forget was dessert.  It was my first ever Bread Pudding and I only ordered it after a glowing recommendation from our waitress.  At the time, it was my strong opinion that desserts without "chocolate" somewhere in the name weren't worthy of a place on the dessert menu.  How in the world could plain bread be made into a satisfying dessert?

WELL ... this Bread Pudding forever changed my mind - it needed no chocolate to make it memorably delicious.  It was warm and spicy and cinnamony and the perfect blend of comfort and sweet.  It was so good that I'm still looking for a Bread Pudding that rivals it more than 25 years later.  Thus far, I haven't found one that comes close, although I'm enjoying looking for it :o)

With the New Year, I decided to bring the quest into my own kitchen - learning how to make the Best Bread Pudding is on my list of New Years Resolutions ... a slightly surprising goal since I don't really like to cook (but I try).  I found a recipe from Betty Crocker that sounded yummy and made it for dessert at our weekly family dinner.

image via

Apple Dumpling French Toast Bake
via, recipe by Susan Shetzel


2 Granny Smith apples, diced
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix
6 small croissants, torn into bite-size pieces


1.  Heat oven to 350.  Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with baking spray.  Set aside.

2.  In a 10-inch skillet, saute apples with sugars until apples are tender and sugar is caramelized.  Add vanilla and stir.  Remove from heat.

3.  While apples are cooking, mix butter with cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl.

4.  In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk.  Beat in Bisquick mix and butter mixture with whisk.  Add in pieces of croissant; allow them to soak while apples cook.

5.  When apples are ready, add apple mixture to soaking croissants.  Stir to combine.  Pour into baking dish.

6.  Bake 45 minutes.  Serve hot.

Instead of dicing the apples, I used my HandiChopper to chop them very small, since some people at my table look upon fruit with distaste.  That did the trick - there was no side-eye.  The entire dish was completely gone by noon the next day ... it was definitely a hit!

I loved this recipe - the buttery croissants were dreamy, and I liked how the Bisquick filled in and around everything.  It was also easy to make, which is on my list of criteria for any recipe I try.  I will definitely make this again, and although it was delicious, it didn't quite take me back to the town square, so my resolution is yet to be complete.

The pursuit has only just begun, it seems, but I think we're up for the chase.  If you have a great Bread Pudding recipe, please share!

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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