February is a special month as Molly MacRae celebrates the third book in her Haunted Yarn Shop series, Spinning in Her Grave. We will be featuring comfort foods, especially Bread Pudding! Yummmm. This recipe and blog post from Molly kicks things off and even the photo is making me hungry. ** Comment in today’s post for a chance to win an advance copy of Spinning. I already have mine on order!
This winter is one for the books, isn’t it? If it had come with useful instructions, they might have been: hunker down, wrap up, and apply regular doses of comfort food. One of our favorite comfort foods is bread pudding. But, just as I enjoy revising the stories I write, I like revising recipes. Here’s one I’ve tinkered with since I belonged to a mail order cookbook club in 1985 and Reader’s Digest Quick, Thrifty Cooking arrived in my mailbox. In the book, the recipe is called Bread and Butter Pudding. By now, we call it Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Ginger, or Just Plain MMmmmmm. Here’s that version of the recipe:
½ cup chocolate chips
5 slices day-old bread (any combination of wheat, white, buns, or rolls)
Margarine or butter to spread on bread (up to 3 tablespoons)
2 cups milk, half and half, or nonfat dry milk
½ cup sugar (white or brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup crystalized ginger, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Spread one side of each piece of bread with butter or margarine. Fit the bread, buttered side up, into a greased 8” x 8” x 2” baking dish. Sprinkle bread with chocolate chips and ginger.
- Heat the milk and sugar until steaming. Stir in vanilla.
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly. Gradually stir hot milk into eggs. Pour mixture over the bread.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until the top is brown and a knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean.
There’s another version of the original simple recipe that we perfected this summer. It’s made with leftover sourdough bread, fresh rhubarb, pecans, crystalized ginger (we really like ginger) and orange zest. I named that version Mel’s Sourdough Rhubarb Bread Pudding, and let Mel Gresham, the café owner in my Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series invent it. You’ll find that recipe in Spinning in Her Grave, the third book in the series, coming out next month.
What have you been doing or eating to keep warm this winter?