Beignet Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

My sweet husband recently returned from a trip to New Orleans and was so thoughtful as to bring home a big bag of beignets from the famed Café du Monde in the French Market. If you’ve ever been to this landmark destination, you undoubtedly enjoyed hot beignets doused in confectioner’s sugar with a steaming cup of cafe au lait. While I truly appreciated my husband’s good intentions, I knew that even after a few hours in the bag, the beignets had lost much of their original yumminess.

I tried to restore their original soft pillowy texture by reheating them in the oven, steaming, and microwaving, but found all of these techinques lacking. They came out either too hard, too chewy, or gummy in texture.

Here are the beignets several days old, heavily covered with powdered sugar from Café du Monde.

I decided that making bread pudding from the beignets was probably the best way to redeem these treats. Paying tribute to New Orleans, a creamy whiskey sauce seemed the ideal accompaniment.

Cut the beignets (or whatever day old treats you have) into chunks so that they can easily absorb the the custard.
The custard is a mixture of eggs, half and half, milk, vanilla, and warm spices.
Pour custard mixture over the beignets and allow to soak for at least an hour or until well-absorbed.

While you may not be able to make this recipe with beignets from Café du Monde, it can be made with any type of day old sweet bread–donuts, pastries, panettone, or even croissants. If you use a bread that is not very sweet, croissants, for example, add 1/4 cup of sugar to the recipe.

After baking, the bread pudding is browned and crusty on top with a creamy, moist custard inside.
Pour the warm whiskey sauce over the pudding right before serving. If you are entertaining, pouring the sauce tableside creates a bit of theatre for guests!  
5 from 1 vote
Print

Beignet Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 10-12 beignets, donuts or other sweet pastries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Cut beignets into 1" x 1" pieces. Whisk together eggs, half and half, milk and vanilla together. Add spices and salt and incorporate. 

  2. Pour over beignets and allow to sit at room temperature for at least one hour or until the beignets have fully absorbed the custard mix. 

  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until set.

5 from 1 vote
Print

Whiskey Sauce


Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, combine the half and half and sugar. Mix the cornstarch with whiskey in a small bowl and whisk to blend until the mixture is smooth.  Add whiskey mixture into the cream mixture and bring to a boil.

  2. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt and stir in the butter.

  3. Pour warm sauce generously over the top of the beignet bread pudding.

This bread pudding retains the deep fried goodness and flavor of the New Orleans beignets. The whiskey sauce adds a new flavor profile and additional richness. It was the perfect ending to our holiday meal.

My Home at Christmas

For some reason it took me longer than usual to get my home decorated for the holidays this year. While I usually get it done over a weekend, this year it seemed to evolve over several weeks following Thanksgiving. I’ve shared my holiday toy truck, shirt pillow and snow globe projects with you in previous posts. In this post, I thought I’d show you a few other things I’ve done around the house to decorate for the holidays.

I featured these window screens in my very first blog post last year. I decided to repaint them charcoal gray which I think gives a little more weight to the fireplace than the previous blue color. I flanked them with rustic lanterns and intertwined fairy lights through magnolia leaves, pine cones and a “noel” sign.

The family room got some red plaid flannel pillows, a cable knit throw, and a small tree.
The round mirror in the dining room has been encircled with faux greenery and red berries.
I placed a few pinecones in my antique ironstone egg cup collection inside my dining room hutch. A few sprigs of cedar add life and draw attention to this area behind glass.

Rolled up red and white hand towels are displayed on the bamboo shelf. A cinnamon spiced candle surrounded by pine cones and cedar adds festive color and fragrance to the bathroom.

Over the toilet is a festive holiday sign that I topped with a red bow and some greenery. I changed out the towels on the hooks over the tub with pretty red ones that I bring out only at this time of year.

 A red velour pillow, a scented candle and a faux fur throw cozy up the master bedroom.

The crewel work “Holly Jolly” pillow was made from a placemat from Target, while the larger pillow in back was crafted from an old sweater.
A bunch of faux mistletoe on a beautiful crystal hanging from the door knob at our entry door is a lovely reminder to kiss the ones we love often.

I’d like to sincerely thank all my dear readers for your support and encouragment during my first year as a blogger. Every comment, like, share, pin, or repost means the world to me. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Magical Miniature Worlds


Snow globes and terrariums have been around forever. These miniature worlds under glass have always seemed to capture the imagination. And why not? They have a magical quality that evokes childhood memories and wonder.

I recently purchased a glass cloche for the purpose of creating my own holiday-themed miniature world. Going through my collection of Christmas ornaments, I found a couple of ceramic figurines of ice skaters which were the perfect focal point for my scene. Using a vintage silver serving bowl as my base, I filled it with fluffy fake snow. A few bottle brush trees of varying sizes were nestled in around the figurines. A wooden sleigh ornament added another texture to the scene. This little world requires more than a glance to take in, and brings detail and whimsy to my holiday decor. 

To make it even more magical, I placed a string of fairy lights inside the cloche (hiding the battery pack under the snow). It looks enchanting at night!

I enjoyed creating this little scene and once I got started, there was no stopping me! I realized that just about any clear glass container could be used for such a project and set about my home to find other vessels from which to make more snow globes.

I learned a few things the hard way while working on this project. I had to disassemble and re-do my globes several times, so I’m sharing my tips in hopes you won’t make the same mistakes.

Tips for Making Snow Globes

  1. The wider the mouth of your jar, the more space you will have to create your scene, so look for jars with large lids.
  2. A pretty ribbon around the jar lid edge covers any printing and adds a bit of elegance. Glue ribbon around the edge of the jar lid first. 
  3. Test your scene inside the jar (with the lid screwed on) to make sure everything fits before adding snow. I made the mistake of putting everything perfectly in place only to find my tree was too tall to fit inside the jar!
  4. In order to lift the scene enough to be clearly visible above the snow, you will likely need to elevate your pieces. I used a wine cork sliced into rounds to raise my ornaments a bit. Adhere your ornaments to the cork with glue. 
  5. Once you are satisfied with the appearance and fit of your scene, secure the ornaments to the lid with glue.
  6. Place the snow inside the jar.
  7. With your figures upside down, place the lid onto the jar. Then turn it upright so that the snow falls onto your scene. You may need to shake it a bit in order to settle the snow evenly between your figurines.

    I ditched my original jar and found a jar with wider mouth for this one. With the larger platform I was able to fit the tall tree and add a second one.
The German caroler figurine was given to me by a dear neighbor when I was a child. I happened to have the red piano ornament which was the perfect accompaniment. Elevated on a green depression glass pedestal dish, it adds a sweet holiday touch to the bathroom.
I emptied a large glass canister of laundry room supplies and used it to make another snow globe. Positioned behind the canister is a jewelry tree draped with a strand of gold beads. Surrounded by a few sprigs of greenery and placed on my kitchen island, it adds holiday spirit to a room that generally doesn’t get a lot of Christmas decorating.

This is a project that can probably be made with things you already have on hand. While Christmas ornaments make great focal points, don’t limit yourself to them. A bird’s nest, pine cones, or other natural elements also look lovely surrounded by snow and placed under glass.

So I urge you not to toss that pickle jar when the pickles run out! Use it to create your own snow globe for the holidays. I think you’ll find this project will spark your imagination and fill your home fill with a touch of magic. 

Shirt Pillow Tutorial

For me, a big part of decorating for the holidays includes changing out pillows in nearly every room of my home. It’s an easy and inexpensive thing to do that infuses the house with the Christmas spirit. When the season is over, I simply remove the holiday pillow cover and put a different cover on the pillow form. Storing pillow covers takes up little space and allows me to continuously change up the look of my rooms.

Last year, I made holiday pillow covers from a place mat, sweaters, a skirt, a flannel nightgown, and even a velour bath robe. This year, I added to my collection with a pillow cover made from a flannel shirt.

I found this bold red and black buffalo check men’s flannel shirt at the thrift store and knew the print would be perfect for my holiday decor. Here’s how I transformed it into a pillow.

  1. Measure first. This shirt was exactly 20″ across and my pillow form measured 20″ X 20″ so I was able to use the existing side seams without having to cut or sew them.
  2.  Button the shirt completely and spread it out on a table so that it lies flat, making sure there are no wrinkles on either side. 
  3.  Cut straight across the top of the shirt just under the sleeves. Then, cut straight across the bottom so that the total length is approximately an inch larger than your pillow form. If your shirt is larger than your pillow form, cut 1/2″ larger than your pillow form on each side. This shirt’s checked pattern made cutting a straight line rather easy.

4. Now, turn it inside out so that the right sides of the fabric are together. Pin across the cut edges and then sew the edges together.

5.  Unbutton the shirt and turn it right side out. Ironing the seams open before turning creates a more professional look, especially if your fabric is stiff. With the tip of your scissors, poke out the corners so that you get nice sharp points on all four corners.

6.  Insert your pillow form, button it up, and ta-da–you’ve just made a pillow from a shirt!

Would you believe this pillow only took about 15 minutes to make? It’s a fun, easy way to recycle old shirts. When the season is over, I’ll remove this cover and put on a different one, but right now I’m enjoying the cozy look it brings to my living room.

Do you have any old shirts that would make great pillows? If so, I encourage you to give this project a try. It’s easier than you think.