CHRISTMAS EGGNOG BREAD PUDDING
Recipe from Sober Celebrations
Who can imagine Christmas without eggnog? Instead of serving it in the punch bowl (where expectations of alcohol reside), use it to make this amazingly decadent warm dessert. Bread pudding in its own right will often call for alcoholic ingredients, usually in the accompanying sauce, so beware when ordering out. But here, where the baking and serving are under your command, this recipe is not only sober-safe but "soberlicious"!
You can make the bread pudding in individual baking dishes or ramekins instead of spooning out portions from one large baking dish. If you make it earlier in the day and it requires a little reheating, cover the baking dish with foil and place it in a water bath (a large roasting pan with hot water) in a low-temperature oven to prevent the pudding from becoming dry Individual ramekins can be quickly reheated in the microwave for a "just-baked" presentation.
Serves 6 to 8
• One 24-ounce loaf of sliced buttermilk or country-style bread, ends and crusts removed
• 4 large eggs
• 2 cups purchased eggnog
• 1 cup milk
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 gallon ice cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, or individual ramekins.
2. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the crustless bread slices into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, eggnog, milk, sugar, and nutmeg until they're well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes, stir gently with a rubber spatula, and let soak for 15 minutes until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid.
4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, smooth out the surface, and bake until the top is lightly golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes (about 20 minutes for smaller servings). Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and serve by spooning into individual bowls, topping with a scoop of ice cream.