Punkin Power

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Bummed about family, or lack there of on my side, I put all my energy into baking today.  I started with Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding.  I have been daydreaming about it since I saw it on his Thanksgiving Throwdown with Ree Drummond.  Link to recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/pumpkin-bread-pudding-with-spicy-caramel-apple-sauce-and-vanilla-bean-creme-anglaise-recipe/index.html

Warning: Labor Intensive. Extreme Patience Required!  BUT totally WOOORRRTTTHHH IT!

First, I toasted some pumpkin bread.  I cheated and bought a couple loaves from Bob Evans.  Next I started on the custard portion of the bread pudding.

Look at all those beautiful specs of deliciousness!  “Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.”   I wish the pot was big enough that I could fit into it… YUM!  And I am only on step 1 of the recipe.

“Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined, remove the vanilla pod, and whisk in the bourbon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.”

“Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking glass baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the sides of the glass dish. ”

“Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath and cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.”

WHAT!?!?!  I have to wait how long before I can stuff my face?  SERIOUSLY?

I needed to make the vanilla bean creme angli-whatever sauce anyway.  So instead of watching the bread pudding cook, I got to work.  I was so afraid of ruining this sauce!  Anytime a recipe involves bringing cream or milk to a simmer, my anxiety level skyrockets.

Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup pure cane sugar

Bring the half-and-half and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

“Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until at the pale ribbon stage.”

“Slowly whisk in the hot half-and-half, return the mixture to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set over an ice bath. Stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.”

So after I completed this sauce, I again resorted to cheating, and decided not to make the caramel sauce.  I had a bottle of caramel sauce in the pantry.  And I intended on using it.



NEXT, I made “lots of chocolate chips” cookies.  I made your classic chocolate chip cookie recipe but doubled the chocolate chips.  Really 2 cups is NOT enough.  YUM YUM YUM.  I did 2 cups semi-sweet and 2 cup milk chocolate chips.  YUM YUM YUMMM!

AND!  I made them HUGE!  These cookies are serious.  Seriously AWESOME!  Ya, I know.


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