Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pecan Pie Bread Pudding.

With whiskey maple cream sauce. 

Umm.. It's a good thing I posted that extremely healthy salad on Tuesday. Remember how I mentioned in that post that I had a few ingredients leftover from our Thanksgiving cooking, and that I could make some pecan pie cookies or a bread pudding with them? Well, an idea struck and I went a little wild with it. This dessert was 100% made with a "more is more" mentality. On Thanksgiving I made a chocolate pretzel pecan pie to take to dinner with Alex's family, but honestly I think that desserts can get a little lost after all that food. I made a total of four desserts, two for here and two for there, but I was so exhausted that I don't even remember if I tried them all. Hopefully they came out good, but who knows. Two straight days of cooking and you're bound to have a few flops. Anyway, I know for sure that I didn't end up trying the chocolate pretzel pecan pie, but I really loved the idea of it and it sure did look beautiful. After deciding to combine the ideas of pecan pie and bread pudding, I figured that I should go ahead and throw in some chocolate chips and pretzels, too. Not just any pretzels, of course. Peanut butter filled pretzels. And why stop there? I know some people make their pecan pies with maple syrup instead of corn syrup, so I figured that a pecan pie bread pudding could really use some maple, too. In the spirit of excess, I decided to make a whiskey maple cream sauce to rest each slice of bread pudding on. Then, in a move that was pure gluttony, I drizzled even more chocolate over the top. It would have been fine to stop there, but I decided to serve it with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. I'm pretty sure I only stopped there because my camera battery died and the ice cream was starting to melt. Otherwise, I think some whipped cream on top would have been a perfect final touch to this salty/sweet treat. Now, if someone could just come and take the pan away from me that would be great. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pecan Pie Bread Pudding


1 loaf of somewhat stale bread, cubed (bite-sized)*
6 large eggs
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup light corn syrup  
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (I use this vanilla bean paste)
2 cups pecan halves
¾ cups chocolate chips
5oz. of peanut butter pretzels (1 bag of H.K. Anderson brand peanut butter pretzel nuggets)

Whiskey maple cream sauce (recipe to follow)
Chocolate sauce (recipe to follow)
Vanilla ice cream, optional (for serving)

Whipped cream, optional (for serving)  

*Any French or Italian loaf should do, or if you have Challah that would be even better. I used a crusty, rustic loaf of Italian from The Fresh Market, and the final result did have a hearty, varied texture. In a bread pudding like this, with pretzels and nuts on top anyway, I liked it. If you want to make a softer, more custardy bread pudding, either cut the crusts off first, or use a softer bread.

Grease a 13x9" baking dish and place all of the bread cubes in it.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, condensed milk, corn syrup, brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish. 

Sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, and pretzels over the top. Allow to stand for about an hour. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. At this point, cover loosely with foil (so that the pecans and pretzels don't brown too much) and continue to bake for about 10-15 more minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Serve warm with whiskey maple cream sauce, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. 

Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

1½ cups heavy cream
5 tbsp. pure maple syrup
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tbsp. whiskey

Combine the cream, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for about 15 minutes.

When the sauce is thick, remove from heat and stir in the whiskey. Return the pan to the heat for a couple more minutes, continuing to whisk constantly.

Pour into a container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Stir before serving.

Chocolate Sauce

½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream
Instructions: Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl or liquid measuring cup. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until completely melted and smooth.



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