Tag Archives: Dessert

Doughnut Bread Pudding

Doughnut Bread Pudding

This post has been brought to you by Fat Tuesday.  Eat on, New Orleans!

Alex, I’ll take oxymorons for $2000.

A:  The absolute best use of leftover doughnuts.

Q:  What is doughnut bread pudding?


The oxymoron in this case is, “leftover doughnuts”.  Really, how often do you come across leftover doughnuts?  Well, in the rare case that you do, you’ll now know what to do with them.

Doughnuts taking a bath

It’s important to realize that doughnuts come in two primary forms.  There are the yeast doughnuts which are super light, airy, and it’s easy to polish off a half dozen before realizing that you haven’t stopped to breath yet.  There are also cake doughnuts.  These are much denser, but equally tasty.  Both kinds result in a wonderful bread pudding, but in different ways.  The yeast doughnuts will puff up when baked while the cake doughnuts tend to be more dense.  Feel free to co-mingle or make two desserts-in-one as done below.  Either way, this is a rich and decadent dessert that is just right to help celebrate the debauchery of Fat Tuesday.

Fresh from the oven

Doughnut Bread Pudding


3 glazed doughnuts (yeast)*

3 chocolate glazed doughnuts (cake)

4 eggs

3 cups whole milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

mix of cinnamon and sugar to top (optional)

To Make:

Cut the doughnuts up into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.  Lay out the pieces on a cutting board in order to dry out a little bit (you can skip this step if your doughnuts are already a couple of days old).  Once they have sat for a few hours, make the custard mixture.

Beat the eggs.  Whisk in the milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and vanilla.  Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.  You can lay out the doughnut pieces in any fashion that you’d like.  Either mix and match the two (or more) types of doughnuts or keep them divided.  Evenly pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts.  Use the back side of a large spatula and press the doughnuts into the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (or overnight), every once in a while pressing the doughnut pieces to be sure they are submerged in the egg mixture.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325F.  Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the the center is just set.

To Serve:

Enjoy hot.  Now.  Right now.  This very instant.  Or cold, the next morning for breakfast, with a cup of good coffee or a glass of milk.

* If you are feeling a little crazy, go ahead and use any kind of doughnut you have hanging around… jelly, frosted, crullers, it is all fair game.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dessert, Recipes

Citrus-Almond Bars

Citrus-Almond Bars


In my opinion, one of the best things about winter is the availability of fresh, US-grown citrus.  We try to eat locally as much as possible but in the middle of winter, I really start to miss fresh fruit.  Come January, my definition of local expands to include Florida so we can load up on oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. 

Filling ingredients


 In addition to providing lots of nutrients, all this citrus brings a much needed dose of sunshine into otherwise dreary days.  We eat oranges plain, juice lemons to add to sauces, and use all kinds of citrus to make desserts.  These citrus-almond bars are one of our favorites.  This recipe offers a little twist on the traditional lemon bar by using chopped almonds in the crust and a mix of lemon and orange juice and zest in the filling.  There are more almonds studding the top of the filling with a little extra crunch.  Dust the whole thing with powdered sugar once it has cooled and your wintery day suddenly seems a little bit brighter. 

Baked bars, dotted with almonds


Citrus Bars 

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Smoke Cooking 



1/3 cup butter 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tbls finely chopped almonds 


2 eggs 

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 tbls almond meal (you can substitute all-purpose flour) 

The zest of one medium orange 

2 tbls freshly squeezed orange juice 

The zest of one lemon 

1 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1/2 tsp baking powder 

3 tbls finely chopped almonds 

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional) 

To Make: 

 For crust, in a medium bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Beat until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the 1 cup flour and 3 tbls nuts until the mixture is crumbly.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Meanwhile, for the filling, in a small bowl stir together the eggs, the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the almond meal, the orange and lemon zest, the orange and lemon juices, and baking powder.  Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until combined.  Pour over hot baked layer and sprinkle with 2 tbls of chopped nuts. 

Bake (350 degrees) for about 20 minutes more or until the edges are lightly browned and the center is set.  Cool pan on a wire rack. 

To Serve: 

Sift powdered sugar over the top if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator.  Makes about 20 small bars.

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Filed under Baked goods, Bars and Brownies, Dessert, Recipes

Bourbon Balls

Bourbon Balls

Thanksgiving is over but the marathon holiday season has only just begun.  If you are anything like me, you inevitably find yourself with a lot of things you want to do and a lot of (fun) commitments, but not a lot of time.  No matter how crunched for time I get, when the cookie bug bites, I have to respond.  Thankfully, I found this recipe for Bourbon Balls. 

Mmm, bourbon

These little gems whip up quickly, taste delicious, and only get better as they sit.  Plus, they have the added benefit of making you feel like you are having a nice stiff drink with your dessert.  And who doesn’t need a drink now and then during the holidays?

Making the balls

Bourbon Balls

Recipe from The Joy of Cooking


1 cup plus 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided

2 tbls unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa

1/4 cup bourbon (use the good stuff because it is the predominant flavor in the cookies)

2 tbls light corn syrup

2 1/2 crushed vanilla wafers (about 10 ounces of whole cookies)

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

To Make:

Sift 1 cup of powdered sugar and the cocoa powder together into a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the bourbon and corn syrup until well blended.  Stir the bourbon mixture into the sugar and cocoa.

Crush the vanilla wafers in a food processor or by putting them into a plastic zip top bag and crushing with a rolling pin until the cookies are medium-fine crumbs.  Stir the cookies and pecans together and add them to the sugar and bourbon mixture until well combined.  The dough will be crumbly.

Using your hands, roll 1-inch balls of the mixture.  Don’t be afraid to work it a little bit to make sure the balls are stuck together.  Roll each ball in the remaining powdered sugar.

To Serve:

Makes approximately 40 balls.  Store at room temperature in an airtight plastic container with a layer of parchment or wax paper in between.  They will store for up to 3 weeks and get better as they age.


Filed under Cookies, Dessert, Recipes

Carrot Pudding

Carrot Pudding

From the first year that my husband and I met, I have gone to Thanksgiving dinner at his house.  His mother is an excellent cook and between her, his grandmother, and his sister (a trained pastry chef), they put on a pretty mean spread… with enough food for 20 people.  My family lives further away and since the traffic around Thanksgiving is usually pretty awful, we have historically taken the easy route and headed to dinner a few towns over. 

Cooking carrots

This year, we are switching things up.  Marc’s parents are headed to North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with his sister.  That means that we are packing up the girls and the car and making the six hour drive to upstate NY where my mom lives.  I am pretty excited because it means that we will get to have a big ol’ dinner with my family (all 7 of us) and because it will be our chance to do some Thanksgiving cooking.  Marc and my mom have struck a deal… if she watches the girls, he will cook the whole meal.  I think that both parties are pretty excited.

Pudding all mixed

In honor of this momentous occasion, we have been tossing around different menu options and trying out new recipes.  This recipe for carrot pudding is an unusal, and delicious, way to cook carrots.  The original recipe was more savory but we modified it to make a dish that is elegant in presentation and sweet enough for dessert.  Not only is this recipe unique, it is simple to put together and can be done ahead of time to help spare the overworked Thanksgiving cook.

Ready for the oven

Carrot Pudding* 

Adapted from The Thanksgiving Table (2001 edition)


5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup milk

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

To Make:

Place the carrots in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat until carrots are simmering, and cook until they can easily be pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.  Drain and cool slightly.  Puree the carrots with the lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tbls of the butter and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining butter, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Beat until smooth.  Add the carrots and beat until well blended.  Add the milk and eggs and mix until smooth.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, until the pudding is puffed and lightly browned and the center is firm to the touch, about 50-60 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve immediately with a dollop of softly whipped fresh cream.  Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

* To make this dish more savory: increase the salt to 1 tsp, add 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and 2 tbls grated yellow onion.

You can cook and puree the carrots up to two days in advance.  Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before making the pudding.  The whole pudding can be assembled several hours in advance.  Cover and refrigerate, then remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking.

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Filed under Dessert, Pudding, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian