Burnt Sugar Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

What do you traditionally make for dessert on Thanksgiving? We always over bake with usually an apple pie, a pumpkin pie and something like a pecan pie. Here’s a recipe alternative though that I wanted to share for a less traditional Thanksgiving dessert that is perfect for this time of the year (and so, so, so good).

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’ve partnered up with Got Milk again to bring you a recipe that features milk and cream in two new ways. Last week I shared on my milk art fall leaf kid’s craft (we’re using those guys as place cards this year for the table!) but today milk plays the part of a key ingredient in one amazing dessert.

I LOVE bread pudding. There’s something about the caramelized, melt-in-your-mouth flavor plus that delicious, creamy custard that makes it one of my very favorite-ist desserts. But, I might ask, what’s better than bread pudding? Croissant bread pudding with a slightly burnt sugar crust. And better than croissant bread pudding? Burnt sugar croissant bread pudding covered in a gooey, homemade caramel sauce & toasted pecans. Oh man, home run.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Today’s recipe is a pumpkin + carmel sauce croissant bread pudding that probably packs a day’s worth of calories in one bite. But I invite you to not consider that. This recipe is so over-the-moon-good with it’s toasted, flakey croissant base, caramelized crust and pumpkin custard filling that it just about makes you keel over. Did I mention that I also spoon hot caramel on top, too, just before serving? Oh yeah.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

The best part is is that bread pudding is not terribly fancy to make. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy! Past-shelf life bread + butter + eggs + milk, and the possibilities are endless.

Burnt Sugar Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding

Ingredients:
6-7 cups torn up croissants (about 6 small croissants)
3 T butter
1/4 c sugar
16 oz can of pumpkin
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c pecans chopped

Caramel sauce:
1/2 stick (4 T) of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t salt

The first step in this recipe is optional but I highly recommend it. In fact, it makes store bought croissants so delicious that it’s totally one you can steal for serving croissants at brunch, as a sandwich and so on (just skip the ‘tearing up’ part).

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Croissants fresh from the bakery should be a little crispy on the outside and very soft and flakey on the inside. Often store-bought croissants are soft all over and are missing even that tinged brown color on the crust though. They are usually definitely not flaky or crispy. Before adding the croissants to the bottom of my bread pudding dish, I love to caramelize and crisp them up in the oven (and it’s a much cheaper alternative to buying a half dozen top-shelf bakery croissants for this recipe).

To do this, preheat oven to 450 degrees and spread the bite-sized and torn up pieces of croissant across a baking pan lined with parchment paper (to help prevent a big mess) Lightly sprinkle melted butter on top. Gently coat the croissant pieces in sugar by sprinkling raw sugar over the torn up pieces and then hand tossing them. If the oven is hot, add baking sheet and leave the door ajar to watch the croissants carefully. Pull them out when they are toasted brown. Mmmm the sugar on top is now a crystalized, burnt sugar covering over the little bite-sized pieces. The croissants should be crispy, too. When cool, pile croissant bites into the bread pudding oven-safe dish until the pieces stack 2-3 high (you should have 1-2 cups left over). Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Next up is preparing the caramel sauce. This recipe is fantastic because no candy thermometer is required. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat and add brown sugar, stir with a wooden spoon for about two minutes. Pour in cream, stir for another two minutes. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla and salt, stirring in the final ingredients as the pan begins to cool. Let sit (to thicken up) for 5-10 minutes.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Back to our pudding. Beat three eggs in a bowl, add pumpkin and milk and continue to stir.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Layering time. Lightly pour the pumpkin mixture over the layers of croissant, follow by drizzling the caramel sauce as well until all of the croissant layers are coated. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans on top. Add the last of the leftover croissant bites to the top and again lightly coat in pumpkin and caramel (this last coat should be a very light coat so that some of the crystalized and crispy croissant pieces are left as-is). Sprinkle the rest of the chopped pecans.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

By now the oven should have reduced its heat to 350 (from 450 for toasting the croissants). Add the bread pudding dish and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. As I’m plating each scoop of the warm finished bread pudding, I love to drizzle with even more caramel for a finished look. Yum.

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Caramelized Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding | PepperDesignBlog.com

Enjoy!

More good eats over here. Some favorites include a gooey, flourless chocolate cake and these maple oat bars.

I partnered with Got Milk on this post today, the recipe (and opinions shared) are all my own. Milk fuels our bodies and our minds, and is an important component to our family’s daily diet (we love the stuff). Thank you for allowing me to share more on the companies that support this site :).

 

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Wardrobe Style Board: Oversized Cardigans & Sweater Jackets

Wardrobe Style Board: Oversized Cardigans & Sweater Jackets | Grey Wool, Drape Cardigan, Belted Sweater, Plaid, Black & White, Cocoon Cardigans | PepperDesignBlog.com

plaid coatigan | belted merino wool cardigan | long grey sweater | cocoon sweater
dark grey drape cardigan | b&w cocoon cardigan | mottled grey loose sweatermason wool plaid

There’s nothing quite like a great layering piece on a crisp day. Perfect for throwing over a tee + leggings + boots or even under a larger winter coat as it starts to get really cold. I love the cut of cocoon sweaters and think that they’re especially amazing right now :).

More fall! and more wardrobe fall finds: red plaid + cognac leather and hunter green + soft suede.

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces | PepperDesignBlog.com

I shared earlier this season about my new love of oversized beaded necklaces. They so easily serve as that one statement piece (throw it on and you’re ready to go!) and pair perfectly with classic, everyday jewelry. I invested in two that I adore, but then while at Jo-Anns recently to pick up a few craft supplies, realized that they would be pretty easy to make (even sans jewelry tools – which always feels like more of a daunting project).

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces | PepperDesignBlog.com

Supplies:

1mm leather cording
Oversized beads (mine are from Jo-Anns, Etsy is a great place to search, too)

It’s that easy! I’m a fan of threading in odd numbers (3, 5, 7, etc) and I always add a basic double slipknot (or an ‘adjustable set of knots’) to the back of the necklace so that I can shorten or lengthen the necklace depending on what I’m wearing. Sometimes it’s fun to wear these much closer to the collar, sometimes hanging very low (such as when layered with multiple necklaces).

Here’s a quick overview of a slipknot:

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces | PepperDesignBlog.com

1. Cross over the two ends of your necklace, one tail should be 4-5 inches because it will become the second slipknot. 2. Tuck the smaller tail underneath the longer tail to create a ‘P’. 3. Wrap the tail of the P up and over the first tail to create a circle. 4. Wrap the end of the smaller tail around the two cords, looping them OVER and on top of the circle 2-3 times. 5-6. Push the end of the tail back through the new loops. 7. Pull tight (you can trim the extra bit of tail now, too). 8. Repeat using that longer 4-5 inch tail to that you’ve reserved to create a second slip knot so that the knots are side by side. Now you should be able to adjust the space between the two to create a sliding cord! (if I failed miserably at explaining the above, here’s another tutorial for a basic adjustable slipknot).

PS The gradient pink necklace in the above example is coming up as a featured post soon.

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanks to friends Cassie and Diana for modeling the new natural woven beaded necklace and turquoise green ceramic necklace that I made using these basic steps. Cost came out to about $4 each (used those great 50% off coupons from Jo-Anns ;)) and I adore them. Happy beading!

This is the first in the 2014 handmade gift series (checkout some favorites from 2012/2013) and you can find all posts chronologically listed here. I can’t believe we are six short weeks from Christmas! 

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