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Sweet Beginnings

img_8951Start the new year off in a sweet and comforting way with yummy Cinnamon Bread Pudding and Buttered Rum Sauce!  We know the proverbial wisdom would say to cut back on everything after the indulgences of the holiday season.  But if you subscribe to the Twelve Days of Christmas, the holidays are not yet over.  So there is still time for one more yummy taste before your austerity program begins in earnest.  We think this is a sweet and delicious way to end the holidays and start the new year.

Always having a reason to celebrate makes for a very abundant life filled with love and joy.  And that is exactly what your Two Chums are wishing for each of you as we start off 2017!

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You probably have some bread or sweet rolls left from the holidays that are getting a bit stale.  This bread pudding is the perfect way to use them up.  That means you won’t be wasteful as you start this new year….that is a good thing.  And there is just something very comforting about a warm bread pudding.

Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Buttered Rum Sauce

8 cups of good quality bread cubes
(French bread or sweet rolls or coffee cake or even donuts will work for this.  You could even use some cut up pieces of stale cake if you happen to have that left over)
6 eggs
1 cup sugar + a little more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon + a little more
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups half and half
2 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a baking dish, preferable glass or ceramic.  Cube the bread and put it in a large mixing bowl.  Place eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and half and half in a blender and mix well.  Pour this mixture over the cubed bread and using your hands make sure each piece of bread is covered by this mixture.  Allow the bread to sit for about 5 minutes to absorb the custard.  Pour all of it into your butter baking dish and make sure the bread is distributed evenly.  Dot with little pieces of  butter.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar and then with cinnamon.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the top layer of bread is golden brown.  Cool slightly.  Dust with powdered sugar.

While the bread pudding is baking make the Buttered Rum Sauce.

Melt 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of brown sugar.  When mixture is really hot and begins to bubble, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup light rum and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes.  Pour the sauce in a pitcher and serve alongside the pudding to drizzle over the top of it.

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If you really want to “gild the lily” as they say, add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.  This is a very sweet start indeed to this new year 🙂
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