This dessert is for adults only! It’s a whiskey pretzel bread pudding, and no, the alcohol is not cooked off. It’s actually just poured on top after it’s done cooking. And then you add more to the sauce and then pour that on top. Guarantee: warm and fuzzy feeling.
When I was trying to decide the best whiskey for this dish I had to enlist the help of one of the Trader Joe’s “crew” members. By the end of the conversation I’m pretty sure the guy wanted to ask me out. I was unshowered with three screaming kids in tow…I had him at whiskey bread pudding.
My dad found this recipe and my family has been making it ever since! Bread pudding is a naturally delicious dessert. But what makes this one so good is the whiskey sauce. The sauce starts with toasting butter to bring out the caramel notes and I stick with regular salted butter to enhance the pretzel flavor. I also use half pretzel bread and half French baguette just to create a little nuance in the texture and flavor. The original recipe called for raisins, which I love, but never add them, because, you know, there’s always that person at the party who will deny the dessert just because of the raisins (you know who you are). And we don’t want ‘said person’ to miss out.
**Must be served warm and with ice cream if you want to go all out.
Whiskey Pretzel Bread Pudding
adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook
12 TBS butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar – firmly packed
1/2 of a day old french baguette – roughly torn
1 day old small pretzel baguette or 2 pretzel rolls – roughly torn
4 cups whole milk
5 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 TBS pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whiskey – I use Maker’s Mark
1 recipe Whiskey Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush a 13 x 9 x 3-inch baking dish with 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly and set aside. Place the torn bread in a medium sized bowl. Pour the milk over and let rest for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, remaining butter, and vanilla; whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and stir until blended. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared dish. Cook for 50-60 minutes covered. Then bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread is puffed and golden. Broil for a a minute or two if necessary (keep a close eye).
Once baked, pour the 1/4 of whiskey on top. let sit.
8 TBS butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whiskey
Place the butter in a saucepan and over medium heat, swirl until it is slightly caramel colored and has a nutty aroma (be careful not to burn). Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the sugar, (1/2 cup at a time) and stir to mix until all the sugar is blended. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and whiskey until everything is incorporated. Pour directly onto the top of the pudding while it is still warm. Serve immediately.
**If making in advance; make the bread pudding and sauce separately. Both can be placed in the fridge covered for two days. Let the pudding come to room temperature and then place in a 375 F oven for roughly 20 minutes or until heated through. As for the sauce, place in the microwave for one to two minutes. Pour over the pudding and serve.