Guiltless Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is one of those things I occasionally crave – usually on cold, damp night, but especially during the winter holidays, which I have begun to associate with an eggnog panettone bread pudding recipe that I just love! The combination of the cranberries in the Panettone with the sweet bread and the egg-y cream is just heaven.

But in October, when Panettone is harder to find, Hungry Girl’s peanut butter chocolate bread pudding seemed like a viable alternative.  Also, since it was more healthful that my holiday favorite, it seemed like a good non-holiday season choice.

good for now

I’ve gotta say, it was just ok.  I think a big part of my problem was that I used the bread I always have in the house: whole wheat.  It’s a smooth wheat, sure, but it’s still not white bread. And since the recipe calls for only three slices of bread, I couldn’t justify buying a whole loaf of bread that I don’t otherwise like for toast or sandwiches.

So, I went with the wheat-bread-soy-milk-reduced-fat-peanut-butter (which I love, even in it’s purest form: on apple slices)-brown-sugar mix. I put it in ramekins to make portion control easier, anticipating greatness. I sprinkled chocolate chips on top. I baked. I tasted.  It was fine. I added Cool Whip, and it was finer – bread pudding is a good vehicle for the chemically-derived whipped topping. I would probably swap out the chocolate chips for chocolate syrup, and add peanut butter chips to up the ante just a bit.

Would I make it again? With certain conditions: If I were really craving peanut butter AND had Cool Whip on hand and  REALLY needed a comfort food to eat in my pajamas in front of the TV on a cold night.

TWD: Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

How could this be bad? It has oatmeal, peanut butter, cinnamon and chocolate all rolled into one cookie.

And yet, I don’t think I’ll make them again.

I’m not a huge fan of drop cookies to begin with because I feel like mine and never similarly enough sized to bake evenly, and then they generally turn our more crispy than I like my cookies to be (I prefer bar cookies, in case you were wondering) because they didn’t bake evenly, and so I’m left with a huge amount of cookies that I ‘m not overly proud to pawn off on my coworkers. And then I generally bake something I am proud of a few days later just to prove I’ve still got it. It’s a vicious cycle.

But I was optimistic about these cookies from Dorie, in part because of the featured ingredients but also because of my success with the Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf. So, I gathered my ingredients on a Friday night and made the batter, and then put it in the fridge to chill as Dorie recommended. Saturday afternoon I went to work, with the anticipation that I would have a lovely plate of delicious cookies to take to a BBQ Sunday afternoon.


The cookies turned out flat and crispy, and just not for me. I baked two trays at a time, one on a silicone mat and one with parchment, and it make no difference. In the end, I had a mess of flat cookies all over my kitchen. They were tasty, but no flat and free cracker-like I didn’t really savor eating them like I do the Christmas cookies (first my mother and now) I have been making for as long as I can remember.

To top it all off, I brought my plate to the BBQ and nobody ate them. They were on a sweet table with chocolate covered strawberries and key lime pie and cheesecake and two plates of cookies that I swear were from the grocery store bakery and delivered on a paper plate to make them look homemade. My sad, flat cookies remained untouched, even as the grocery store cookies were wiped clean.

look good?

  So, I’m left with a plastic tub full of cookies. I’ve dunked them in milk, brought them to my mother-in-law, packed them for the BBQ, smuggled them into a movie with a friend, and brought some to work, just to get them out of my house. I’m looking forward to next week’s recipe.