Archive for December, 2010

Banana Bread

Happy Almost 2011!

I wish I had the time or the energy to really sit down and reflect on this past year at this moment but the past few days have been filled with snowboarding aka falling down a lot and being sore a lot. The good news, however, is that I think I finally have it down so I can at least reasonably go down a mountain with less than a dozen falls and less than half of those as actual falls. (I often sit down as a way of stopping but since this is purposeful I don’t see it as falling per se.. Go with it.) So it’s actually been good but my entire body hurts more at this point in time than it has ever hurt before. Is it strange that I’m proud of having beat up my body sufficiently enough to inflict such pain on myself?

In general though it’s been a great year. I started this blog and have met some wonderful people on it. I’ve pushed myself harder than ever before and I’m excited to see what the new year brings to Small Town Oven.

My blog resolution for 2011: Create a new recipe each month to share on STO.

Let’s hope I keep it!

In other reflections, I started my final year of medical school, began interviewing for residency positions (meaning a job), went to several weddings of people I love and adore, took a trip to Vegas, vacationed in London and Ireland, got a Kindle, and had some great times with some great people.

It was a good year but I’m ready for the new one to begin.

But not without my banana bread!!

This banana bread is a completely fantastic way to use up those bananas you have sitting on your counter getting older and darker by the minute. It’s soft, banana-y, and creates a wonderful crust (for your 93-year-old grandmothers who enjoy the burnt parts). It’s great for breakfast, mid-day snacks, or midnight munchies. Bring it to friends’ houses, family gatherings, or eat it all yourself and don’t tell a soul. I won’t tell. You have a little under 12 hours before that New Year’s Resolution hits. Just enough time to bake, eat, and hide the evidence!

Banana Bread
from Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger via Food Network

Makes 1 9″ loaf (or an 8″ loaf with lots of crust).

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 over-ripe bananas
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease loaf pan however which way you like (I used butter).

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the milk and ground cinnamon. Set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Then add in the banana mixture and combine. Stir in the flour mixture until the flour just disappears. Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out (or keep it in the pan which is what we do).

See you in the New Year!

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

How was everyone’s Christmas? I hope you shared some gifts and some love and some laughter!

I’m sure many of you had cinnamon rolls these past few days, or maybe you haven’t caught on yet and are looking for a way in.

So I’ll help you out and show you the ones I made yesterday! Because yesterday, this happened:

There’s somewhere over 2 feet of snow out there. It all started at 11am and let up overnight or maybe early this morning, I’m not quite sure. On Christmas Day my family went to our annual Christmas Part 2 party and late that night we all managed to get sick. So being snowed in the day after was quite welcome. It meant a day of recovery and rest but also a day of me and my brother on the couch watching tv, laptops in front of us, hanging out while my parents and grandmother hibernated in their rooms. There was little eating due to the previous night’s events but at some point in the afternoon I needed some sustenance.

Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of food to be had since we hold the Christmas Eve party (Christmas Part 1) and there were quite a few leftovers. But.. I wanted something warm, fresh from the oven, full of cinnamon, and covered in sweet glaze.

I had to have cinnamon rolls.

As I’ve shared before, I’m in love with the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls and apparently snow = cinnamon rolls in my mind because it snowed back then too. The only “problem” with that recipe is that it has to rest/rise for a long period of time, makes a TON of rolls, and involves a good amount of butter/oil. (Is too much butter really a problem? My heart says no. My thighs say yes. Help.) So I was in search of an easier and more figure-friendly recipe.

And here it is.

From Our Best Bites, this recipe can be baking in a little over an hour and only have a 1 3/4 sticks of butter in it! Plus it only makes 12, perfect for everyone to have their fair share without clogging too many arteries. (Trust me, I’m a doctor.) The rolls came out wonderfully soft and airy. Just enough cinnamon to be present but not overpowering. A tiny bit of glaze as a perfect “cherry on top”  but they’re not drowning (which, admittedly, I do sometimes want). These are excellent “everyday” cinnamon rolls. They’re not over-the-top but they fit the bill for any cinnamon roll craving.

You know you want a bite!

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Our Best Bites, originally from AllRecipes

Makes 12.


For dough:

  • 1 c milk, divided
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c white granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 egg

For filling:

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

For glaze:

  • 1 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For dough: In a microwaveable bowl, heat 3/4 c milk and butter for 90 seconds. Stir, add remaining milk, and let cool until lukewarm. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or large bowl for a hand mixer, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Once milk has cooled to lukewarm, begin pouring milk into flour mixture while mixing constantly. Add in the egg and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the remaining 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c flour and mix until the dough just barely leaves the sides of the bowl. Switch to a dough hook or knead by hand on a well floured surface for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest on a well-floured surface for 10 minutes.

For filling: Mix butter, sugars, and cinnamon until well combined.

For assembly: Butter or spray 9 x 13″ baking pan. Roll out dough to 12 x 18″ rectangle. Spread filling over dough using the back of a spoon as needed. Roll the long sides and pinch the ends closed. Score and cut out 12 rolls, placing them in the prepared pan. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, covered with a clean towel. (I did this by heating my oven to 200F then turning it off, placing the rolls in, and leaving the oven door ajar.) Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

For glaze: Mix sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter together until smooth. Adjust with extra sugar or milk as needed. Pour over warm rolls.

Friends, I got a Kindle for Christmas from Boy. (I know. He’s a keeper!) Do you read? If so, any recommendations?

Homemade Caramel

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!!

Are you all ready for the craziness?

I’m not. Still one more gift to wrap and cookies to bake.. but we’re getting there.

I served these caramels at my holiday party last Friday and between then and now I’m still working on finishing them. They’re wonderfully vanilla-y, creamy, and the little bit of sea salt on top is a touch of perfection. They’re rich though and we usually just eat a piece or two at a time so they’ve been taking a little bit to consume. The good thing is they keep really well in an air-tight container so make these today, gift them to people you may have missed, or eat them all yourself.

You won’t regret it.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday, that you all get what you need and maybe all that you asked for as well, that you all spend it with the people you love the most and that you get a chance to go “home” wherever that may be in your heart.

I’ll be back next week before the New Year’s!

Homemade Caramels
adapted from AllRecipes, seen on Sinful Sundays and Shawn’s Plate

Makes 1 tray.


  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 c corn syrup
  • 1 c evaporated milk
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Grease a 12×15 inch baking sheet. Tread lightly as these are not likely to stick.

In a medium-sized pot, combine both sugars, corn syrup, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and butter. Place the pot over medium-low heat, erring on the side of low. Stirring constantly and while monitoring the temperature, bring the mixture to 250F. This will take nearly an hour so sit back and be patient.

Once up to 250F, take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into the baking sheet. Allow to set up a bit before sprinkling sea salt all over the top of the caramel. Let cool completely before cutting up into little caramels. Store in an airtight container using wax paper to separate layers of caramels.

Happy Holidays!!

Gingerbread Cupcakes

I’ll be honest. I’m not the biggest fan of gingerbread in the world. I love spiced things but I think it’s the molasses. I’m not sure. For some reason, gingerbread’s just not my favorite.

But I saw this recipe and, knowing that gingerbread is a classic holiday treat, figured I’d give it a whirl for the holiday party I hosted this past weekend. I made multiple types of mini-cupcakes including these, the tiramisu cupcakes, and a peppermint mocha cupcake (look for the recipe later this week). I’ve been looking for the perfect time to make a slew of minis and this was it! Even for people who don’t like dessert, it’s difficult to pass up such a little teeny tiny cupcake (and once they eat one it’s hard to resist another).

So I tried out this new gingerbread application and wouldn’t you know, the cream cheese frosting perfectly offsets the dark molasses flavor and I popped more than my share of these minis! If you’re not a fan of gingerbread I highly recommend these babies.

Gingerbread Cupcakes
adapted from Full Circle, originally from Gourmet

Makes ~ 36 mini-cupcakes.

For cake:

  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For frosting:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted (more if you like your frosting sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Line mini-cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter then add granulated sugar, mixing until fluffy. Beat in molasses and the egg until smooth. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add in baking soda and stir to dissolve. Add this into the molasses mixture and mix. Add in the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full with batter and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For frosting: In a clean bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until the fluffy and smooth. Taste and add sugar as desired. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Are you a fan of gingerbread?

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

I love the holidays, don’t you?

Although I’d like to think I’m a pretty giving person, this is the time I pull out all the stops.

Like the holiday potluck I threw last night. I decided to throw it together a week ago at the last minute.

I decided I’d make a pot roast for the first time.

And I’d finally make little giveaway frosted sugar cookies for the first time.

And I’d make homemade caramel for the first time.

And I’d make three different types of mini-cupcakes so everyone could finally taste them instead of just me and Boy.

Lofty goals.

But it somehow all came together despite the busy of everyday life and my next few posts will be dedicated to all the treats I managed to pull out of my kitchen this past week, starting with these sugar cookies!

I’ve wanted to make these for a long time, especially since Annie is essentially my idol and she makes cute ones all the time.

So I went out hunting for cute cookie cutters and came home with everything I needed to make little snowmen and snowflake cookie packages.

The process takes quite a bit of time (took me a whole day) when you’re starting out. I presume that as I get better and better at piping things will go much more smoothly. If you’re starting out too and are aiming for perfection, I definitely suggest setting aside a good chunk of time to do everything.

These spiced brown sugar cookies are perfect if you’re looking for something different and unexpected for the holiday season. Adding the spices and the brown sugar to the mix definitely make these cookies feel warm and comfy. I also loved how this recipe didn’t require you to refrigerate the dough (though you could if you wanted to) so the whole baking process went by pretty quickly.

For frosting, I used this tutorial which I find to be extremely helpful. I finished things off with a little bit of decorative sugar, wrapped them up with snowmen/snowflake treat bags, and placed them all in a snowman/snowflake decorated tin. As guests left the party, they could either pick one up at the door or I’d hand it to them. Such a nice way to say, “Thank you for coming!” (And to show off your skills.)

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
adapted from Bake at 350, seen on Annie’s Eats

3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer cream together butter and both sugars on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Turn dough out onto work surface and knead slightly if it is too crumbly. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out shapes as desired. Place shapes on baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-12 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes on the sheet prior to moving them to a cooling rack.

Note: Dough can be refrigerated as a ball/disk prior to rolling it out or as already cut-out shapes for at least several hours provided it is covered tightly in plastic wrap in either scenario.

Royal Icing
adapted from Annie’s Eats


  • 2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 4 c powdered sugar, sifted

Combine ingredients in a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 7-10 minutes or until the sheen has disappeared and the icing is matte.

Transfer to an airtight container. Add water, mixing thoroughly by hand, a little bit at a time until the consistency is appropriate for piping, meaning liquid enough to pipe but stiff enough that it won’t spread. Divide into various airtight containers depending on how many colors you want to use. Color icing using gel coloring (if using liquid, you will need to cut back on water or add powdered sugar). Transfer some of the icing into piping bags fitted with an appropriate tip (I use Wilton #2 and #3 tips) and cover the remaining icing. Pipe around the edges of each cookie and allow to dry for at least an hour. Then, water down the remaining icing a bit more until it is appropriate for flooding, meaning able to spread but not so thin that it will take forever to dry. Using squeeze bottles, fill the cookies. Allow to set and then decorate with the piping bags.

See the tutorial that I used on decorating cookies at Annie’s Eats here!

What are you bringing to the holiday parties you’re attending this season?

New York-Style Crumb Cake

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in between an interview I had today and the dinner for my interview I have tomorrow.

I am tired.

I cannot wait to be done with interview season.

Especially so I can bake this cake again because it is the one and only thing my dad has outright told me I must make again. It’s that good.

One of my interviewers today saw that my personal statement had mentioned my love for baking (since I couldn’t think of anything else to write about besides cupcakes). She asked what my favorite thing to bake was and then what was my favorite bakery.

I could have very easily said Baked in Brooklyn since I’ve now tried making their brownies and this cake. But perhaps that wouldn’t be truly honest since I’ve never actually made the trek over to spend actual money there. (Have you? Did you like it?) So, instead, I picked Two Little Red Hens. Their cupcakes are the perfect size and are absolutely delicious. I haven’t sampled their other items quite yet but I’m happy munching on their red velvet!

Anyway, back to this cake. It’s moist and the crumble on top is the quintessential dense, chunky, and just perfectly sweet topping to this delicately flavored cake. The whole thing really just melts in your mouth probably due to the butter content but it’s nearly sublime. If you’re a fan of coffee cake at all, especially New York-style with it’s big topping to cake ratio, this is the cake for you. I’m sure of it. This is also perfect if you’re attending any holiday brunches or afternoon teas! (If you actually attend afternoon tea, please invite me because I love afternoon tea.)

New York-Style Crumb Cake
from Baked Explorations

Makes 1 9×13″ cake.


For Topping:

  • 1 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted but still warm
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

For Cake:

  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Crumb Topping: Whisk together sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted butter until combined. Then fold in the flour until absorbed and set aside to dry. Drying creates the big crumb chunks.

For Cake: Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

With a hand or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and ribbonlike, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts and beat until just incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Then take a handful of the crumb mixture and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off chunks of this and sprinkle all over cake. Continue until all the crumb is distributed. It will look like a lot but trust me (and the friend over at Baked). Bake for 45-55 minutes, rotating twice, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes prior to serving.


What’s your favorite bakery?

[ short hiatus ]

I am currently swamped.

Had four interviews last week which amounts to four day-long interviews and four 2-3 hour-long dinners.

Had a board exam this week. 8 hours. 8 hours?! Somehow.. I made it.

Two more interviews tomorrow and Friday.

And did I mention these interviews are all scattered around NY/NJ/PA which calls for a lot of time in my car (and a lot of Christmas music)?

[On my one day off this week – yesterday – I went home to take care of my somewhat sick mother and still recovering grandmother .. and then Boy took me to see Harry Potter yayyyyyyyyy!]

Then a funeral on Saturday [sadface] and driving down to Maryland for a friend’s birthday.

I know you all probably don’t care about the goings on of my day-to-day but this was really just a long-winded way of saying that I’m still here but the baking has stopped for the time being and my time online to check all of your blogs has gone to poops too.

I miss you all!! I’m going to try to crank out a post this week in between interviews while at a hotel but no promises, okay?

PS Any ideas on what to get my mom for Christmas? Help!

B.Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Giveaway Winner

Short post today because this recipe is a doozie!

First things first. Winner of the CSN gift certificate giveaway (generated by is…

Entry #3 Catherine! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly with the details.

Thank you to everyone who participated. Hopefully this will be the first of many giveaways!


Secondly, since I kicked off this giveaway with a recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Bread adapted from Bobby Flay, I’m sharing with you our Thanksgiving dessert: Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding. You may be sick of the pumpkin goods by now but I’m certainly not. My trusty bottle of cinnamon doesn’t leave my side from November to January!

Word of warning: This recipe has a lot of components and you end up with a lot of egg whites leftover (11 total). That being said, it’s totally worth it. Totally. I stretched it out over a few days and it was quite manageable: pumpkin bread on day 1, creme and caramel on day 2, and assembly on day 3. You could probably get away with buying pumpkin bread or using your own favorite recipe if you want to change it up. The bread pudding is also great on its own and you may opt to not make them but they both add something to the dish. The caramel cuts the thick creme and the creme balances out the sweet caramel. Both turn this dish into a real stunner. My five-person family ate the entire dish in one day.

If you’re looking for a showstopper for your next holiday party, this is it.

B.Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding
adapted from B.Flay on Food Network

Makes 1 9×13″ pudding.

For Pumpkin Bread:

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c water

For Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 c half-and-half
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar (pure cane)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped)

For Spiced Caramel:

  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c apple juice
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • heaping 1/4 tsp ground cloves (or 4 whole cloves)
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butterscotch liquor (or 1 tbsp apple schnapps)

For Custard:

  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp butterscotch liquor (or bourbon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean with seeds scraped)

For Pumpkin Bread: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and oil at high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add pumpkin puree and then the eggs one at a time until just combined. Then on low speed slowly add in the flour and water mixture, beating until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake about 60-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. (I left mine in the pan until the day I made the pudding.)

For Creme Anglaise: Bring half-and-half (and vanilla bean/seeds if using) to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Set a bowl with a strainer over an ice water bath.

While the half-and-half is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and ribbon-like when whisk is lifted. When the liquid is simmering, temper the eggs by pouring in about 1/4 c of the liquid, whisking constantly. Then slowly pour in the rest of the liquid while continuing to whisk. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon with a thick layer that does not run when a line is drawn through it. Strain the mixture into the bowl atop the ice bath and stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate until service.

For Caramel Apple Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine cream, apple juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan and keep over low heat while making the caramel.

In a separate medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and vinegar. Keep over high heat and allow to cook without stirring until it is a deep amber. This will take about 8 minutes but watch it very closely as it is prone to burning in a short period of time. Slowly whisk in the warmed cream a little at a time until smooth. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up. Continue whisking and remove from heat if necessary. Add liquor and cook for about 30 more seconds. Serve warm.

For Assembly: Preheat oven to 325F. Cut pumpkin bread into 1/2″ cubes and place on a lined baking sheet. Toast in oven, turning once, for 20 minutes. Let cool.

While toasting, make the custard by combining the cream, milk, and vanilla bean if using in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin in a large bowl. Once cream mixture is simmering, add about 1/4 c to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then, still whisking, add the rest of the cream. Whisk in vanilla extract and liquor. Strain into a clean bowl.

Scatter toasted pumpkin bread cubes into a 9×13″ baking dish. Pour custard over the bread, pressing them in so as to soak completely. Let soak for 15 minutes.

I just realized I did not do this but B.Flay then says to place the baking dish in a larger roaster pan and pour hot water into the larger pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish. If you’re lazy, our bread pudding was delicious without the water bath. Bake for about 1 hour at 325F or until just slightly jiggly in the center.

To serve, spoon creme anglaise into a shallow bowl and place portion of bread pudding on top. Drizzle caramel over pudding. Serve with whipped cream if desired though the dessert is quite rich already (but hey, I’m not judging).

Are you sick of pumpkin yet?