Strawberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Sometimes when you are grocery shopping, a nice lady will hand you a sample of a new recipe the stores chefs have made. This is the story behind this delicious recipe. I sampled this recipe while shopping at my local Publix grocery store. This recipe was so good, I had to remake it and share with you. I made this for my Dad. He absolutely loved it and he is a bread pudding snob. It has to be really good, or he won’t eat it. Knowing this, I have never made him bread pudding until this recipe. This was a huge success!

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray

1 10 ounce package of croissants (I used all but 3 from the box) from your store bakery, cut into cubes

2 cups of fresh strawberries, roughly chopped

1 cup milk, I recommend whole milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup white chocolate morsels

4 large eggs beaten, or 1 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup caramel sauce, I used salted caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut croissants into small cubes. Rough chop the strawberries. Place croissants and strawberries in a large bowl. Set aside. Pour milk into a microwave safe bowl (I used a glass measuring cup) and microwave for 60 seconds until very warm. Add sugar and white chocolate chips to warm milk and blend well. Whisk eggs into milk mixture.

Add liquid mixture to croissants and berries in the bowl. Stir until all croissants are wet with the milk mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake 40-45 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the custard is not runny. Drizzle with caramel sauce right after you take baking dish out of the oven. Enjoy!

This bread pudding is also delicious topped with whipped cream.

*Recipe courtesy of Publix Aprons.

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White Espresso Hot Chocolate

I was gifted delicious chocolate by Forte Chocolate. This is the recipe I made with their White Swan Black Swan Espresso Bar. Since I have developed this recipe, I can’t imagine making hot chocolate any other way. No more powdered chocolate hot chocolate for me! The opinions expressed in this recipe are my own.

Ingredients:

1 bar Forte White Swan White Chocolate Espresso Bar, chopped

l/2 cup milk

1 cup half and half

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream to garnish, optional

Chocolate espresso beans for garnish, optional

Chop chocolate bar and place in a microwave-safe container. Microwave at 30-second intervals and stir to melt chocolate. Heat milk, cream, and sugar on medium heat until milk is warm. Do not boil or scald milk. Once the milk is hot, remove from heat and add vanilla and melted chocolate. Garnish with whip cream and espresso beans if desired. Makes a 12-ounce cup of the best hot chocolate you have ever had!


Outback’s Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet


One of my favorite restaurants to eat at is Outback Steakhouse.  Outback was founded here in Tampa Florida in 1988. The original restaurant on Henderson Bouvelard is still open. I have so many favorites that I have tried and enjoyed the many years since I have been dining there. Their Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet is my latest favorite. The star is the cookie with white chocolate chips, toffee bits and pretzels. Just the cookies alone would be delicious. Outback changes their menu frequently so when I find something I like, I try to figure it out so I can enjoy it at home after it vanishes from the menu.


Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, room temperature

6 Tablespoons granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Egg

2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

3/4 cup toffee chips

1/2 cup pretzels, crushed into small pieces (I placed mine in a plastic bag and crushed them with a rolling pin)

Vanilla Ice Cream

Salted Caramel ice cream topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and set aside. Mix together softened, granulated and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and blend well.  Gradually add dry ingredients and combine with wet ingredients. Stir in white chocolate chips, toffee chips and pretzels.


No skillet?  No worries, just make a big cookie on a cookie sheet and eat it from a bowl when the cookie is baked. I highly recommend parchment paper or a silpat on your cookie sheet if you are just baking cookies.
Place cookie dough in a small cast iron skillet or make big cookies on a cookie sheet. Bake 8-11 minutes for normal size cookies. If you are making larger dessert size or skillet size cookies on a cookie sheet, they will take longer. I used a 6″ cast iron skillet and mine baked about 16 minutes. Time will vary with the size of cookies you make. Top with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and salted caramel ice cream topping. Serve warm. This recipe yields 4 very large cookies.  Enjoy!

Red, White Chocolate and Blueberry Cheesecake 

It’s time to celebrate Red, White and Blue and our Nation’s holiday, Independence Day. My bloggers friends and I showcasing some brand new, yummy treats that would be perfect for all Patriotic gatherings. Happy Fourth of July!

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs, I used Keebler

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 stick of butter, melted

Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and place into a springform pan. Form crust on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place in freezer.
Cheesecake:

3  8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

2 Tablespoons of vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream

*1 12 ounce package of white chocolate chips
Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl, according to package directions. Cool 10 minutes.  *This is optional, you can make a delicious cheesecake without the white chocolate.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add cornstarch and combine. Add vanilla, sour cream and cooled white chocolate and blend well. Place in springform pan and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes until center is about set.  Cool for 15 minutes and remove ring from springform pan.  Cool completely and place in refrigerator.
Garnishes for flag decor:

Blueberries

Strawberries, sliced in half

Heavy Whipping Cream, 8 ounces

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare whipping cream by placing mixing bowl in refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes.   At a high speed, combine heavy whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar to form stiff peaks.  Place thick layer of whip cream on top of cheesecake. This will act as the “glue” to adhere your fruit on the cheesecake. Place blueberries in the upper left corner in a triangle shape. Add sliced strawberries straight across the cheesecake to form stripes. Use remaining whip cream to pipe stars between the strawberries. Refrigerate. God bless America!  Enjoy!

Please remember to visit the links below to get all of fabulous Ref, White and Blue Recipes. 

Easy Butter Cake With Berries http://mooreorlesscooking.com/2015/06/29/easy-butter-cake-with-berries/
Patriotic Pie http://cookingfomasahm.blogspot.com/2015/06/patriotic-pie.html
Star Spangled Cannoli http://crumbsinmymustachio.wordpress.com/2015/06/Star-Spangled-Cannoli/
Patriotic Fruit Pops  http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=3787