Yield
Makes 8 servings

Notes: Doris Beckert assembles this scrumptious puffy bread pudding the night before. If you don't have 8 soufflé dishes, assemble ingredients in a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish; bake 5 to 15 minutes longer.

Prep and cook time: About 1 hour, plus 8 hours to chill

How to Make It

Step 1

Tear croissants into 1/2-inch chunks. Whirl in a food processor until coarsely chopped, or chop with a knife. Butter 8 soufflé dishes (1- to 1 1/4-cup size) and fill equally with croissant pieces.

Step 2

In a food processor, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup maple syrup; whirl until blended. (Or, in a bowl, beat with a mixer until smoothly blended.) Drop equal portions into each soufflé dish.

Step 3

In a bowl, beat eggs to blend with 1/2 cup maple syrup and the half-and-half. Pour equally into each soufflé dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 1 day. Set dishes slightly apart in a 10- by 15-inch pan.

Step 4

Bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven until pudding-soufflés are richly browned and centers barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes.

Step 5

About 5 minutes before pudding-soufflés finish baking, in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup until hot. Sprinkle pudding-soufflés with pecans, dust with powdered sugar, garnish with berries or flowers, and add hot syrup to taste.

Foothill House, Calistoga, CA

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