Bread pudding is such a rich, decadent, and sumptuous treat that it's hard to believe the ingredients are so simple. I consider bread pudding to be a comfort food. The sight of the chunks of browned bread along with the scents of vanilla and cinnamon make me think of warm kitchens, good food, and good times.
I've seen this casserole called crock pot French toast. Oh heck no! We southern girls know that this is bread pudding!
Mix this up and put it on to cook before heading to work for a yummy dessert. Or, if you want to something take for a crowd-pleasing pot luck dinner, put it on to cook at night, turn the crock on low, and in the morning you'll have bread pudding ready to serve. The Kahlua sauce keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats easily. Make extra sauce if you like it served over ice cream.
1/2 loaf bread with pieces torn into chunks (the more stale it is, the better)
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or 1 tablespoon white sugar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup)
1/2 cup pecan pieces (or raisins, if you prefer)
In large bowl mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in bread. Allow to sit or rest for 15 minutes. Pour half of mixture into greased crock pot. Add half of pecans. Pour remaining mixture into crock pot and top with remaining pecans. Turn crock pot on low and allow to cook for 6 hours, minimum. Approximately 15-20 minutes before serving, remove the lid from the crock pot and turn crock on high. This will "brown" the top of the bread pudding. When ready to serve, scoop out and top with Kahlua sauce (recipe below).
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Kahlua
In medium saucepan combine sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture begins to steam and bubbles form. Add Kahlua, stirring rapidly, and heat through again to near boiling point. Remove from heat and continue to stir rapidly until no bubbles remain in sauce. Serve over warm bread pudding.