Bread Pudding Cups

I committed at the last minute to bring something for a company bake sale yesterday, knowing I wasn’t going to have much time that evening for baking. A fussy dessert was out, and whatever it was I wound up bringing had to be portioned into individual servings for a bake sale. What to do?

When I went home for lunch, my answer was right in front of my face. I still had half a pan of bread pudding from the weekend in the fridge and decided in a moment of brilliance what I was going to do. Mini bread puddings portioned out in muffin cups! And I would only need to pick up a few things from the grocery store. I had no idea how they would bake in muffin cups, but they held their shape wonderfully and stood at room temperature both overnight and through the bake sale without issue. To top it off, they were delicious and raised money for a good cause.

You will need:

1 pint cream or whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 loaf (12 ounces) Italian bread, torn into small pieces
1 package King's Hawaiian Rolls, torn into small pieces

In a large bowl, combine cream or milk with eggs and whisk. Add vanilla, salt, sugars and melted butter and whisk until combined. Pour in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using, and stir to combine the mixture. Add bread and using your hands, toss the bread cubes until all are coated. Be sure to distribute the chocolate chips and walnuts throughout the mixture as they have a tendency to sink to the bottom.

Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with muffin wrappers and evenly divide the bread pudding mixture among 20 of the cups (the mixture should mound over the top of the cups slightly). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the bread is golden and the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool and remove from muffin tin. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature - but they're best warm and gooey.

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