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Eggnog Bread Pudding

Indio, California:  I've been working on this recipe for a while. I tried making it with prepared eggnog, but the results were unspectacular until I simply made it from scratch. Plus, it is difficult to find eggnog outside of the holiday season.

This easy make-ahead bread pudding is taken-up a notch by using croissants. I serve it at breakfast, but it would make a great dessert as well. Substitute bourbon for the vanilla if you choose.

Butter, for oiling the baking dish 6 butter croissants 4 eggs 1/3 cup sugar 2 cups half-and-half 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or bourbon) 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Optional garnish: Powdered sugar

Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish (or similar). Tear each croissant into eight or ten pieces and place the croissant pieces in the baking dish. Loosely packed, the bread should fill the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth, about one minute, then add the half-and-half, salt, vanilla and cloves. Stir well to combine. Pour batter over the torn croissants. Press down just a bit to allow the batter to soak into the bread, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

IN THE MORNING: Remove plastic wrap. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes, or until custard has set and the top is browned. Let rest five or ten minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve with pure maple syrup (or a sauce made with melted butter, pure maple syrup and a splash of bourbon).

Serves 4-6.

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Until my next update, I remain, your puffed-up correspondent.

RV PARK:  The Motorcoach Country Club