Chocolate chip bread pudding is a pretty easy dessert to put together. Plus, it has bourbon - and everything is better with bourbon!
When I make a list of my favorite desserts, it is basically all nursery food that has been dressed up for adults. The perfectly fudgy brownies of my youth are laced with a touch of espresso, thick custard ice cream is flavored with corn and raspberry jam, and chocolate chip cookies, silky pudding, and bourbon are united in one bowl to be bourbon chocolate chip bread pudding. It is all about subtle twists when it comes to making a childhood favorite more appealing to adults. (Or, to me, at least.)
The nice thing about this bread pudding is that the alcohol bakes off, so this can technically be a family dessert. My kids didn’t even notice the undertones, but my husband I both think the bourbon gives the dessert an extra depth of flavor. It somehow feels more sophisticated and even makes it good for serving at dinner parties.
When I made this the other day I used a tired, stale loaf of ciabatta I had on hand. You could also use French bread or Challah if that is what you have. Just make sure it is on the stale (but not moldy) side, because staler bread does a better job of absorbing the sauce. After that, the trick is just to toss it all together lightly and let time take its course.
I always let the casserole marinate for a bit because it allows the bread time to saturate entirely. This ways it puffs up beautifully as it bakes and looks like a gorgeous crowning dessert when you present it on the table. We use chocolate chips for our touch of chocolate. Other delicious additions would be raisins, nuts, or berries.
Serve up this dessert in big bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous dollop of whipped cream. It will look beyond gorgeous and taste even better than the desserts of your youth!