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Easy bread pudding dessert recipe for fall

Jess Watsky/Collegian

With so many leftovers and very little time to put effort into cooking, how does a busy student prepare for a date, a surprise visit from mom and dad, or a special dinner? Classes and budgets make this an interesting challenge, but there are tips and tricks to help make blasé college fare into a smashing success.

An especially decadent dessert is bread pudding, an easily adaptable recipe, made with ingredients lying around the house that can be customized and flavored to suit any occasion. It’s an easy dessert to prepare, ignore and then pop in the oven to bake. It is guaranteed to impress any date or special guest!

Bagel Bread Pudding (serves four)

Ingredients:
4 large, stale bagels
2 tablespoons of butter
4 eggs
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and spices to taste, or alternatively, ¼ cup of chai tea concentrate
3 tablespoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 ½ cups of heavy cream or whole milk
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons of brown sugar

Start by chopping your bagels into cubes or bite-sized chunks. Then place chunks in a buttered baking dish.

Microwave the butter until it’s melted and let it cool. Combine the four eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, sour cream, milk and salt as well as half of the brown sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add the butter until it’s fully incorporated into the mixture and pour it over the bagel cubes.

Place the pan in the refrigerator for three hours to an entire night and let it chill and soak up the liquid. If the bagels are still too dry, pour a little extra chai or milk over the top.

Allocate a cooking time of an hour or so before serving. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cook for 30-45 minutes or until it’s crispy and brown on top.

Sprinkle the last three tablespoons of brown sugar evenly over the top of your bagel bread pudding, then crank your oven to its broil setting and let the sugar melt and caramelize for five to six minutes.

Finally, remove the dish from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Serve the pudding with vanilla ice cream, iced or hot chai tea, or whipped cream.

This simple yet elegantly flavored dessert is a classic treat and can be easily adapted for a savory flavor profile, breakfast, or individual portions. Make your own combinations and experiment with the recipe to find a mixture of flavors that’s right for you.

Jess Watsky can be reached at jwatsky@student.umass.edu.

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