Brandy Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

If you’re anything like me this time of year, you can’t get your nose out of cookbooks. Every morning, I wake up with a new vision and a more beautiful plan for, say, a cheese board that reflects winter botanicals — and then my whole holiday schema has to be doctored. I suffer from acute caseophilia (my word for obsessive cheesing) and profound pantry anxiety. Will I have enough water crackers? What if I run out of chutney for the Stilton?

I have a built in Midwestern sense of hospitality, and nothing makes me more unnerved than not being provisioned. For those of you who share this trait, let me recommend a holiday dessert that requires little more than a quick raid of the liquor cabinet, should you need a last-minute dessert. It’s Brandy Old Fashioned Bread Pudding, a recipe I devised for a new online Wisconsin cheese magazine, Grate. Pair. Share.

My recipe appears on pages 62-63, and it incorporates all the fixins in the official state cocktail of Wisconsin. You’ve got your bitters, your brandy-soaked cherries, your muddled orange. Toss in eggs, milk, sugar, and leftover baguette, and you’ve got Christmas Eve. Or Christmas morning. Thwack a spoonful of Crave Brothers Mascarpone on top, and call it Santa’s beard.

Let me just add that Grate. Pair. Share. is a stunning thing — I say this as someone who has just spent a semester studying online magazines. It includes recipes from a whole kitten basket of bloggers: Caroline from Whipped, Bree from Baked Bree, and Alexandra of Alexandra’s Kitchen. It’s lovely to be in their company but, oh, oh, even better to flip through their holiday cheese visions. I may or may not make the Cheddar-stuffed pork loin.

Disclosure: I was paid by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to develop this holiday recipe. I designed it and chose the products myself, but I like to disclose when I am compensated for my deep, dark dairy nature outside of this blog.

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