Bourbon Bread Pudding

Yeah, yeah I love bourbon. I’m sure you have all gotten this by now.

So, one Sunday I was hanging out at my parents house (probably sipping a Makers and coke), watching the Food Network when this recipe came up. Have you ever seen Farm House Rules? You haven’t?? Well you should. It’s like Barefoot Contessa meets Pioneer Woman. It’s glorious. And shining in all of that glory was this: Bourbon Bread Pudding Cups.

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

I knew right away I HAD to make them.

(I’ve halved the recipe because unknowingly I made enough for a small army with her original recipe. These are heavenly, trust me, but no-one can eat that much bread pudding. No one.)

 

For the Bread Pudding:

Non-stick spray (for the cups)

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup chopped pecans

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

6-8 slices cinnamon raisin bread (stale)

 

For the Bourbon Sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup bourbon

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Splash of orange juice (about a tbsp.)

Pinch of salt

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners and spray the inside of the liners with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Add in pecans, butter and bread and stir to coat. Set it aside to get happy for about 10 minutes.

Carefully fill the muffin tins almost full with the bread pudding mixture. Cook until the puddings set, about 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, set a saucepan over medium heat and add all of the ingredients for the bourbon sauce. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by half. (Ahem, we had made bacon that day, so I went ahead and made the sauce in the same cast iron pan the bacon was cooked in. I can’t say I was wrong.)

Remove the pudding cups from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. While still warm, use a fork or a skewer to make a few holes in each one, and pour a few tablespoons of sauce over. Serve immediately.

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

 

Grandma’s Christmas Cookies

Decorating cookies has always been my favorite part about Christmas. Top five, at least.

Every year the whole family would squeeze in together at the table with paper plates, toothpicks, spoons, and about eight rolls of paper towels. My mom would set out the tupper of sugar cookies and a huge array of sprinkles and we would just go. to. town. They’d all start out reeeeeally intricately decorated and by the end of, oh say two hours, we’d be slopping on whatever frosting color was near us just to get through the last couple of cookies. The oddly shaped so-called “music note” was always the last picked to be decorated.

That’s kind of how it went last night.

I wanted to share my Grandma’s classic sugar cookie recipe with you in hopes that maybe you’d give them a try. Cover the kids (and your furniture) in plastic, pour the adults some Christmas “spirit”, and have fun! I promise, if you don’t already do this every year, it will absolutely become an instant tradition.

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

For the Cookies:

1 c. sugar

1 c. butter, softened (but my Grandma always insisted that an extra bit of butter was completely necessary…like a tablespoon or so)

2 eggs

3 c. sifted flour (extra for rolling)

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

Using your stand mixer on a lower speed, mix the sugar and butter together until creamed. Crack in the two eggs, and continue beating until evenly mixed. Next, working at a medium speed, add in your dry ingredients a little at a time. At the end, the batter should be soft and lump-free. You really can’t over-beat this dough, so don’t worry too much about that.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least one hour.

Drink some eggnog.

Remove the batter and set aside as you liberally flour a board or countertop. Making sure that your rolling pin is floured too, roll out a chunk of the dough into a fairly thin sheet. Cut out as many shapes as you can using your favorite cookie cutters, and place them on a non-stick baking sheet. (PS, you don’t need to spray or grease the sheet as there is plennnnnty of butter in these cookies as it is). Add the excess batter back into the main bowl, grab another big handfull, roll that out, cut, and repeat until all the dough is used!

Bake each batch of cookies should bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until just turning golden around the edges. Keep in mind that the cooking time will change by a few minutes or so depending on how thick or thin you’ve rolled them.

Let them cool on a rack until room temperature – then they’re ready to decorate!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

For the Frosting & Decorations:

1 large bag of powdered sugar

water

liquid food colorings

assorted sprinkles

In a big bowl, mix a teensy tiny amount of water at a time into the powdered sugar. Seriously – for each cup you’ll only need about a tablespoon or so. You definitely don’t want the frosting too runny, or it won’t stay on the cookie!

Pour a bit of the frosting into four or five smaller bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each, and stir until you have the desired depth of color.

Now decorate!!!!!!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandma, the hummingbirds are for you…..and this martini, well that’s for me!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

Seasons Greetings

This year I was SO excited for our first family Holiday Card! I pinned about 97 ideas, tried on 16 dresses, spent half a day looking for a shirt and bow tie for Mike, annnnnnnnnd in the end I probably took 10 seconds to tie one of my Grandma’s old scarves on Wyatt. He liked it though. He doesn’t love silk, silk loves him.

Our good friend, Steve of Bionic Pix, was awesome enough to take a Sunday afternoon JUST to let us play models in front of his talented photographer self. Wyatt and I had been practicing our best collar-bone enhancing, hip-popping, smizing poses. For real. So we all trekked out into the Ballona Wetlands (and I trekked like a champ in my 5″ heels, ya betta believe) just as golden hour descended around us. I’m overjoyed at how perfectly Steve captured the moment. Mike and I have fallen in love with Playa Del Rey ever since we moved here, and for our first Christmas card to be set in the gorgeous marshes that we drive by each day….it’s pretty rad. Lots and lots of holiday joy flood my heart every time I look at it.

 

HOLIDAY CARD IDEAS // via hourglassandbloom.com

Mike’s Shirt: Nordstrom, Bow-Tie: (similar one here), Jeans: Diesel, Dress: H&M (sold out, similar one here), Booties: H&M

 

 

But after the photo was done…..THEN came the decisions. On the bright side, there are so many companies that do gorgeous Holiday cards these days. Some on thick buttery paper, some on more economical glossy sheets, others in between. So how do you choose?

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Costco. So is my brother, he’s like….a platinum member or something. So when he told the fam about their awesome deals on cards, I mosied on over to their site and voila! They had SO many beautiful (okay, some not-s0-beautiful) designs to choose from! And the best part is, they’re 50 for $34.50! That includes a semi-custom design, custom greeting on the backside, printed return addresses on the envelope, and they’re ready within 5 to 7 days.

 

HOLIDAY CARD IDEAS // via hourglassandbloom.com

HOLIDAY CARD IDEAS // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

I do know, however, that not everyone has access to the wonderland that is a Costco warehouse. So, I’ve made a list of deals all across the internet for you naughty procrastinators. If you’re super on-top of it and already have yours in the mail, keep them in mind for next year!

 

WALGREENS: 40% Off All Photo Cards

SHUTTERFLY: Up to %50 Off Folded & Flat Holiday Cards

TARGET: Holiday Cards Starting At $0.44 Each

TINY PRINTS: 25% Off Entire Order, AND Delivered by Friday

COSTCO: $34.50 for a Set of 50 Holiday Cards, Including Envelopes Printed with your Return Address

CVS: 40% off Holiday Cards for Orders Over $25

HOLIDAY CARD IDEAS // via hourglassandbloom.com

Perfect Popovers

When my mom told me we weren’t going to have croissants with Thanksgiving dinner, I was about ready to withdraw my RSVP.

Well, not really.

But I love croissants! They’re the essence of naughty buttery goodness that I associate with the holidays! Costco-bought or hand-made, I don’t care just hand ’em over! Yeah I said Costco.

Anyways, let’s get over the whole croissant tirade because they’re obviously not the subject of this post anyway. So, in leu of my favorite delicious flakey pastries this year, we were going to try our hand at popovers. Mom had her heart set ever since the fall issue of Martha Stewart Living showcased some particularly beautiful popovers. The ones on the glossy pages looked too perfect to be true. Could we really pull this off?

As it turns out…we kind of rocked this one.

 

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

 

The trick is temperature. Temperature of the eggs, the flour, temperature of the pan, of the oven half way through baking. Everything has to be just so.

First, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees, with the popover pan on the lowest rack. If you don’t have a popover pan, I’ve heard that a muffin pan will do (but you’ll want to fill only the outer cups and you’ll need to reduce the baking time by 5 minutes)…but if you do want to invest, the special pans only run about $15-$20.

While that’s warming up, gather the rest of your goodies:

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature

1 1/2 cups AP flour

1 tsp coarse salt

Vegetable oil non-stick cooking spray

Optional: grated gruyere cheese (yes. do it.)

In a large bowl, slowly whisk the eggs and warm milk together until just frothy. Next, add a little of the flour/salt at a time, whisking until it’s the consistency of heavy cream. Some small lumps may remain (leave them) and the mixture should have some tiny bubbles at the surface.

 

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

 

Remove the pan from the oven and coat the cups with your cooking spray. Fill each cup about three-quarters of the way, and sprinkle on the cheese. Now place them back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes…then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Don’t open the oven!

When they’re sky-high and golden brown, remove them from the oven and tumble them out onto a cooling rack. Take a little paring knife and make a slit at each one’s neck. How violent! You want a little steam to escape so they don’t keep cooking from within.

 

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom

 

Serve them, like, now. They’re absolutely the best straight from the oven, slathered in butter. Mmmmmmm wouldn’t chocolate ones be good?! Marking that down on my christmas list.

I’m beginning to miss those croissants less and less……

 

PERFECT POPOVERS // via hourglassandbloom