It’s time again for Sweet Reads with Amy Scott! Amy is highlighting fun books and sharing a dessert recipe inspired by them in a series she has brilliantly named “Sweet Reads.” Check out the full series here!
Amy is offering some really cute downloads as well as a fabulous video tutorial for the recipe on her awesome blog. So be sure to check it out. Also she just got her Facebook page going, you know how I feel about that, so help a sister out!
Take it away Amy!
After spending the summer reading every fluffy dystopian teen series in existence, I wanted to dig into something with a little more girth, a book that could stand on its own and would leave me shaking my head with the wonder of it all. Enter Neil Gaiman’s wildly imaginative, beautifully rendered The Graveyard Book.
Murder, intrigue, orphans, and a graveyard filled with very chatty ghosts–The Graveyard Book has it all. The book opens with a sinuous sentence packed with all the foreboding I needed to commit myself fully to the adventure ahead: “The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor.” Bring it.
From there, the book makes twists and turns that are so resoundingly right that I could not put the book down. I had to find out what happened to Nobody “Bod” Owens and his clan of graveyard haunts. Part fantasy, part mystery, at turns suspenseful and tender, The Graveyard Book is perfect to read aloud as a family this fall. But I won’t judge you if you get so consumed by the story that you spend an entire rainy day meaning to take a shower but instead reading this book from start to finish in one big, satisfying gulp.
Which brings me, obviously, to apple cider donuts. More to the point, Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding. That’s right, donut bread pudding. Get on it. Smother this gorgeous thing in homemade cider sauce and a drizzle of salted caramel and brunch takes on a whole new meaning. This bread pudding becomes pure dessert when accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way, it is one thousand percent delicious.
Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding with Cider Sauce and Caramel
For the Bread Pudding
12 apple cider donuts (I picked these up at a local bakery but you can also use your favorite sugar donut)
4 eggs and 2 yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 apples, peeled and cubed
Your favorite caramel sauce for drizzling (I used Trader Joe’s)
Sea salt for sprinkling
*Instead of all the spices, you can just use 2 1/2 teaspoons of apple pie spice if you have it handy.
Slice the donuts in half and arrange in a greased 9 x 13 pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together. Slowly whisk in the milk and half and half. Add vanilla, both sugars, orange zest, and spices. Stir to combine. Pour the mix over the donuts and sprinkle with apples.
Let the pudding sit for at least an hour and preferably overnight (in the fridge). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the custard is set. You might want to cover the pudding 30-40 minutes in so the top doesn’t get too crunchy.
While the pudding is baking, make the cider sauce. Pour cider sauce over a warm serving of pudding. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle the whole shebang in caramel sauce and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Swoon like crazy.
For the Cider Sauce
Adapted from About.com
This is seriously the most glorious sauce I have ever made. You will want to lick your plate clean and you will not be wrong.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups apple cider (the fresh stuff)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and sugar together. Add the mix to the melted butter. Stir until combined. Slowly add the cider and vanilla bring to a boil, stirring constantly. The sauce should begin to thicken after a minute or two. Try to resist the urge to drink the sauce straight up.
Happy reading and baking friends!