This is a knockout variation on a popular dessert!
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 8 ounces cubed day old French bread
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. Set aside. Toss bread cubes with melted butter, and place half of them in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cherries or pecans. Top with remaining buttered bread cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, almond extract and salt. Heat milk and coffee liqueur in a small saucepan, then whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over bread. Press gently, to moisten the bread cubes. Let stand 30 minutes. Press bread cubes down again. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture over pudding.
To make the Caramel Sauce: In a 2 quart saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Stir until smooth. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over moistened bread cubes.
Place baking dish in a larger baking pan. Pour some boiling water in the large pan halfway up the side of the smaller baking dish.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.