The other week I went down to Lockhart to try just one of the famous BBQ joints, Kreuz Market. They are a no-frills place, with no sauce and no forks. But they do give you a handful of slices of white bread and saltine crackers to go with your meat. I prefer to go with other sides, like coleslaw and sauerkraut, though, so I always have bread leftover. Not one to waste, I decided to make another bread pudding.
When it comes to homemade versus store-bought, I'm adorably unpredictable. Which is why the applesauce in this bread pudding is homemade, but some of the "bread" is actually store-bought muffin breakfast bars. I've discovered that applesauce is the perfect way to use up apples that have lost their crunch. Just chop them up (I don't even bother peeling), cook down with a little liquid, then blend down. Sometimes I even mix in some other fruits for a berry applesauce. Yum!
But if you have some leftover homemade muffins and store-bought applesauce instead, that works too. I would use unsweetened, though, because the caramel and other sugar already makes these sweet enough.
Caramel Applesauce Bread Pudding
Makes 2 dozen cupcake-sized servings
- 7-8 cups torn pieces of leftover white bread and croissants*
- 3 cups torn pieces of muffin bars, or leftover muffins
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup applesauce, divided in half
- 1 pouch dulce de leche white hot cocoa mix
- About 1/8 cup white sugar (enough to make a full 1/2 cup when combined with cocoa mix)
- A pinch of salt
- 6 pieces of soft caramel, chopped
- In a very large bowl, combine breads and muffins. Set aside.
- In another bowl, stir together eggs, milks, extract, half of the applesauce, cocoa mix, sugar, and salt.
- Pour wet mixture over the breads and muffins, mixing so that the liquid is as evenly distributed as possible. Place in the fridge and allow to absorb for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Fill each lined muffin cup about halfway with the bread pudding mixture. Place a spoonful of applesauce and a few bits of caramel in each cup, then top with another spoonful of bread pudding.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool on a wire rack.