Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding

Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re just wrapping up a glorious and much needed week off from work. We even managed to get away to Berlin for a few days, and it was great. I had never been to Germany before, and it was pretty impressive. I can’t wait to see more.

Of course, the weather has been terrible since we came back to Glasgow. Lucky for us, we’re quite content to snuggle up at home. Geoff plays video games. I watch TV and cook totally random things. I have discovered a new very old school English dessert that I think you’ll love. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with you soon.

Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

What I’ve made for you today comes, of course, from my kitchen idol, Nigella Lawson. This Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding is a simple and classy way to use up leftover croissants, but if you want to buy a two pack a couple days ahead of time just for this, it would be totally worth it.

This recipe is so simple that you could have friends over on a weeknight and present this as dessert. It’s sexy but also homey. They flaky croissants give you a gloriously burnished crispy top, but the underside is perfectly squidgy and indulgent. It’s not overly sweet, either. If you wanted to take it over the top, a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be a terrific idea.

I made this in two smaller dishes, but you could easily do it all in one larger dish. The next size up I had available was just a bit too big, so I went for this option. The first time I made these, we each ate one whole dish, and greedy as we are, it was a bit much. We split them the next time around, and that was more acceptable, but I was left wanting a few more bites. You do what makes you happy.

Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Make this Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding for you and a few people you really like. It can only make things better.

Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.

Salted Caramel Pudding

Salted Caramel Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For at least a week now, writing this blog post has been at the top of my to do list. For some reason, day after day, I knew I needed to finish it, but I just kept looking the other way. Seems I’ve been avoiding a lot since getting sick and then injured. I guess I’ve learned that my physical health and my mental health are closely tied. When I get knocked down, I lose momentum, and it takes my forever to get back up again. My mood and motivation seem to stay down the longest.

It seems lately all I want to do is eat. Just stare off into space and eat things I shouldn’t and feel sorry for myself and go to bed as early as possible and read. Maybe writing about how I don’t want to do anything will be a gateway out of this depression. At least I’m doing something which is a little bit more than the nothing I did yesterday.

Salted Caramel Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

No matter what your mood, you should make this Salted Caramel Pudding. At the very least, it will keep you busy for a while. There’s nothing particularly difficult, but there are a lot of components, and it requires a bit of your attention. You’ll also have a lot of dishes to wash when it’s all done. But after a few hours, you’ll be eating a sweet and slightly salty, luscious, and creamy dessert. What could be better?

Salted Caramel Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My mantra lately has been something like “There’s always tomorrow.” Maybe that’s when I’ll finally get it together. In the meantime, make Salted Caramel Pudding today. It will give you something to smile about.

Salted caramel pudding

Yield

4 servings

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes

Difficulty

Medium

For the crust

  • 5 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 0.75 ounces salted butter, melted

for the pudding

  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 0.75 ounces salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coffee liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

toppings

  • Your favorite salted caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate cookie crumbs

instructions

  • To make the crust, add your cookies to a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs.
  • Add the melted butter and process to combine.
  • Divide the mixture between four small jars or bowls. Gently press the crumbs into the bottom to flatten out the crust. Stash these in the fridge while you get on with the pudding.
  • For the pudding, we need to get a few things ready to be mixed together at the proper moment. Start by whisking together the corn starch and 1/4 cup of your milk until combined. Set this aside.
  • Next, measure out your remaining milk into a microwave safe container, and heat it up in the microwave for two minutes or until it starts to steam. You could also, obviously, do this on the stove. Remove it from the heat just when you start to see bubbles forming around the edge. Set aside.
  • Add your egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on medium high for about three minutes until pale and foamy.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together your brown sugar and water just until combined, then get rid of your spoon. You don’t want to stir it anymore once you put it on the heat. Attach a candy thermometer. Cook this mixture over medium heat until it reaches 210 degrees. Remove from the heat.
  • It’s time to go back to the egg yolks. Turn your mixer back on low, and slowly drizzle in your hot milk mixture. Next add the milk and corn starch mixture, and finally the caramel. Be very careful with this as it will still be quite hot.
  • Once everything’s been fully combined in your mixing bowl, turn your mixture off then transfer the whole mixture back to the saucepan. Cook this mixture over medium low heat, stirring gently all the while for about five minutes or until it reaches 175 degrees. It will seem like it will never thicken, and then all at once it will magically turn to pudding.
  • Off the heat, stir in the butter, coffee liqueur, and salt.
  • Evenly divide your pudding mixture into your four containers with the crust. Put these back in the fridge for at least four hours.
  • To serve, add a layer of your favorite salted caramel sauce, some whipped cream, and some cookie crumbs. Enjoy!
34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me here in Scotland because I’m basically the only person I know who even cares about its existence. It’s my favorite because the food is the star, and I don’t have to worry about finding the perfect gift or looking a certain way. I just have to put a beautiful meal on the table for people I love, and even though it can get stressful, it’s also so much fun.

I may be a failed blogger and a million years behind the times, but just in case I’m not alone in not yet planning my Thanksgiving menu, here are the 34 absolutely awesome recipes I’m going to choose from for my dinner next Saturday. Enjoy your days off, American friends. I’ll be at work remembering how thankful I am to have a job that allows me to pay for imported cans of pumpkin puree.

Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Drinks

Cran-Orange-Apple Juice – for anyone who doesn’t want alcohol, or as a mixer for anyone who does.

Cranberry Mule

Cranberry Margarita

Apple Margarita

Orange & Amaretto Cider

Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

Pumpkin Spice White Russians

Apple Brandy Punch

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

To Get Things Started

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert

Cranberry Brie Bites

Apple Butter & Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese – cut into cute little triangles for snacking

Cranberry Shoyu Sausages

Holiday Brie

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The Main Event

Red Currant Glazed Ham – because there’s no law saying you have to serve a big turkey

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy – for a traditional meal for a small crowd

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf – our family tradition

Rosemary Potato Rolls from Awesome on 20

Sides (obviously the best part)

Sweet Potato Rolls

Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Maple Butter

Rosemary Potato Rolls

Sweet Potato Gratin

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Desserts

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream – to go with all your pie

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Maple Cheesecake

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake – this one tastes most like traditional pumpkin pie

Baked Sweet Potato Brulee – simplest “dessert” of all time

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Pumpkin Cake

No-Bake Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Spice Brownies

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cakes

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breakfast (for your overnight guests)

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Scones

Millionaire Shortbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Millionaire Shortbread

Millionaire Shortbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My husband is the king of gift giving. It’s basically his super power. Over the years, he has given me so many wonderful, thoughtful gifts that are always totally surprising but also exactly what I want, sometimes without even knowing it. And though he does often spend more money than I would, it’s never about how expensive the gift is. He always finds something that shows that he has been listening and really gets me. Every gift says I love you.

I’m turning forty soon, and I’ve been pretty anxious about it. Signs of age are finally undeniable in my face and body, and I’m not sure how to deal with that. I want to accept it gracefully, but it’s a struggle.

The other night, I came home from my yoga class to a pile of packages on the kitchen table. I overlooked them, assuming they were maybe Christmas gifts or something from various family members that had been sent up early. I couldn’t think what else they would be, and I was too hungry to process them beyond another thing I would need to tidy up.

Ten minutes later, to keep myself from dying while I waited for some real food to be delivered, I dug out some ice cream bars from the freezer, and as I was setting the empty box on the table, I finally noticed the note that was sitting there. A note to me. The sweetest note I’ve ever read declaring that all those gifts and envelopes were actually for me. 40 gifts for the 40 days leading up to my birthday so that I would remember every day how much I am loved, how wonderful my life has been, and what a beautiful future we have together. That note will probably still be my favorite part of the gift by the time my birthday finally arrives. I’ve said it before, I didn’t know what it meant to be truly loved until I met this man. Nothing has changed.

Millionaire Shortbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Geoff’s birthday a few months ago, I bought him a video game and tickets to a local Oktoberfest event. I’m terrible at gift giving. My brain just doesn’t work like that. The way I showed him my love was to make him homemade caramel ice cream, and these Millionaire Shortbread bars. I’m a terrible shopper, but you best believe, you’ll get the homemade dessert of your dreams. And this Millionaire Shortbread is definitely the stuff that dreams are made of.

A layer of crumbly, buttery shortbread is topped with a layer of chewy caramel, then a thick chocolate ganache is spread over the whole thing. It’s heavenly. While there are three different components, and each needs to be made individually, this can be done after work and still be eaten later that night. Caramel-making is always a little bit fiddly. My pot is old and doesn’t heat evenly, so I get hot spots, but hopefully you don’t have hand-me-down cookware and won’t have to contend with that problem. But even if things don’t go perfectly, this is still gonna be awesome.

Millionaire Shortbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We all have unique ways of saying I love you. Millionaire shortbread is a great place to start.

Millionaire Shortbread
Serves 16
Millionaire Shortbread is an awesome way to show a caramel lover you care.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the crust
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons corn starch
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 ounces cold butter, cut into chunks
  6. 1 tablespoon cold water
  7. 1 egg yolk
For the caramel
  1. 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 3 ounces unsalted butter
  4. 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. Pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate
  1. 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped of chips
  2. 3 tablespoons double cream
For the crust
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment or foil leaving a bit of an overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, corn starch, and salt until combined and lump free.
  3. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand. I find my clean hands are the best tool for this job.
  4. Add the water and egg yolk and blend together with a fork until everything is well combined.
  5. Transfer this mixture to your baking sheet, and press it evenly into the bottom. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the caramel
  1. While your crust is in the oven, you can start making your caramel. Start by whisking together your sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and golden syrup in a medium sauce pan with a candy thermometer attached. Make sure you have enough space as the mixture will expand as it boils.
  2. Cook this over medium heat, whisking gently all the while until the butter melts and the mixture starts to boil. Continue to cook and stir until the temperature reaches 225F. Once you hit your target temperature, turn off the heat and quickly add in the vanilla and salt. Whisk this all together, then quickly and carefully transfer your caramel onto your crust. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes for the caramel to set.
For the chocolate
  1. Combined your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips with your cream in a microwave safe dish. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each round, until the chocolate is just melted. Give it a good stir to smooth everything out, then pour this over your caramel layer. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate mixture as evenly as possible right to the edge.
  2. Refrigerate the whole thing for at least an hour to set everything before slicing into 16 pieces. These are pretty rich, so you could make them even smaller if you have the patience. If you're finding your bars difficult to cut, allow them to come up to room temperature first.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

My daughter is 17 this year, and we’re definitely making cookies for Santa. This is not something I force on her, but something she requests, year in and year out. Will there be a letter as well? I certainly hope so. I can’t remember who said it first, but I fully believe those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. 

Can magic come in the form of homemade cookies? I think it can. Especially at this time of year. Here are 21 awesome cookie recipes to bring some magic to your holiday season.

  1. Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
  2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. No-Fail Sugar Cookies
  4. White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies
  5. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
  6. Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
  7. Lofthouse Cookie Bars
  8. Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
  9. Chocofied Peanut Butter Cookies
  10. Cheater Shortbread
  11. Caramel Studded Snickerdoodles
  12. Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
  13. Jam Tarts
  14. Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
  15. Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  16. Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
  17. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel No-Bake Cookies
  18. Nutella No-Bake Cookies
  19. Monster Cookie Bars
  20. Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  21. Gingerbread Dudes

Life needs more cookies and more magic.



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