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What appeals most to me in a recipe might just be its potential – the versatility of substituting one or two original ingredients and giving the dish a flavor make-over. This recipe has nearly endless potential… with countless flavors of jellies and jams, different styles of bread, and several textures of peanut butter available (including homemade peanut butter), this recipe for PB&J Bread Pudding is a winner in my book.
8 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fruit jam or jelly
1/2 cup chocolate chips, raisins or dried cherries (optional)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon can be substituted)
2 tablespoons sugar
Maple syrup or heated jam to serve.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Using the bread, peanut butter and jam, make 4 sandwiches. Cut each into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 more pieces. Arrange the pieces in the baking pan. They should be slightly jumbled. If using, scatter the chocolate chips or dried fruit among the sandwich pieces.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and spice. Pour the egg mixture over the sandwich squares. Press the bread gently with a fork to help it absorb the liquid. Let sit 10 minutes.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until egg is nearly set. Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the top of the pudding with the sugar. Turn the oven to broil, and cook until the sugar on top begins to caramelize, about 1 minute. Watch it closely to prevent burning. Serve drizzled with maple syrup or warmed jelly.
Adapted from: Houston Chronicle