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Panettone is a traditional Italian sweet bread that is served during Christmas and New Year. It’s a fluffy sweet bread studded with candied fruit.  And it makes for fabulous bread pudding and French toast this time of year.

My local Trader Joe’s sold out of the boxes of cylindrical panettone a couple of weeks ago.  If you don’t already have one, fear not – Trader Joe’s also has loaves of panettone bread that look like raisin bread, sliced like regular sandwich loaves.  You can use this instead for either recipe.  In fact, I prefer using the pre-sliced panettone bread for French toast because it’s a bit firmer and easier to work with.  It won’t break apart as easily as traditional panettone when it gets wet.

I decided to up the holiday flavors in the bread pudding by using eggnog.  Because both the panettone and eggnog are sweet, I opted not to add any other sugar in the bread pudding.  But if your tooth is sweeter than mine, you could add a little sugar into the custard mixture.

Happy New Year!

Panettone Eggnog Bread Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (750g) loaf panettone
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups eggnog
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cut panettone into 1-inch cubes. You should end up with about 12 cups of bread.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add in eggnog and vanilla and blend well. Toss in bread cubes until all pieces are coated.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Let the bread pudding mixture sit to soak in liquids further.
  4. Lightly grease 12 ramekins, a muffin tin, or a 9×13″ baking dish. Pour in bread pudding mixture. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the outer pan, being careful not to get water into the bread pudding. This is a water bath and will ensure that the bread pudding cooks evenly without drying out.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes if making individual pieces, or 50-60 minutes if using a large pan.  Cook until bread pudding puffs and top is lightly browned. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top, if desired.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 12

 

Panettone French Toast Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 slices panettone bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Mascarpone cheese for topping (optional)
panettone french toast Cooking with Trader Joe's

Instructions

  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet or other non-stick skillet, heat a tsp or two of oil over medium-high heat.  Add an optional tab of butter for extra flavor.  Soak bread in the egg mixture, letting bread soak in the liquid on each side.  Place soaked bread in the skillet.  Add another piece or more if there’s room.
  3. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.  For a traditional Italian flavor, serve topped with mascarpone cheese.  Or serve with maple syrup, whipped cream, or fresh berries.

Makes 6 slices