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Joni Todasco had never had bread pudding until a trip to San Antonio’s La Cantera resort. She vowed then and there to learn to make it. She found that Pioneer pancakes make the perfect base for her rich custard, and almonds and cranberries give the dish that holiday touch she was looking for.

A former deli owner, Joni loves to cook for her family. She, her husband, 8-year-old daughter and 19-month-old son live near Johnson City, just down the road from Pedernales Falls State Park, which Joni says is “a great place to raise a family.”

Bread Pudding
1 package (6 ounces) Pioneer Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almond slivers
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2 1/2 cups milk, scalded

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make pancake mix as directed on package. Make four large pancakes, using up all batter. Tear them into bite-size pieces and put them in a well-buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cranberries and almonds.

In mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; then add milk. Mix and pour over dish. Let soak for 10 minutes. Bake 50-60 minutes, until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with Vanilla Crème Sauce.

Vanilla Crème Sauce
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In 1-quart saucepan, beat powdered sugar and butter until creamy. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until thickened. Chill 1 hour.

Joni Todasco
, Pedernales Electric Cooperative