With a few changes to meet both our chocolate and cinnamon demands, it turned out almost as good as John The Chef's recipe. We were lucky that The Monkey Boys were willing to jump right in to help mix it all together.
John The Chef's Bread Pudding
Mix in a really large bowl:
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups half and half or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) flavoring
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. blueberries (fruits can include, but are not limited to, strawberries, apples, bananas, blueberries, peaches, raisins--your choice, just not huge amounts)
1/2 cup large dark chocolate pieces (optional, but it makes it so good)
Really, the chocolate just MAKES this bread pudding so delicious!
Add 8 cups stale/dry bread cubed to the egg mixture. Use a variety of bread types like wheat, rye, challis, white, raisin bread, but make sure to include 2 croissants. John said we HAD to add a couple croissants...no exception to that rule!
John said it was okay to toss it with your hands, but don't let it sit too long and get soggy!
Pour mixture into lightly greased pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes and then turn up heat to 450 degrees for 7 minutes to make the top crust crispy.