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St. Anthony Bread Pudding

7 oz. (about 8 C.) day-old croissants or other white bread
2 1/2 C. milk
1 T. vanilla
6 large eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. raisins
3 T. butter, cut into thin slivers

New Orleans Bourbon Sauce:
1/4 lb. butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. heavy cream (not whipped)
1/2 T. good quality bourbon

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut croissants into cubes and place in a buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Heat milk until it reaches the boiling point, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add vanilla to milk. Beat the eggs with the sugar until mixture is smooth, then slowly add milk to the eggs and sugar. (If hot milk is added quickly, it will cook the eggs.) Sprinkle raisins evenly over the bread. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the bread. Scatter slivers of butter over the top.

Set the baking dish in a larger pan and fill the outer pan with very hot water to come about half way up the sides of the baking dish. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a light crust forms and the pudding is firm.

Allow the pudding to cool overnight in the refrigerator before cutting into squares and removing from the pan.

Makes 9 servings.

For Bourbon Sauce:
Melt butter over very low heat, stirring continuously to keep it from separating. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and begin to mix slowly. Mix until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Add heavy cream to sugar and butter mixture and mix until smooth. Add bourbon and mix in.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Makes 2 cups.

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