I asked the cook for this recipe, and she sold me her cookbook, one of those great midwestern regional cookbooks of which I've now got quite a collection. This recipe alone was worth the price of the cookbook. I'm sure she would be happy for me to share it. I've modified it slightly.
The recipe calls for Texas toast, which is a thickly sliced white bread. We don't have this in California; I used a cinnamon twist loaf from a local bakery, Semifreddi's. It's a challah loaf, with a little more sugar and some cinnamon added, formed into a braid. It makes the most insane French toast and is also great for this recipe.
1 loaf of bread, cubed
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
3 teaspoons cinnamon (I omitted since I was using cinnamon bread)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cups sugar
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add other ingredients. Fold into bread cubes.
Put mixture into buttered 9x12" pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons whiskey
Melt butter in a saucepan. Cool 10 minutes. Mix water with eggs and add to butter. Add sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add whiskey. Serve warm over bread pudding.
I prepared this before dinner and put it in oven right after the chicken came out. It cooked while we were eating and was done for dessert. The whiskey sauce can be made in advance and heated gently before serving.