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Originally published Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM

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Recipe: Handlebars Food & Saloon's Whiskey Bread Pudding

A reader judges this Whiskey Bread Pudding a standout.

Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: While on a recent visit to Silverton, Colo., my husband and I had lunch at Handlebars Food & Saloon. For dessert we ordered the bread pudding with whiskey sauce. It was by far the best bread pudding we have ever had. Although our lunch entrees were great, we almost wished we'd started with the dessert! It truly was the best, but unfortunately every recipe I've ever tried has not come even close to tasting as great as Handlebars' version. Would it be possible for you to obtain the secret?

— Sam, Simi Valley, Calif.

Dear Sam: We were able to track down Handlebars' recipe for bread pudding. It's a light but rich take on the classic, dotted with raisins and sliced almonds and baked in ramekins for easy individual servings. The twist on this version is the whiskey sauce — a kind of custard, actually — gently cooked in a double boiler to a creamy thickness. The whiskey gives the dish a nice, if subtle, kick.

Handlebars Food & Saloon's Whiskey Bread Pudding

Makes 4 servings

Whiskey sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, softened

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey

1. Over a double boiler, whisk together the sugar and butter until melted. Add the egg and whiskey and continue to whisk until thickened. This makes about 1 cup sauce.

Bread pudding

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1 tablespoon butter

2 cups milk

1 egg

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for spooning in the base of the ramekins

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

6 ounces day-old French bread, torn into bite-sized pieces

Warm whiskey sauce

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt the butter, whisk in the milk, egg, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the raisins, almonds and bread.

3. Set aside until bread well-soaked, 30 to 45 minutes.

4. Butter 4 (6-ounce) ramekins and sprinkle the base of each with sugar. Fill the ramekins with the pudding. Bake in a hot water bath until set, about 45 minutes.

5. Invert and serve with the warm sauce poured over.

Note: Adapted from the Handlebars Food & Saloon in Silverton, Colo.

Each of 4 servings: 723 calories; 12 grams protein; 88 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 36 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 187 mg cholesterol; 66 grams sugar; 340 mg sodium.

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