Tracy Shutterbean is some kind of genius.
When she posted these, I nearly leapt out of my seat. I mean, WHO COMES UP WITH SOMETHING LIKE CARAMEL BRIOCHE CROUTONS?! Croutons are the one salad additive I cannot live without (hello, Crunch Factor), and to turn croutons into a dessert-like thing is just remarkable.
Similarly, when I made these little golden nuggets of sourdough sweetness over the weekend, I nearly wept with joy over how good these things are. So simple, yet so complex. Ok, perhaps not, but they’re definitely a stroke of brilliance. Try them for yourself to see what I mean!
Also, make sure to check out Molly’s experience with this recipe over at The Blog of 1,000 Awesomes!
Sourdough Caramel Croutons (adapted from Shutterbean’s recipe)
4-5 slices sourdough bread, cut into cubes (sourdough is my favorite so thats what I used, but any bread you have on hand will work)
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6-8 strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream or 1/2 cup whipped cream
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Cut sourdough bread into cubes and set aside.
Put strawberries and blueberries in a medium bowl. Add balsamic vinegar to the berries and toss. Let marinate while you prepare the croutons.
Combine butter, sugar, water, in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, approximately two minutes.
Allow mixture to boil until it turns an amber color. Remove from heat. Add bread a handful at a time, stir with a spatula to coat evenly. Using a fork, remove bread from saucepan and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure the croutons don’t touch, or you’ll surely end up with one gigantic caramel crouton (but let’s be real, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world).
To assemble, layer the ice cream, then berries, then croutons. Repeat as desired and you’ll end up with a little caramel crouton + balsamic berry parfait. Because everybody loves parfait.