With only a handful of hours to spend in Savannah, Georgia, I had to make the time count. Sweets editor Carrie mentioned the bourbon bread pudding ($4.95 a slice) at Back in the Day Bakery, which sounded just right for a mid-trip pit stop.
This southern classic is one of the signature items at Cheryl and Griffith Day's homey bake shop. You can get it packed up to go and heat it up later, or grab a cup of tea, sit at one of the communal tables, and create a scene when you whip out a semi-pro camera and take a dozen photos of it (or skip the pastry paparazzi session and just eat your dessert like a normal human being).
The bread pudding is crafted from day-old ciabatta that takes a bath in half-and-half before being doused with a caramel custard, sprinkled with golden raisins, and baked. There's bourbon in the glaze, which is applied after the bread pudding has baked and cooled. It scents the pastry with a dark, caramel-esque undertone, but isn't strong enough to really taste. I've had bread pudding previously, and thought it was great, but until I tried Back in the Day's version, I had no idea how much I'd been missing out. This bread pudding is so soft and saturated with cream and sugar that it tastes like it was made from doughnuts, not bread.
Cheryl says it's one of the easiest recipes in the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook to make, and a good place to start. If you can't make it to the bakery and want to whip up a batch at home, you can find the recipe (and a video of the bread pudding coming together) on MarthaStewart.com.