My kids aren't big salad eaters, but they love croutons, especially homemade ones. They are so easy to make and require little or no thought, so any chance I get, I make a batch. Often when we buy baguettes, we are left with bread the next day, which is ideal for crouton-making.
The other day, I thought to myself that while savory croutons in their buttery, salty way seem to always hit the spot, wouldn't a sweet version be amazing too? Cinnamon sugar was on my mind and I decided to give it a go.
I must say, these cinnamon sugar croutons are ah-mazing alone, but even more so appropriately nestled in a bowl of creamy pudding (I've used storebought, here) with whipped cream. They pair so well with smooth, lucious desserts - the crunch being a nice contrast in textures.
It's even possible to make these croutons and then use them as the base of a heavenly bread pudding on a cool fall morning (a post to come on this idea). Or for breakfast, you could top some vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit and sprinkle some of these crushed croutons on top. The possibilities are truly endless.
Here's how to make them:
(Created by Leelabean)
1 leftover baguette (at least 1 day old - make sure the bread has lost some of its moisture for a crispier crouton. If not, leave it out uncovered for a few hours)
1/4 c light olive oil
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1/2 c cinnamon sugar, see below for recipe
Preheat your oven to 375F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
Cut the baguette into small 1" cubes and set aside. Combine the butter and light olive oil. Make sure not to use anything stronger than light olive oil as the croutons will then have an olive oil flavor. Spread your bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil/butter mixture on top. Toss to evenly distribute the oil/butter mix. Sprinkle 1/2 c cinnamon sugar on top of the cube and toss again to cover as much of the bread as possible with the sugar. Spread the cubes evenly on the baking sheet making sure there is only one layer of bread.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes or until the bread has browned along the edges. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
2 t cinnamon, ground
1/2 c sugar
Combine both ingredients well and store in an airtight container.