I saw this recipe a couple of years ago in Family Circle Magazine. Usually, I might read the recipe and think I will try it, but I throw out the magazine before I do. But, this recipe was different. I HAD to try it and I'm so glad I did! My entire East TX family loves bread pudding. This one quickly became everyone's favorite!
Before I give the "regular" directions, let me add: I get the HUGE croissants at Sam's Club Bakery and use as many as needed to fill an 11 x 17 inch baking dish. I also use the Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars, chopped, instead of chocolate chips. And, I have been known to put a little extra coconut in. This is very rich and decadent. I have never felt the need to dust it with confectioners sugar! I hope you enjoy!
Whisk together egg yolks, whole eggs, milk, coconut milk, sugar, coconut extract, vanilla and salt.
Coat a 2 1/2 qt baking dish with cooking spray. Cut croissants in half horizontally. Place bottom halves, cut-side up, in prepared dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and coconut. Cover with top halves of croissants, cut-side down. Pour egg mixture over top. (Before next step, I place waxed paper or plastic wrap over the croissants.) Top with baking sheet weighed down with cans so croissants get pressed into and submerged in liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove baking sheet used as weight (and waxed paper/plastic wrap if used). Cover pudding loosely with foil. Place pudding pan in a larger pan on oven rack. Pour hot water into larger pan to fill to a depth of 1 inch.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil' bake an additional 30 minutes or until temperature registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Carefully remove dish to wire rack; cool slightly. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving, if desired.