Eli, from Scottsdale, AZ, says winning our America’s Best Kid Cooks Contest takes him one step closer to his dream of becoming a chef and owning his own restaurant. The 7-year-old loves making breakfast, so creating a bacon, egg and cheese bread pudding was a no-brainer. “We make this on a Sunday afternoon and bake it Monday morning so my brother and I can have a filling breakfast during the school week,” he says.
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the bacon side by side on the pan. Cook the bacon for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.
While the bacon cooks, prepare the other ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Grate the cheese, cube the bread and chop the chives, then add them all to the egg mixture. Crumble the bacon into the bowl with the other ingredients and gently fold to combine. Pour into the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Uncover the bread pudding and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.