1Heat oven to 325°F. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, beat 4 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk and 3/4 cup sugar with wire whisk until well blended. Beat in milk, whipping cream and vanilla until well blended. Stir in 7 cups of the croissants pieces. Let stand 20 minutes. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Lightly press remaining 3 cups croissant pieces on top of mixture. Brush top of croissant pieces with butter; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle with dried cherries.
2Bake uncovered 55 to 65 minutes or until top is light golden brown (center will jiggle slightly). Cool 30 minutes.
3Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch and water until blended. Stir in frozen cherries. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
4Serve sauce over warm bread pudding. Store bread pudding and sauce covered in refrigerator.