Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish (coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter).
Narrowly (or slightly) cut the top half off of the croissants and set aside. Tear the remaining croissants into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cut-up figs and brandy, let set 15 to 30 minutes. Note: I warmed the mixture it in the microwave to speed up the marinating. Strain the fig mixture, reserving the figs and brandy in separate bowls.
In another bowl, whisk together the brandy, half and half cream, eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined; set aside.
Distribute the croissant pieces and figs in the prepared baking dish. Layer the reserved croissants tops over the top of the bread/fig mixture.
Pour the egg mixture over the top and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
In a large pot or teapot, bring approximately 8 cups water to a simmer; turn heat to low and keep water at a simmer. Evenly sprinkle the 2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the bread pudding. Set the filled baking dish into a large baking pan (roasting pan work well). Carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the bread pudding dish.
Baked approximately 1 hour, uncovered, or until the custard is set in the center, and the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
To serve, cut into squares and put into individual serving dishes. Serve either warm or cold with vanilla ice cream (your choice).
Makes 12 servings.