Blaise the Baker NEW Instagram Feature

2015/01/img_7971.jpg

So excited to announce a new “Blaise the Baker” feature exclusive to Instagram! Have an account? Follow me at “blaisethebaker” to see exclusive “Cookbook Corners”, some of my “Favorite Things” and what is currently going on “In My Kitchen”! Things are changing – evolving – naturally; so let us see where this goes. Thanks again for the support and I will see you next posting!

Blaise

Advertisements

Blaise the Baker ONE YEAR Anniversary Giveaway!

Join Blaise in celebration for his upcoming 1-year “Blaise the Baker” blog anniversary on Valentine’s Day, Saturday February 14th, 2015 at 2:00pm RIGHT HERE on “Blaise the Baker”!

Be there to join him in celebration on his accomplishments and to be eligible for a celebratory giveaway being featured! See you there – and thanks again for your contributions, dedication and support…

Chew This! Comedy of Errors Apple Pie

So excited to share today’s “CHEW THIS” column feature for “The Courier-Times”…

Comedy of Errors Apple Pie Chew This Blaise Doubman

Comedy of Errors Apple Pie

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 18th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Recipe testing leads to best apple pie ever!
Blaise Doubman

I was testing yet another recipe with my Grandma Barbra for my upcoming cookbook a few days ago and what started out as a disaster – let to the best apple pie ever! I had been experimenting for quite some time with an apple pie recipe that I created about three months ago. I let it sit on the backburner for quite awhile before finally I decided I was going to work on it until I got it right. Well, this recipe has taken quite the journey, but I’m thrilled to be finally sharing it with you in its finished glory. The finished title “Comedy of Errors Apple Pie” comes directly from its creation – let me explain…

My Grandma Barbra and I had quite the experience with testing this recipe. For starters, we didn’t use a deep dish pie plate – we used one that was regular size. Note – please use a deep dish pie plate when making this recipe. About 15 minutes into the cooking time, we noticed smoke coming from the oven door. We rushed over and opened the door. The pie had leaked all over the oven floor, out the bottom hinge in the door, and all over the floor. Talk about a mess… Clean up followed, followed by some tears and then finally came laughter. (It was only after the bucket with water and floor cleaner was spilled that laughter soon followed. We figured then we might as well laugh about the situation.) We tried again, adjustments were made, and I remember telling my Grandma “What if this is the best apple pie we have ever had?” and we laughed. Guess what? It was…

Comedy of Errors Apple Pie

As I mentioned before, this really needs to be made in a deep dish apple pie dish to avoid overflow in the oven. The lemon really brightens the flavors of the apples and the extra amount of sugar combined with the tartness of the Granny Smith apple make for a delectable combination. The “secret ingredient” to this recipe is the cornflakes that are sprinkled in the bottom of the crust before adding the filling. It helps absorb some of the juice – making sure the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy. Be sure to use real maple syrup and not pancake syrup – it will make a difference. This pie is delicious eaten alone, but feel free to serve alongside some vanilla ice cream. Keep leftovers at room temperature for up to three days.

For the apple filling…

5 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thin
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

For the pie crust…

2 cups white all-purpose flour
¾ cup shortening
1/3 cup ice water
1 teaspoon salt

½ cup cornflakes
4 tablespoons butter

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium sized pot over low heat, simmer the apples, white granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, corn starch and maple syrup for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, make the pastry by combining the all-purpose flour, shortening and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to combine until the mixture is the size of small peas. Next, add the ice water in and continue combining until dough becomes a soft ball – being careful not to over mix the dough.

Divide the dough into two equal balls and roll out each ball until its circumference is about an inch bigger (all the way around) than your pie plate.

Place one rolled out pasty into your pie dish. (The easiest way of doing this is to gently “wrap” your dough around your rolling pin – and then “unroll” it into your dish).

Sprinkle the cornflakes evenly into the crust before pouring in the apple mixture.

Dot the top of the apple mixture with the butter.

Next, take the other rolled out pastry and push the end of a spoon all over the top crust to help “vent” the pie. Place the pastry on top of the pie, and press lightly around the sides to help seal the top and bottom pastries together.

Finish by crimping the edges.

Take one egg and beat it with about 1 tablespoon of water to create an “egg wash”. Brush this, lightly, on top of the pie, (don’t use the whole amount of egg wash) and then sprinkle about a tablespoon of white granulated sugar evenly all over the top.

Place in preheated oven for one hour. Allow to cool before serving.

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239899702/

ASK Blaise the Baker 01/13/15

My first “Ask Blaise the Baker Q&A”! 

Currently my top 5 questions are…

Ask Blaise the Baker Blog Logo

Q: Do you always use unsalted butter in your baking?

A: Yes! Absolutely. It is best to use unsalted butter in baking so that YOU can control the amount of salt in the recipe.

Q: Can I substitute frozen shrimp for fresh in your recipe for “Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta”?

A: Yes! Use the same amount called for – but using fresh would be fine.

Q: What condiment could you not live without?

A: Sour cream. It is a pretty close tie between mayonnaise and sour cream – but I will have to say sour cream. I love it in chocolate cakes, a little in chocolate fudge, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, cold salads…

Q: How long does it take for you to develop a recipe?

A: It really depends. Once I have an idea for a recipe I immediately start doing research. It helps me to know the history behind a recipe and the facts about it. Where did it come from? Why does it call for that ingredient instead of this ingredient? Stuff like that. Then I jot down notes (I have notebooks filled with possible recipe ideas and food related notes) for how I want to do the recipe. How do I want it to taste? What am I looking for in the finished dish? Then I hit the kitchen running and try and try and try until it is perfected. Sometimes I get it right away – other times I am still trying a couple weeks in. It is a process but I enjoy it.

Q: Do you use a hand mixer or stand mixer when making your cookies?

A: No – I do not. I really prefer doing things by hand. Do not get me wrong – mixers of all kinds are nice, but I like the physical work of stirring with a wooden spoon. Plus – it helps me get my exercise! Ha!

Have a question for me? Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com and watch here every Tuesday for more answers.

Thanks for asking!

Blaise

Strawberry Brownies with Vanilla Glaze

A friend of mine sent me a recipe via Facebook several days ago for “Strawberry Brownies” that looked and sounded pretty good – so I decided to try them. I was a little worried that the recipe would not have enough strawberry flavor so I decided to use fresh strawberries in the brownies – but quickly discovered that somehow it threw off the recipe – possibly due to the strawberries being too watery? So instead, I added a little strawberry syrup to the brownies…and they turned out amazing! I also tweaked the glaze recipe a little by adding some vanilla extract. Here is the recipe and what I did…

Strawberry Brownies Blaise the Baker Blog

Strawberry Brownies with Vanilla Glaze

For the brownies…
1 box strawberry cake mix (Duncan Hines)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons strawberry ice cream syrup
½ teaspoon salt

For the glaze…
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start first by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Next, spray a 13×9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place a sheet of parchment paper down inside the pan and run your hand over to make sure it “sticks” to the pan. Then, spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. (This will all make sure that the brownies can be easily removed from the pan.)

In a large bowl, combine the strawberry cake mix, eggs, oil, strawberry syrup and salt. Stir until everything is combined – which is about 50 strokes around the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out using clean hands. Gently press and push the dough evenly in the pan – being sure to get the corners and level out the middle.

Place into preheated oven for 17 minutes exactly – being sure not to over bake.

While the brownies are in the oven make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, whole milk and vanilla extract – stirring until smooth.

Once the brownies have finished baking, remove from oven and immediately pour glaze on top. Smooth out with the back of a spoon – being sure to cover the entire surface of the hot brownies with the glaze.

Allow to cool before cutting.

Leftovers can be kept sealed at room temperature for up to four days.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239062871/

Chew This! Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Cream Cheese Glaze

Happy Sunday and welcome to 2015! Time really flies! I am feeling so thankful this New Year and so looking forward to what is ahead.

Today is the official publication of my newest “CHEW THIS!” column in “The Courier-Times”. Please be sure to pick up a copy TODAY and let me know what you think! I was inspired in creating this recipe by wanting to take something familiar (a cinnamon roll) and transforming it into something completely different – and I did! A biscuit! They are perfect for breakfast – or dessert…and could not be easier!

For my “step by step” photos head on over to my “Blaise the Baker” Facebook page…
http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker

Cinnamon Roll B with Cream Cheese Glaze Chew This Blaise Doubman

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Cream Cheese Glaze

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 4th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Warm cinnamon roll biscuits are perfect for breakfast or dessert…
Blaise Doubman

Happy New Year! I hope this New Year makes all of your greatest wishes and dreams come true. Around my house, New Year’s is typically celebrated in a small celebration with just close family. It’s always a time to reflect on what has happened throughout the year – and a time to guess what will take place on the road ahead. Also celebrated every New Year’s is the promising of “New Year’s Resolutions”. I’m bad at keeping mine – but I think mine will be different this year. I’m really going to try and keep mine. What is it? I’m going to make the promise to myself to eat breakfast (and a better breakfast) every morning. A promise to myself to start my day right, and this recipe was inspired by it.

I love delicious homemade cinnamon rolls. I always start from the soft interior, and work my way out to the crispy edges. I was in the mood for a cinnamon roll the other day, but wanted to create something that was a little different. I created this recipe after being inspired by seeing something similar in one of my older cookbooks. It’s a cinnamon roll – but in biscuit form – and it couldn’t be any more delicious. Perfect for breakfast…

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Cream Cheese Glaze

These can be served with or without the cream cheese glaze and are perfect for either breakfast or dessert. This recipe is very versatile and can easily be doubled, tripled – or even halved. Feel free to roll the dough out with a rolling pin – but it’s not necessary. (I like using my fingers and palms to spread out the dough). If you do use a rolling pin, be sure to move the dough around frequently to prevent sticking.

For the biscuits…
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 stick of butter (4 oz.), cut into cubes
2/3 cup whole milk

For the filling…
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the glaze…
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly spray two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Start by making the filling. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and finely chopped pecans in a small bowl and set aside.

Next, start making the biscuits by combining the all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, combine the butter and dry mixture together until consistency is like pebbles and sand.

Into the mixture, add the milk and stir until a dough is formed.

Place the dough onto a floured working surface and knead about 10 times – until the dough is easily held together, yet flexible. Spread the dough out using your fingers and palms to roughly the size of a large rectangle. (Mine ended up being 9-inches wide and 17-inches long).

Using a pastry brush, brush the 4 tablespoons of melted butter evenly all over the dough, being sure to get every single corner.

Spread the filling all over the dough, evenly, and press it down gently with your hand.

Next, carefully roll the dough into a log, by starting with one of the long ends, and rolling until it meets the other long end. Then, using a sharp floured knife cut the roll into slices, making each one about 1-inch thick.

Finally, place the slices into the prepared cake pans (not overcrowding them – give them a little room) and placing them into the preheated oven for 14 minutes.

While the cinnamon roll biscuits are in the oven, make the glaze by combining the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, milk and pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk together and set aside until biscuits are ready.

Once biscuits are puffed and golden, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before drizzling on glaze.

Serve warm. Leftovers can be kept, covered, at room temperature for 2 days.

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239899602/

UPDATE:

I have updated the original recipe for the cream cheese glaze. I find that the following recipe fits this particular recipe better than the original recipe I developed…

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons whole milk

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Next, add the pure vanilla extract, salt, lemon juice and whole milk. Stir to evenly combine. If glaze is too thick to drizzle – add another tablespoon (or 2) whole milk.