Chocolate Chip Blondies

I love blondies! This recipe is basically a delicious chocolate chip cookie dough (with a little extra pure vanilla extract) and baked in a 13×9-inch baking pan. There’s something here for everyone because after it’s cooled, the middle sinks and is chewy and gooey and the edges are slightly crunchy and sandy. Amazing!

Chocolate Chip Blondies Blaise the Baker

Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 large eggs
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon white all-purpose flour (to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cookie)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and flour lightly. Or spray with “Baker’s Joy” spray – which is my preferred method.

In a large bowl mix together the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Next add the pure vanilla extract and instant coffee granules. Stir to combine.

Add in the 2 large eggs, one at a time, stirring with each addition.

Next add in the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until every trace of flour has disappeared – being careful not to over-mix.

Finally, add in the flour coated chocolate chips, and gently fold into the batter.

Place batter in prepared pan, even out the dough and smooth out the top.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 31 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690242024478/

Blaise The Baker – Recipe of the Day

If you follow me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker), Twitter (http://twitter.com/blaisethebaker) or Instagram (http://instagram.com/blaisethebaker) then you know that every day I offer a “Blaise the Baker Recipe of the Day”. Today’s “recipe of the day” is my “2-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake”. It’s delicious, and I’ve made it so many times, I don’t even have to measure the ingredients anymore! Ha! πŸ˜‰

Well, the original recipe was a little confusing, with “T” markings instead of “tablespoon” and “neutral oil” instead of “vegetable oil” – so I updated it and changed it for easier making.

You can view that here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/10/15/2-minute-chocolate-mug-cake/

Back to the kitchen,

Blaise

TWO Blaise the Baker GIVEAWAYS!

Guess what?! I am offering TWO “Blaise the Baker” giveaways!

I am so excited about this…

You can enter to win both – or just one or the other. It’s completely up to you! Both run for the same amount of time (about a week), and the more ways you enter, the more chances you get! (Check the links for more info.)

Both of these are fabulous cookbooks – but how bad could a book about decadent chocolate – and a book about amazing pies – be!? πŸ˜‰

Enter to win by clicking the link under each picture…

Blaise The Baker Giveaway ONE

ENTER TO WIN CHOCOLATE COOKBOOK HERE – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blaise The Baker GIVEAWAY TWO

ENTER TO WIN PIE COOKBOOK HERE – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just click the link or links and follow the instructions. It’s really very easy. If you have any questions please email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com GOOD LUCK!

Blaise

UPDATE: (08/02/2015) The giveaway is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! A winner will be announced shortly! Watch your emails…

-Blaise

Panzanella

I’ve always been a secret fan of panzanella, but never really make it. Why? I don’t know… Maybe it’s because this is best made with fresh farm stand ingredients – tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc. Or maybe it’s just because this is a salad…and I don’t make many salads – other than mayonnaise based ones – which I love. Anyways, moving on, if you don’t know what panzanella is, Google it. Or click here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzanella

Panzanella can actually be made with anything – to an extent. Mine is made with some of the things I like – onions, croutons, tomatoes… And a light vinaigrette dressing. It’s delicious!

You can use fresh bread, cut and drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven, or use croutons (like me). I like them fairly large, and use this brand – http://www.newyorkbrand.com/croutons?id=115

Panzanella Blaise The Baker Blaise Doubman

Panzanella

For the salad…
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups black olives
5 cups “Texas-style croutons”

For the vinaigrette dressing…
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by preparing the vegetables. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper to where they are all pretty close to the same size. After completing this and thinly slicing the onion, place all vegetables in a large bowl with the black olives and croutons.

Next, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, white vinegar, minced garlic, spicy mustard, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.

Pour the finished vinaigrette over the vegetables and croutons, and toss to coat. Serve immediately or allow to sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend together.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241900257/

Butter and Milk Corn on the Cob

Awhile back, I found a recipe on Facebook for “the best corn on the cob you will ever eat”. I saved it, and hadn’t really tried it, until now. I made a few changes, and I wanted to share them here with you. All in all, pretty good! The milk and butter give the corn a “deeper” flavor, and it is a different way than just boiling them in water… Pretty interesting. I would recommend you try this…

Butter and Milk Corn on the Cob Blaise The Baker Blaise Doubman

Butter and Milk Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob
1 stick (4 oz.) salted butter
1 cup white milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Start by filling a large pot with water. Add the stick of salted butter and milk – bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, add the corn on the cob, then reduce the heat to about medium-high. Allow to continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes.

Turn off the heat, allow to cool slightly and serve with butter, salt, pepper, cheese, etc.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241834728/

Chew This – Mustard Potato Salad and Fresh Pasta Salad

Happy “Chew This” Sunday! Hope everyone is having a nice and enjoying Sunday… I woke up this morning to several messages, emails and text messages saying that my column wasn’t available to view on “The Courier-Times” website. I contacted them, and they will find the problem tomorrow, fix it and re-post my column – so please stay tuned. I apologize for the inconvenience, but have faith and confidence the problem will be fixed tomorrow.

In the meantime, I will post my picture and link below. I will also post a “Pinterest” link, for those who like to pin recipes. And again – sorry for the inconvenience – and please check back! Both of these recipes are fabulous, and I just know that you all will want to try them…

Salads Blaise Doubman Chew This

Mustard Potato Salad and Fresh Pasta Salad

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_b4a851ba-2ee0-11e5-9850-f7fbb3d973fe.html

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241833914/

Nigella, Pop-Up Shop, Cookbook and more…

  
A quote from Nigella Lawson – and a few things I need to discuss… 

A lot of people have been asking me about my “Pop-Up Shop” and wondering more about it. Let me explain how things work…

Every once in awhile I’ll “pop-up” and make an announcement on my website (http://blaisethebaker.com) that I’m “taking orders”. I take orders for custom cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, cheesecakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cake pops, certain breads, casseroles, lasagna, etc.

You email me (blaisethebaker@gmail.com) telling me what you want, etc. I write back to you and give you a timeframe and the cost per item. Once we agree on how things are set up, your order is placed and that’s it. (Delivery and pickup are discussed prior).

I will take in so many orders, and then close – giving me time to fill the orders placed. After while – I’ll open back up and take more orders. 

“Popping up” and taking orders is really the best thing for me at the moment. There’s really no schedule as to when I will “pop up” and take orders – it just depends. It may be once every couple weeks, once a week, once a month or three times a year. It all just depends.

I have no plans on “popping up” and taking orders anytime soon, but then again – that may change. If you’re interested, stay tuned to my website and look for a special announcement. Usually how it’s announced will be a special blog post, and an “alert” at the top of my page, announcing that “Orders are Open”. Also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/blaisethebaker for additional alerts and information. 

ALSO

There’s been a lot of interest and questions regarding my upcoming cookbook I’ve been working on for months and months. I have no release date yet – no publisher information – nothing really to say other than it’s coming along and to “stay tuned”. I have my first book completed – recipes tested – etc. but it still needs “body work”. I’m still working on the outline, the organization and the “stories – memories” that go with each recipe. It’s been a long (and slow) process – but I want to be sure I’m 110% satisfied with it. For those waiting – I assure you – it will be worth the wait. Family recipes, MY recipes, developed recipes, etc. will be what’s included in the book. 

Now you may be wondering, what I meant by my “first book”. Yes – I have countless ideas and numerous recipes already developed and tested for a 2nd and 3rd book. BUT – let’s focus on the one I’m working on. All other future projects are “unannounced” at this point. 

I’m not going to put myself out there as a “chef” or anything close. I’m not. I’m a home cook. A home cook who loves to cook who has been trained by my Mom, Grandma Barbra and Grandpa Max. I’ve been raised in the kitchen, and I’ve learned by doing. And doing and doing. I love family recipes that hold stories behind them, and special memories. I love recipes that can be made again and again by people – for the people they love – and enjoyed by all. 

I’ve thought about attending pastry school – or a chef school – but honestly, right now in my life, that doesn’t interest me. Maybe in the future – who knows. 

I feel that if I actually become a “chef” – my techniques, recipes, ingredients and stories will change. I want to maintain, and pass on, the ways and techniques that made me fall in love with the kitchen to begin with. I’m not “dissing” chefs. I have a LOT of chef friends. I know several people who have graduated culinary school. I have a lot of love and respect for chefs. It’s just not for me. Not right now. 

So – I hope I’ve answered what a lot of you have been asking. 

As usual – if you have an “Ask Blaise the Baker” question – shoot me an email and I’ll answer it. Or check my website in the search engine for my “Ask Blaise the Baker” section – there’s a lot of Q&A’s there. 

And – last but certainly not least – THANK YOU for the support and dedication that you’ve given me! I can’t even put into words what this means to me. It means everything. And I thank you all so much!!! xoxo

Cookbook Corner – Yogurt

I’m falling in love with an unexpected cookbook…

Yogurt Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner”
By: Janet Fletcher

This one really surprised me…

At first glance, I wasn’t really sure if I would like the book…but much to my surprise – I love it! It’s really got me thinking about food (and yogurt) in a totally new and exciting way! If you are a fan of yogurt – do yourself a favor and go out and buy this book! So many delicious recipes (fabulous photographs too) and so much information on yogurt – you won’t believe it! And it includes recipes to make your own yogurt…something I’ve had on my “To-Do List” for awhile now. Can’t wait to try it!

The book is divided into 8 main sections, with plenty of recipes per section. Some examples…

Making Yogurt at Home
“Homemade Yogurt” (page 19), “Making Greek Yogurt” (page 23) and “Making Yogurt Cheese” (page 23), among a few other very interesting tips and recipes.

Yogurt for Breakfast (my favorite chapter)
“Yogurt with Eggs” (page 26), “Yogurt with Nuts and Seeds” (page 29), “Yogurt with Granola” (page 29) and “Yogurt with Dried Fruit” (page 30). It really opens your eyes as to what you can pair with yogurt for breakfast – and almost all of the recipes are something fast and portable – or can be made portable!

Appetizers and Salads
“Yogurt Cheese with Feta, Pumpkin Seeds and Za’atar” (page 36), “Smokey Eggplant Salad with Pita Crisps” (page 40), “Cherry Tomato Raita” (page 42), “Grated Beet and Yogurt Salad with Beet Greens” (page 46) and “Chopped Summer Vegetable Salad with Farro, Yogurt and Za’atar” (page 48). These appetizers and salads will really make a great first impression when entertaining.

Soups
“Yogurt, Leek and Barley Soup Red-Pepper Butter” (page 54), “Chicken Soup with Toasted Pasta, Chickpeas and Yogurt” (page 55), “Chilled Golden Beet and Yogurt Soup” (page 59) and “Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Tomato Salsa” (page 61). So many delicious soups – it will inspire you to try a number of them!

Mostly Meat
“Lamb Meatballs in a Warm Yogurt Sauce with Sizzling Red-Pepper Butter” (page 66), “Orzo with Spicy Lamb, Chickpeas and Yogurt” (page 72) and “Grilled Hanger Steak with Grilled Red Onion Raita” (page 77).

Vegetables and Grains
“Roasted Butternut Squash with Yogurt and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds” (page 82), Seared Mushrooms and Shallots in Yogurt with Garam Masala” (page 87), “Grilled Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce, Feta, Lemon and Dill” (page 88), “Warm Chard Ribs in Yogurt with Toasted Walnuts, Cilantro and Cumin” (page 97) and “Asparagus Frittata with Yogurt Cheese” (page 101).

Desserts
“Yogurt with Mango, Toasted Coconut and Cashews” (page 105), “Yogurt with Blueberries, Hazelnuts and Maple Syrup” (page 109), “Yogurt Mousse with Orange Marmalade and Toasted Almonds” (page 112), “Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce” (page 116) and “Greek Yogurt Sorbet” (page 121).

Beverages
“Strawberry-Mango Smoothie” (page 129), “Banana-Fig Smoothie” (page 130) and “Four Seasons of Fruit Smoothies” (page 132).

This book really blew me away with it’s recipes and attention to detail. The photographs are beautifully done and all around, a great book to add to most cookbook collections!

To learn more about Janet Fletcher, and to order this book, please click here…
http://www.janetfletcher.com/shop/yogurt

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. Shout out and special thanks to Blogging for Books for this opportunity. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s been several people who have asked me if I have a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, since not everyone is a fan of my “Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies” (recipe here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/06/19/old-fashioned-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/). The answer? Yes!

This recipe is basically a spin off of the recipe I mentioned earlier, for my oatmeal raisin cookies, but instead of raisins – chocolate chips… and a little extra vanilla. Try them! They’re so delicious!

You can make this dough in advance, placing it in a covered container in the refrigerator, and bake off the cookies later. I find this really gives the dough time to develop it’s flavors fully. Needed time in the refrigerator would be 12 hours minimum, or two hours in the deep freeze.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Blaise the Baker

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats)
1 cup chocolate chips, mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon white all-purpose flour (to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cookie)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light and fluffy in texture.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the pure vanilla extract.

Next, add the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until just combined.

Finally, gently stir in the oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, place dough on prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch in between each cookie.

Place cookies in preheated oven (one sheet at a time) for 17 minutes exactly.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241736537/

Chew This – Make Ahead Breakfast Peach Muffins

I’ve heard from so many of you, wanting and asking for a quick, flavorful and easy breakfast recipe. There are so many things that come to my mind – what about a “breakfast casserole”? Or what about my “Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes” that I posted awhile back!? Recipe here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/10/19/chew-this-lemon-and-butter-oven-pancakes/

I really think the real secret is making something ahead of time… And how easy and simple would making muffins be? Stir them up the night before, and bake them off as you need them – or you could bake them all at once, place them in a covered container, and keep them at hand for a quick “grab and go” breakfast treat, that is fast, easy and delicious! Perfect with coffee…

These are delicious with fresh, local peaches – but just as good with canned.

Try these for your breakfast this week…

Breakfast Peach Muffins Chew This Blaise Doubman

Make Ahead Breakfast Peach Muffins

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_34f80dfe-1e80-11e5-b2b1-ff1918d56600.html

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690241598501/