ASK Blaise the Baker 09/29/15

Time for some new questions! 

Ask Blaise the Baker Logo

Q: Why don’t you use cream of tartar in your Snickerdoodle cookie recipe? (Recipe here:

A: Because I use vegetable shortening in my cookies to develop that perfect “chewiness” I am looking for, there is really no need to add cream of tartar. If you are afraid of using vegetable shortening for cookies such as these, use unsalted butter in its place, and add about 2 teaspoons cream of tartar.

Q: What other “mix-ins” can I add to your “no-churn” ice cream? (Recipe here:

A: ANYTHING! Seriously – anything! Gummy worms, crushed up peanut butter cookies, lemon peel, orange peel, lime peel, maple syrup, caramel, candied nuts, and on and on and on…

Q: Where can I follow you on Pinterest?


Q: Do you use parchment paper or silpats when baking cookies and why?

A: I have used both, but use parchment paper most often. I do not enjoy silpats… nothing against them, but they are just not my cup of tea.

Q: What is an easy way of converting US measurements to Metric?

A: I always send people to this website –

Q: I have an 8-inch (or 9-inch) round cake recipe that makes two of the desired size. I want to convert this to a 13×9-inch baking pan. How do I do this? Should I adjust the ingredient measurements?

A: No – leave the measurements alone. Two 8-inch (or 9-inch approx.) cakes are equal to a 13×9-inch cake. The amount of batter will be the same, just watch the baking time and adjust if necessary.

Q: What is the difference between a metal and glass baking pan?

A: Baking in a glass pan will take longer than baking in a metal pan. Metal pans also will heat up faster, and maintain their heat longer. Use the type of pan that’s listed in the recipe.

Q: Can I hire you to provide goodies for my wedding / baby shower / birthday / party?

A: Eventually, yes. Right now, no. I will alert everyone here, as well as on my Facebook page (see link above), Twitter page ( and Instagram page ( when my “Blaise the Baker POP-UP Shop” will be available to take orders. STAY TUNED!

Q: My chocolate chips always sink to the bottom of my cookies. Why?

A: To avoid this problem, I always coat my chocolate chips in about a tablespoon of flour before adding them to the batter. This also works for chocolate chunks, apples, blueberries, etc. (in muffins, scones…)

Q: What is the difference between “all purpose” flour and “self rising” flour?

A: “All purpose” flour doesn’t contain anything other than flour. “Self rising” flour contains flour, baking powder and salt. I always use “all purpose” flour in my recipes. If you want to make your own “self rising” flour, combine 1 cup “all-purpose” flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Q: How can I keep my chocolate from burning when I melt it?

A: The trick I have learned over the years, is that you take away the chocolate from the heat source BEFORE all of the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat source before the chocolate is melted, and stir until completely melted. This has always worked for me…

Thanks everyone for your questions! If you have a question, please email me – for an answer. I will get directly back with you, and your question / answer may appear HERE in future posts to help other people who may have the same question.

Thanks for asking!



Cookbook Corner – Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook

I am in love with this cookbook, and I am so happy to be able to share my review and experience with all of you! My “Blaise the Baker” COOKBOOK CORNER is a place where I can share the cookbooks that I love and want to share. It is not about publicity or pushing a cookbook written by a friend of mine or trying to impress everyone with a “first look” or even trying to ramp up “numbers” for a group or a page. That is what I love about my COOKBOOK CORNER. It is a place where I can share what I love – or what I am currently loving – with all of you – my readers! So let us restart things here a bit and dive into…

Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook” By: Sarabeth Levine

You may recognize Sarabeth’s name from a variety of sources. She is the founder of “Sarabeth’s” restaurants and bakeries. She also has an award-winning line of spreadable fruits and specially food products sold nationwide – and abroad. She is also the author (along with Rick Rodgers), of the highly acclaimed and successful cookbook “Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hand to Yours”. She has also earned the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef”. Impressive right!? Perhaps that is where her name is ringing a bell with you. She’s also been featured in a variety of publications.

I remember picking up her first cookbook at my local library and admiring the cover. Simple and classic. I know – do not judge a book by its cover – but realistically we all do it. I opened the book, flipped over it, and decided to check it out.

Eventually I brought the book back – about 2 months late (no judging) and decided I would purchase a copy. Yes, I fell behind in returning the book – but I was an employee at the Library so I had extra benefits. Onto the book…
I baked my way through most of the recipes and was highly impressed. And not just with the recipes, but when Sarabeth’s way of conveying the recipes and stories to you. I absolutely loved it…

And now, I can say…I feel almost the exact same way with this one – her newest cookbook.

Why almost!? Well, I have to confess – I like this book better. Why? I love breakfast…and I got that love from my Grandpa Max.

He loved breakfast, but hated the early hours that came with it. So what did he do!? Had breakfast for dinner most times – and he loved experiencing and finding new recipes. His love for breakfast rubbed off on me because I too, love the first meal of the day and all that comes with it.

If you love breakfast (or brunch) or even having breakfast for dinner – this book is for you! I highly recommend you stop reading – and order it NOW! But – please feel free to continue – because I am about to tell you about one of the greatest breakfast books that I have ever come across…

The book is big in size – and big in flavor. The recipes are big and bold in flavor, and the photographs are beautifully done and polished.

This book is divided into twelve “chapters”, each one bursting with even more flavor and recipes than the one before it. There is also a lovely “introduction” and a very informative section called “Sarabeth’s Pantry”. The chapters are…

Fruity Beginnings / Whole Grains / Pancakes, Flaps and Blintzes / Waffles and French Toast / Muffins, Scones and Cakes / Breads and Yeasted Treats / Sauces, Spreads, Preserves and Pickles / Eggs Every Way / Frittatas and Stratas / Quiches and Savory Pasties / Potatoes, Meat and Fish / Soups and Salads.

Here is a quick glimpse into just some of the delicious recipes that fill this book…

“”Morning Fruit Bowl” (page 10), “Pear, Ginger and Yogurt Parfaits” (page 17), Vanilla Bean Lemonade” (page 19), “Slow-Cooked Steel Cut Oats” (page 29), “Creamy Wheat Cereal” (page 33), “Creamy Polenta with Peaches and Chestnut Honey” (page 36), “Milk Toasts: Comfort in a Bowl” (which brings back memories to me because my Grandpa Max enjoyed a similar concept – page 37), “Granola Bars” (page 40), “Morning Cookies” (page 43), Classic Buttermilk Pancakes” (page 57), “Corn Pancakes” (page 61), “Souffléd Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes” (page 64), “Cheese Blintzes” (page 69), “Buttermilk Waffles with Fresh Berries and Cream” (page 81), “Gingerbread-Coffee Waffles” (SO delicious and page 83), “Fat-and-Fluffy French Toast” (the best recipe I’ve found for French Toast and page 91), “Poppy Seed Muffins” (page 105), “Apple-Hazelnut Muffins” (page 110), “Cranberry Cream Scones” (page 113), “Water Mill Biscuits” (page 118), “Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake” (AMAZING and page 125), “Apple Custard Cake” (page 130), “Sarabeth’s House Bread” (page 140), “Popovers” (page 150), “Honey-Pecan Sticky Buns” (page 159), “Raspberry Maple Syrup” (page 167), “Strawberry Jam” (page 178), “Chunky Apple Butter” (page 181), “Deviled Egg Salad” (page 190), “Ultimate Scrambled Eggs” (page 195), “The Red Omelet” (page 202), “Shrimp and Tarragon Frittata” (page 212), “Vegetable Ricotta Frittata” (page 214), “Heirloom Tomato Crostata” (page 226), “Spinach-Gruyere Quiche” (page 233), “Potato Cake” (page 244), “Apple-Sausage Crumble” (page 248), “Roasted Chicken and Fennel Patties” (page 250), “Crunchy Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce” (A personal favorite and page 257), “Velvety Cream of Tomato Soup” (page 266), “Buttermilk Dressing” (page 271) and “Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Honey-Grapefruit Vinaigrette” (page 273).

How amazing do those recipes sound!? And let me tell you – that is only the tip of the iceberg… Fabulous, full of flavor recipes really fill out this book beautifully.

I highly recommend you buy this book, here…

Have a cookbook you would recommend or like to me take a look at!? Email me –

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 Sarabeth Levine for this opportunity. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


Chew This – Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am so excited to be sharing this “Chew This!” column with everyone! This one was a labor of love that involved quite a few people, and several recipes (that I narrowed down) and honestly – it was such a fun experience! Special thanks and shout out to Patricia McDaniel, Lisa Perry, Donna Cronk and, in passing, Charlene Perry and Catherine Winters. We may never know what happened to Catherine, but we do have some inspiring recipes.

The angel food cake with bitter sweet icing (original spelling) was a huge hit – as was my Jell-O red velvet cupcakes (which have appeared here before – but with different frosting). Such an interesting history presented itself with this column… And last but not least, thank you to YOU (the reader). Without you – I would not be able to do any of this…and words can not describe how much you all mean to me.

Thank you xo

Blaise the Baker Chew This Angel Food Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

Drop me an email and let me know what you think!



Caramel Monkey Bread

My Grandma Barbra and I made “Caramel Monkey Bread” from the previous months’ issue of “Food Network Magazine”. It was pretty good – a little dry. I added some extra caramel syrup on top after slicing and serving. Next time I also believe I will add cream cheese to the middle of each biscuit piece. Here is the final recipe we ended up with…

Caramel Monkey Bread Blaise the Baker

Caramel Monkey Bread

4 (7 1/2 oz. each) tubes biscuit dough
1 cup caramel sauce
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter and flour a tube pan generously.

Open the biscuit dough and cut each biscuit into four pieces.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the white granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.

Roll half the biscuit pieces into the cinnamon and sugar mixture – placing them evenly in the prepared pan.

Pour over 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the biscuit pieces.

Roll the other half of the biscuit pieces in the cinnamon and sugar mixture – and place these on top of the other biscuit pieces covered in caramel sauce.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce over all and bake in preheated oven for 37 minutes exactly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool about 5 minutes before inverting onto a platter. Serve warm.



Old-Fashioned Chocolate Icebox Cake

This delicious, old-fashioned icebox cake, was a staple in my Great Grandma Flora’s recipe box. My Grandma Barbra said that, she too, used to serve it quite a bit. She also said she has used vanilla wafers and strawberry jam with the whipped cream to create a vanilla and strawberry version. Yum! My version is 2 ingredients – and no, no sugar or vanilla extract needs to be added to the whipping cream. Delicious…

Old Fashioned Icebox Cake Blaise the Baker

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Icebox Cake

1 package (9 oz.) “Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies”
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Start by making the whipped cream. Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and set aside.

Place about a teaspoon size amount of the whipped cream on top of a chocolate wafer cookie. Stack a cookie on top and repeat the process. Once you have several cookies high, carefully lay on a long plate or platter and continue laying cookies against each other. Be sure to keep the stacked cookies in a straight line. If they move a little – adjust them and line them up with your hands until even.

Once all the cookies are used, “frost” the cookie cake with the remaining whipped cream, being sure to enclose the entire cake.

Optional: top with crushed chocolate cookie crumbs.

Place in refrigerator for at least 7 hours. Remove and slice diagonally for presentation.



Chew This – Intense Chocolate Cake

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! This recipe I really really wanted to label a “health food” – but I just could not. Why would I want to label this rich, decadent and fudgey chocolate cake a “health food”?! Because the dark chocolate I have used in the cake is SO good for you – seriously! A little dark chocolate everyday is pretty much recommended by all Doctor’s now – right!?

Well, regardless of your beliefs, or how you feel about the health benefits of dark chocolate, I highly recommend you try this cake…

Intense Chocolate Cake

Intense Chocolate Cake

Drop me an email and let me know what you think of this recipe, if you decide to try it. If you are a chocolate-lover (or a chocoholic like I am) this cake is perfect!