Snickerdoodle Blondies 

I love Snickerdoodle cookies and these blondies may be even better than the cookies! These are buttery, chewy, full of flavor and full of cinnamon burst! Highly recommend you make these for the upcoming “Cookie Swap” parties for something different, new and delicious! 

Snickerdoodle Blondies

For the Blondies…
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture…
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

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

Beat in the 2 large eggs before adding in the pure vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour, being careful not to overmix.

Spread the dough, evenly, into the prepared baking pan.

Evenly spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the dough and place into the preheated oven for 31 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Martha’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies 

There is a sweet woman named Martha who owns and operates “Sweet Martha’s”. She specializes in chocolate chip cookies and sells them at the Minnesota State Fair for 12 days. In that 12 days she makes around $3 million dollars! I had to find out more about this fascinating woman, and in doing so, I uncovered a “copycat version” of her cookies. I made them today and they are absolutely incredible! Her secret? Extra butter, CAKE FLOUR and extra egg yolks. Sound familiar!? For those of you who have my cookbook – you will know to what I am referring. Highly recommend you try these cookies. The recipe I used is found below as well as a link to learn more about “Sweet Martha”. Thanks Martha!

Sweet Martha’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups cake flour
1 2/3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup white granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the cake flour, white all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a wire whisk to “sift” together the ingredients. 

In a separate large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pure vanilla extract. 

Next, add in the dry ingredients a little at a time being careful not to overmix the dough. Gently fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Wrap bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Place the dough in teaspoon size amount balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Lightly press down on each cookie. 

Bake one sheet at a time, in preheated oven, for exactly 10 minutes. DO NOT over bake! These will appear “underdone” but they are not! Allow them to cool slightly before enjoying.

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To learn more ahout “Sweet Martha” click here –
http://www.sweetmarthas.com/about.html

Recipe adapted from here –
http://m.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–25035/marthas-chocolate-chips.asp

Chew This! Christmas Divinity 

Christmas is just around the corner and one of my favorite Christmas memories is that of old-fashioned Christmas candy. Ribbon candy, lemon drops, chocolate covered cherries, candied pecans and made from scratch divinity are just some of the Christmas candies that fill my dreams around this time of year.

Have you ever had divinity? Divinity is an old-fashioned beaten candy that is typically made with egg whites. It is a personal favorite in my household around the Holidays and I really think after you try this recipe, it will become a personal favorite of you and yours as well.


Christmas Divinity

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 20th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Candy
Blaise Doubman

I love old-fashioned Christmas candy! There is something so warm and comforting to me about seeing a bowl full of colorful ribbon candy in a glass dish or rainbow colored gumballs. I have so many memories of Christmas candy that whenever the season rolls around I sometimes find myself dreaming in candy. I’m a huge chocoholic, but with Christmas candy, I want chocolate to take a back seat. Just this once. I want candy that is warm, familiar and seasonal in taste. Candy that is flavored with cinnamon, clove, anise and cardamom; scents and flavors that take me right back to my childhood. I can still remember eating my way through my Grandma Deloris and Grandpa Max’s crystal bowl full of ribbon candy and yellow sanded lemon drops. Or having to present, and explain, a naked gingerbread house because I had eaten all of the adornments.

My Mom, Darla and my Grandma Barbra also enjoy Christmas candy and it is from them that I fell in love with a candy known as divinity. Divinity is a creamy confection made using stiffly beaten egg whites. Although, there are some recipes that do not call for egg whites – such as the recipe for divinity I have in my cookbook. My first experience with this candy was in Metamora, Indiana at the Little Red School House. The confectioners’ factory is gone, only the memory remains, but it was there that I first fell in love with this candy. Once my Grandma Barbra and I made this for the first time, I was skeptical. Egg whites? But, at first taste, it was love! Since then I have experimented with all types of recipes and honestly, most are hard and time consuming! I wanted a recipe that would be fairly simple and foolproof. After many trials and errors I came up with the recipe I am sharing with you here today. I love making this and passing it out for Christmas gifts. Everyone loves it and it creates a great Holiday memory!

Christmas Divinity

The chopped nuts in this recipe are completely optional. If you are a fan of nuts, by all means, use them! If you are not that big of a fan, leave them out. Some people prefer the nuts stirred into the actual candy mixture, while others place the nut on top. For example, once the candy is formed and placed on the parchment paper, press a pecan half on top, or a walnut, etc. Also something that is optional is dusting the final candy with confectioners’ sugar. By dusting the candy you take away the initial stickiness of the candy while adding a hint of flavor. I am not a fan of candy thermometers; most of the people I have talked to are not either, so use the cold water test. Drizzle a little of the cooked candy into a mug with cold water and feel it. If it can be turned into a soft ball it is around 235 degrees F. If it can be turned into a hard ball it is around 250 degrees F. Follow the minutes given for the recipe and you will end up with the exact temperature needed for the recipe.

3 large egg whites
3 cups white granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

In a large bowl beat the large egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Using a hand mixer this will take several minutes. Anywhere from 5 minutes to 7 minutes. Once the egg whites are stiff, and hold their attention when the beaters are removed from the bowl, sit the bowl aside.

In a large heavy bottom saucepan, combine the white granulated sugar, light corn syrup and water. Stir this continuously until it reaches a boil. Continue stirring while the mixture boils for exactly 5 minutes. The mixture will form a hard ball when dropped in cold water.

Add the hot boiled mixture, carefully, into the stiffly beaten egg whites while beating with a hand mixer at medium speed. This is hot and dangerous work so please work carefully.

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, salt and chopped nuts, if using. Beat this mixture several more minutes until the mixture starts to hold its own shape. This will take around 5 minutes.

Drop teaspoon size amounts onto parchment paper. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

To store this delicate candy, place in tightly sealed plastic container at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: Donna Cronk asked if my “Tomi’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie” could be frozen and transformed into an ice cream pie / frozen treat. Absolutely! This would work great in the summer months when such a treat would be a cool welcome to the table. If freezing, snap on plastic pie lid and wrap well with aluminum foil. Also on the subject of that particular column, let me clarify that the location I was referring to that sells the peanut butter pies is actually called “Top Hat” which is located on Broad Street in New Castle.

 

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Perfect Holiday Gift!

Do you know what would make the perfect Holiday gift for your friends and family this year? My cookbook of course! “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” comes with 200 recipes, tons of family memories and stories, kitchen tips and tricks and so much more! My cookbook is filled with recipes for desserts (of course), main dishes, vegetables, soups, salads, breads, appetizers, drinks…anything you could possibly want! All cookbooks come autographed (and personalized if you wish.) Cookbooks are $15 total ($12 for the cookbook plus $3 shipping and handling). IF you buy FOUR OR MORE cookbooks the shipping and handling charges are dropped. Mail your payment to – Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. You can also pay online via http://paypal.com. Use the email blaisejdx@gmail.com for ordering there. If you have any questions please contact me and let me know. 

Thank you!

Blaise 

Black and White Cookies

These cookies should not be confused with the popular New York “Black and White Cookie” – a cakey cookie with two different colored sides. Think of this cookie as a white chocolate chip cookie with cocoa powder added to the dough. My friend Karen sent me a version of this recipe from a Mrs. Fields cookie cookbook and I could not have been more excited. I love Mrs. Fields cookies but I really think this version beats their popular and familiar cookie. Stir up a batch and let me know what you think! Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

I have also opened up my “Blaise the Baker SHOP” on my Facebook page. Join me there at http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker Right now my only product available is my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” but stay tuned for additional items which will be added in the future.


Black and White Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed 
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Once combined and throughly mixed add in the large eggs. 

Beat well before adding in the pure vanilla extract. 

In another bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this in small increments to the wet ingredients and stir well. 

In a small bowl combine the chips with a tablespoon of white all-purpose flour to prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom of the cookies. 

Once all combined and mixed, stir in the white all-purpose flour coated chips. Be careful not to over mix the dough.  

Drop by rounded tablespoon size balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 23 minutes exactly for a crispy cookie or 18 minutes exactly for a softer cookie. 

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool before removing them from the baking sheet. 

Enjoy! 

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…








Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Crisco 

I have fond memories of my Grandma Deloris and I making roll out sugar cookies for Christmas using “Criso” brand, butter flavored shortening. I still remember seeing the yellow tub on the counter and being inquisitive, mainly because I had never seen, or used it, before. She explained to me that this was her “secret ingredient” in making the cookies. That amazed me and every time I see that familiar yellow tub / container, I think of her and her Christmas sugar cookies.

I was, however, familiar with the blue wrapped version of this same product – which is just “Crisco” shortening. That was, and still is, my Grandma Barbra’s secret ingredient in her pie crusts and certain types of cakes.

While browsing the grocery store a few weeks ago, I decided to buy the butter flavored shortening, “Crisco” brand of course, just for nostalgic purposes. I was surprised that the labeling had not changed that much. I put it into my cart and took it home to my pantry.

A couple weeks later I noticed there was a recipe on the side of the labeling for “Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I have never been one to turn down a chocolate chip cookie or a chocolate chip cookie recipe for that matter, so I decided to give these a try.

I was a little unsure at first, but after baking, and my first bite – I was a believer! They were, and are, absolutely fabulous! I changed a couple of things from their original recipe, but not much.

Their recipe can be found on their website or on the side of their butter flavored shortening container. My recipe can be found below. Whichever you decide to make, make them! They are yet another delicious chocolate chip cookie that I will be adding to my “cookie rotation”. My test testers loved these and I think you will too. Do not replace the shortening for butter because you will not have the same taste, texture or results.


Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Crisco

1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup “Crisco” butter flavored shortening
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the light brown sugar, butter flavored shortening, whole milk and pure vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

Next, add in the large egg and combine well.

Add in the white all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. Be careful not to over work the dough.

Finally, stir in the white all-purpose flour coated semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Drop by larger tablespoon size amounts onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Enjoy!

For more “Crisco” pure vegetable oil recipes, please click here – http://crisco.com/recipes

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Chew This! Tomi’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

I am on a quest to find the perfect peanut butter pie and I think I have found it with this delicious (and easy) recipe! Shoutout and special thanks to Tomi White for sharing this fabulous recipe with me! Please pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think. I love recipes like this that are not just simple and easy, but full of taste and flavor. I highly recommend trying this!


Tomi’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 6th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

The Quest for Pie and Tomi’s Peanut Butter Pie
Blaise Doubman

Did you know that the Pizza King on Broad Street in New Castle made homemade pies? I did not until just recently! Where have I been? A friend of mine, Cindy Blackburn, told me about their homemade peanut butter pie one afternoon, and literally before I could get back to my car, I was calling Pizza King and ordering one for the next day! My Grandma Barbra has been making peanut butter pie for years, from a recipe of Paula Deen’s, and I try and stay away from it, because one bite leads to me usually finishing off the pie on my own. I even have a recipe for it myself that leads towards a peanut butter pie that is thicker and denser than most. Needless to say, the peanut butter pie from Pizza King was fabulous! It was flavorful and surprisingly light. When I picked it up, it was warm and the meringue on top was still dewy and fresh. I have asked around for the recipe, but it seems to be a closely guarded secret. If you are reading this, and know the recipe, email me! Ha! I have since tried to duplicate the recipe and have come pretty close. I will not give up though! Experimenting with peanut butter pie does not sound like such a bad job, right? I still need to figure out the secret to their crust…

I posted my research on my Facebook page, and a friend and fellow foodie of mine, Tomi White, messaged me telling me that she had a recipe she thought I would enjoy. I love sharing recipes with family and friends and was anxious to try it! Tomi lives in Texas and is a caring and loving mother, daughter, wife and friend. I really enjoy talking about food and recipes with her, so when she said that she had a recipe for the pie I was seeking, I was thrilled! Shortly after, she sent me the recipe and I immediately tried it. Let me tell you… Oh! My! It was amazing! The texture, the taste, everything about it was everything I had been looking for. Was it the combination of the whipped cream with the peanut butter, or the chocolate that added in with the final flavor, or was the secret in the chocolate crust? Whatever it was, it was delicious! Shout out and special thanks to Tomi White for allowing me to share this recipe with all of you!

Tomi’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

In place of the Kahlua you can use 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons water. You can also substitute pure vanilla extract. The Kahlua has a coffee flavored note and will add to the chocolate, but if you are worried about alcohol please feel free to substitute. This pie is delicious prepared and served as is, but feel free to leave out the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for a smoother finish to the pie. A homemade chocolate crust can be made with chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the prepared version, or use your favorite pie crust.

16 oz. tub whipped cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 chocolate cookie pie shell

In a large bowl mix together the softened cream cheese, smooth peanut butter, Kahlua and confectioners’ sugar. Once combined, add in the tub whipped cream and beat well.

After the mixture is smooth, gently fold in ½ cup of the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Pour this mixture into the pie shell and mound it high in the middle.

Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top of the pie.

Place into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

Ask and Answer: I received a couple of emails from readers who wanted to know if my “3-Bean Chili” could be made into “chicken chili”. Yes, of course it can be! Substitute the ground beef with cooked chicken and add in a little cumin to pair with the chicken. I like using rotisserie chicken for substitution in this recipe because it is precooked and has great added flavor.

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