Giant Black Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

My Grandma Deloris and Grandpa Max would make these all the time when I was growing up! You can make these any size you want, but I think making them huge is so much more fun and memorable.


Giant Black Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup black raspberry jam
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Start by creaming together the softened unsalted butter and white granulated sugar. Stir in the pure vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the white all-purpose flour and salt.

Add this mixture gradually to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir until combined.

Once the dough comes together, remove to a floured working surface and pat into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

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

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured working surface. Using a well floured rolling pin, roll dough out to about the thickness of a nickel. Cut out round circles using a well floured 3-inch round cutter.

Place the circles onto the prepared parchment paper lined baking sheets, leaving just a small space around each.

When all the circles are cut and placed, place both baking sheets into the refrigerator to chill firmly for 20 minutes.

Bake each baking sheet, one at a time, for exactly 23 minutes. Remove and immediately place your thumb print into the middle of each cookie. This is hot work. Use the back of a spoon if you do not want to burn your thumb. Allow the cookies to cool at room temperature.

When cooled, place black raspberry jam in a bowl and whisk until spreadable.

Dollop a good size amount – about two tablespoons – of the jam into the center of each cookie. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Place back in refrigerator to chill for several minutes before serving.

These can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Gingerbread People

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I have a column that appears in “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month. This column is also available online to those who subscribe. I love writing and sharing my family memories and recipes with everyone and today’s recipe is encouraging a new Holiday tradition with your family and friends!

I am not always the biggest fan of gingerbread, I sometimes find it too spicy or too crumbly – so this recipes is, to me, the perfect gingerbread cookie. This recipe makes the perfect cookie because they are tender, easily made and delightfully flavorful. These are so much fun to roll out, cut out and bake!

Cut out gingerbread men, women and even animals. The sky is the limit! My “Gingerbread People” will be a welcome gift for your family, friends – and Santa!

So much fun to decorate as desired!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you! Thank you all so much for the continued support and dedication.


Gingerbread People

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 18th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Starting New Holiday Traditions…
Blaise Doubman

I think that creating new Holiday traditions are just as important as keeping and reviving the old ones. My family has changed over the years and new traditions have been made just by simply having the old traditions merge on their own into something else. It seems that life in general has a way of changing things, transforming things into something new, with or without your readiness. I am the first to admit that I am not always the first to embrace changes but when it comes to the Holidays I am always ready and eager to find new traditions. Sometimes those new traditions work out, such as Christmas parades, helping the homeless, serving Christmas dinner as a pot-luck party; and sometimes they do not. That is all a part of the process though and each scenario creates a memory; and what is life without memories?

This Holiday season I am creating the tradition of adding “Gingerbread People” to my Christmas cookie assortment platters. I never really used to like gingerbread men because I found the cookies to be either too hard or too spicy – or both! I remember being younger and taking the gingerbread man and licking the white frosting off, leaving behind a naked cookie! Much to the dismay of my parents, that tradition was firmly stopped. Over the years I have tinkered with creating a recipe for a gingerbread cookie that was firm, but not hard and had flavor but was not spicy. With the recipe I am sharing here with you today, I believe my mission to be accomplished! Create gingerbread men with this recipe, women, dogs, cats, whatever your heart desires! Mixing the dough by hand is fun for kids, and adults, and if you do not have cookie cutters, never fear! Take the dough and read my tips below on how to transform this dough into “Gingersnaps”. Whatever way you desire, join me in this new Holiday tradition!

Gingerbread People

I hate to call these “gingerbread men” because what about the “gingerbread woman”? So – in all fairness I will call these cookies, “Gingerbread People”. I love decorating these with a simple white cookie icing that is basically a cup of confectioners’ sugar whisked together with about 4 tablespoons cold water. I place the icing into a squeeze bottle and once the cookies are cool – decorate! You can also decorate these with sprinkles or candy. These cookies are easily transformed into “Gingersnaps” by placing the dough into 1-inch balls and placing them on a cookie sheet. Lightly press down on the balls to flatten slightly. Sprinkle with sugar and bake accordingly.

2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, cubed
¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F and prepare two large baking sheets by lining each of them with parchment paper.

In a large bowl add the white all-purpose flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a wire whisk to ensure there are no lumps. This is essentially like “sifting” the ingredients together.

Add in the cubed unsalted butter and using clean hands, rub the mixture together between your thumbs and fingers until the mixture resembles fine sand.

Next, add in the light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Stir together well. The mixture will look dry but incorporated. This is desirable.

In a small bowl add the large egg and pure maple syrup. Beat together slightly.

Add in the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a dough begins to form. If your dough looks a little dry add a teaspoon of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. You want a smooth, brown dough that is stiff but easily moldable.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with white all-purpose flour. Place the dough into the middle of the work surface and stretch the dough by pushing it away from you with the heels of your hands. Keep doing this method until your dough is smooth.

Once your dough is smooth, sprinkle a little more white all-purpose flour over your work station and, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about ¼ of an inch thick.

Using well floured cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes. Carefully lift the shapes onto your parchment lined baking sheets and bake, one sheet at a time, for 14 minutes.

Once desired shapes are cut from the dough, roll the dough up, flour the work surface lightly, and continue working until all the dough is used.

Once the cookies have baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before decorating however you desire. Keep cookies at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: Karen Wirima, of Stamford, Connecticut would like to know the difference between using salted and unsalted butter in recipes. I always use unsalted butter in my baking recipes because that means I control how much salt goes into the finished product. I find it essential in baking, but not so much in cooking. Each stick of salted butter contains ¼ teaspoon of salt. I always tell people if they want to bake with salted butter, just subtract ¼ teaspoon from the recipe for each stick of salted butter being used. Keep that in mind for cooking too.

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Holiday Cookbook Orders 


Reminder: NEXT WEEK is the last week you can order my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and have the delivery guaranteed before Christmas without paying any additional postage! To order simply send $15 total to Blaise Doubman – Box 47 – Kennard, IN 47351. You can also pay online through http://paypal.com. Select “send money to family & friends” and use my email – blaisejdx@gmail.com If you need any help or have any questions please send me an email. Thanks again!

Blaise 

Chew This! Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles 

I LOVE slow cooker chicken and noodles and this recipe is the only recipe I use. It comes to me straight from my Mom, Darla and she’s been making it for years! You can add whatever spice you want, even lemon or fennel, and it turns out fabulous every single time!

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think! It is also posted on their website – link below – to those who are online subscribers.


Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 4th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A Warm, Comforting and Healing Slow Cooker Meal
Blaise Doubman

My Mom, Darla, makes this recipe a few times a month and it is delicious each and every time! You would think that chicken and noodles would really be more of a winter comfort food but I firmly believe that this is more than just comfort food, it is healing food. Sometimes, no matter the time of year or temperature, you just need something that warms and comforts the soul. This recipe provides that and so much more. Whenever my Mom makes this I am immediately taken back to my childhood when I would smell this cooking from the kitchen as I walked through the front door. Whenever I am feeling down or low and need a pick me up, somehow my Mom always knows exactly what I need; a huge bowl full of chicken and noodles.

My Mom makes this in the slow cooker, which is how I make it because it was the way I was taught. Cooking the chicken in a slow cooker, low and slow, really makes the chicken so tender and flavorful that you may never cook your chicken any other way again! After the chicken cooks and you remove it from the slow cooker, it leaves behind some of the most delicious chicken stock you can imagine. The chicken juices join with the butter, water and seasonings and create, what my Mom calls, “liquid gold”. I’ve always heard that chicken and chicken soup had healing properties and after many bowls of this, I am a firm believer.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

You can substitute chicken thighs or chicken breasts for the whole chicken in this recipe. If you prefer to use homemade noodles use your favorite recipe or try this one – Mix together 2 tablespoons milk with 1 large egg. Stir this mixture into 1 cup white all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Stir this mixture with a fork until it forms a ball. Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin until about the thickness of a dime. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into thin strips, lightly flour again and place on floured baking sheet. Use as desired. For this recipe, add right into the slow cooker.

2-3 pound whole chicken, rinsed and pat dry
4 cups cold water
1 stick (4 oz.) salted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 package (24 oz.) Amish noodles, fresh or frozen

Start by lightly spraying your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray, or place in a slow cooker plastic liner and tuck around the rim. Place the prepared whole chicken inside and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper. Add in the cold water and scatter around the cubed salted butter.

Place on the lid and cook on the low setting for 4 hours.

After the chicken has cooked, remove the lid and carefully lift the chicken out of the slow cooker and into a large bowl. Allow the chicken to cool for several minutes before moving on. Using a portable strainer, strain the chicken stock and remove any impurities.

After the chicken has cooled to the touch, remove the meat from the bones, discarding from the bowl the chicken bones, skin, fatty areas, and anything else undesirable.

After discarding, you should be left with only the chicken meat. Using two forks shred the meat into large bite-size pieces and place them carefully back into the slow cooker.

Add in the noodles, stir and cover. Cook an additional hour on the low setting.

Serve when the noodles are cooked through and everything hot.

Ask and Answer: Jamie, “jmnich77” on Instagram, asked what the difference was between my “Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie”, that can be found in Donna Cronk’s book, “That Sweet Place”, and the Kentucky version called, “Kentucky Sugar Cream Pie”. The difference, other than the geographical location, is that the official Kentucky version is made using brown sugar, whereas Indiana’s version is made using white granulated sugar.

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