2 Minute Chocolate Fudge 

I love chocolate fudge and have a made from scratch version in my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” as well as a “quicker” version that uses sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. This newest version though is quickly becoming my favorite one! I am highly recommending everyone to try this! It literally takes two minutes to stir it up. The longest – and hardest part – is having to wait for the fudge to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Patience is a virtue! I am sharing this recipe – with step by step photographs – on my Facebook page which can be found by clicking here – http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker

2 Minute Chocolate Fudge

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed fine
1/4 cup chocolate milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by lining a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl sift together the confectioner’s sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Add in the prepared unsalted butter and the chocolate milk.

Microwave on high for 1 minute, 30 seconds.

Remove and whisk until smooth.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and salt.

Whisk again.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and wrap with sides of plastic wrap. Place into the refrigerator for one hour.

Remove and cut. Serve.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/hhRJc4e

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…











Advertisements

Classic M&M Cookies 

I love the color – and taste – of these deliciously old-fashioned cookies! They take me right back to my childhood and buying cookies at the mall. These are chewy inside and have a slight crunch outside. I used dark chocolate M&M candies for these but you can use your favorite variety.

Classic M&M Cookies

1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups M&M candy

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the solid vegetable shortening, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Combine until no white shortening streaks are visable. Mixture will be thick.

Beat in the two large eggs.

Stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the M&M candy.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Top the rest of the cookies with the remaining cup of M&M candy.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/iOuP_KP

Chew This! Sharing Recipes

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column is all about celebrating love with recipes and memories! I love celebrating life by doing things for the ones you love, sharing memories with one another, making new memories and by swapping classic family recipes. I have known Theresa Pierce for many years now and over time have gotten to know her family as well. She is an excellent cook and the gene runs in her family. Today I am sharing not one – not two – but THREE recipes from Theresa’s family. Two from Theresa’s Grandma Mary and one from Theresa’s Mom, Grace. All of the recipes I am sharing my family and I love as well – and I hope you and your family will make these, enjoy them and pass them along!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is about casseroles and sharing even more recipes!

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats


Grandma Mary’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 17th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Celebrating Love with Recipes and Memories
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have a history of family and memories attached to them. The recipes I am sharing today come to me from a very good friend of mine, Theresa Pierce. We got to know each other by working together a few years ago and have been close ever since. A lot of people know Theresa as a smart, hardworking, caring person who would go out of her way for any of her friends. But guess what? Not that many people know that she is also very talented in the kitchen! Do not let her tell you otherwise, she really is a talented and very creative person in the kitchen! But she is quick to mention that all credit for that would go to her Mom and Grandma. Over the last few years she has gone from not wanting to enter the kitchen much, to baking muffins, cakes and pies! She even made a pumpkin roll a couple years back and ever since I still cannot use cheesecloth without thinking of her. She did, however, say that she would never make another pumpkin roll again… and so far she has kept that promise! Ha!

Over the course of knowing her, I also got to know her family – her husband, Rick; her Mom , Grace and her Grandma Mary. She loves and respects her family and her friends and I really admire that. I’ve admired her for years and even though I have only told her a time or two, I really think she knows how I feel. The recipe I am sharing today comes from her late grandmother, Mary (Matney) George. Even though I never got the chance to meet her, I feel like I knew her very well. She was kind, funny, warm and caring. I loved telling Theresa stories about my latest kitchen adventures, or misadventures, so that she could go and relay them to her Grandma Mary. I think one of Mary’s favorite stories was the one where I was cleaning green beans for the first time and I was using craft scissors to cut them off the vine and to cut the ends and snap their middles. Theresa said her Grandma Mary laughed and laughed over how I got them off the vine! I can only imagine some of the other stories that Theresa told her Grandma over the course of the several years we worked together! Grandma Mary is missed but her recipes, such as the ones I have shared here, will live on. That is what I love about sharing family recipes! Shout out and special thanks to Theresa Pierce for sharing with me her deliciously memorable family recipes for all to share and for all to enjoy.

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats
Cover a 17-inch x 11 ½-inch cookie sheet with aluminum foil (Grandma Mary was VERY specific on size). Arrange graham crackers on the baking sheet, filling the sheet fully. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan melt 1 stick of butter, 1 stick of margarine and ½ cup sugar. Bring to rolling boil and stir for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers, being sure to cover evenly. Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts – pecans work well here. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove treats from sheet but leave on aluminum foil. Cool completely and break into pieces. Do not try and make these on a humid day – they will not get crispy!

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats
Theresa’s Mom, Grace, adds broken up pretzel sticks to the following mixture. If using the pretzels add them at the same time you add the cereal and nuts.

16 2 oz. blocks white almond bark
1 box Cap’n Crunch peanut butter flavored cereal
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 16oz. jar dry-roasted peanuts

Start by lining two large baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly spray evenly with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the white almond bark and the smooth peanut butter in a large microwave safe plastic bowl in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

Stir in the cereal and dry-roasted peanuts. When well mixed, spread evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Allow the mixture to cool and set up for about 30 minutes.

After it has set, break up into pieces and store in plastic food storage bags at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have had questions about quick and easy casseroles so I thought I would share a recipe that Theresa’s Grandma Mary would make her frequently. Theresa said her Grandma’s “Cheesy Chicken Casserole” is delicious and whenever it was made she would polish off most of it! Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine 2 cups chopped cooked chicken with 12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup Quaker 100% natural cereal, 1 10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup chopped celery, ½ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup milk and sprinkle of pepper. Spread into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Combine 1 cup Quaker 100% natural cereal with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over top of chicken mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before enjoying.

PIN IT: http://pin.it/uQXZYkW

Foolproof Omelet

My Grandma Deloris has been on an “omelet kick” at Glen Oaks Health Campus in New Castle, Indiana and it got me thinking about where the omelet plays a role in my life. It really does not. Gasp! I know – I know. I decided it was time to change that so I told Grandma my plans on developing my own foolproof recipe, went home and got to work.

Developing this recipe was really not as complicated as I had originally thought. Just a few simple steps and a couple of simple techniques and you have one giant foolproof omelet!

You can stuff your omelet with anything and everything you can imagine. I used shredded cheese in mine. Feel free to use green peppers and onions, sausage, ham or even turkey and green onion. The sky is really the limit here – reach for the stars!

Foolproof Omelet

4 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat a large 10-inch skillet over medium high heat for about a minute. Add in the butter and allow to melt evenly. 

In a large bowl whisk together the large eggs with the salt and black pepper. Really whisk here – you want to incorporate a lot of air. Whisk, whisk, whisk. 

Once the butter is bubbly and hot pour the whisked eggs directly into the center of the skillet and leave alone. 

Watch closely but do not move the eggs. 

Once your eggs resemble a giant yellow pancake – you will be able to tell the color and texture just by looking – add in your fillings to the center of the omelet. 

If you are having trouble getting the “yellow pancake” outcome, use a rubber scrapper and gently pull on one side of the omelet, tilting the skillet down so the uncooked egg slides from the top to the bottom – therefore allowing it to cook. 

Wait 20 seconds after adding your filling and then gently use a rubber scrapper to fold the omelet over onto itself. Be careful here of the fillings used. 

Hold the omelet carefully with hot fingers and or rubber scrapper to drain out some of the fat from the skillet. 

Place on plate and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. 

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/DDCyjus

Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles 

Lately I have been obsessed with instant vanilla pudding and adding it to baked goods and seeing – and tasting – the results. These “Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles” are quickly becoming a favorite around here and I highly recommend you try them!

Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. 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 in color and fluffy in texture. 

Stir in the vanilla instant pudding mix. 

Stir in the large eggs. 

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Combine 1/4 cup white granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a small bowl. 

Roll tablespoon size balls of dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheets. 

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool. 

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/8gFtR59

One Year! 

It has been ONE YEAR today that my debut cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” was released! I still honestly can not believe it! A labor of love for me – taking nearly five years to complete. So much has happened since then and I am so humbled, grateful and thankful for all of your dedication and support – which still continues today. I have heard from so many of you through emails, phone calls, text messages, social media, snail mail and even fax about how much you love my cookbook – how you love the stories and recipes and how much respect you have for my recipes because they have been tested and actually work! When I first started this journey I had no idea my cookbook would set foot in Canada, Australia, Africa, Japan and parts of Europe! It blows my mind to think that I am known in parts of the United States, outside of Indiana – and really blows my mind to think I am known in other parts of the World! It also blows my mind to think that my cookbook will soon be going into a THIRD PRINTING! I am so incredibly thankful and I could not have accomplished any of this without all of you. Your continued support, dedication, feedback, love and encouragement means everything to me and I will always be thankful for it. THANK YOU ALL!

Love, Blaise

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

I have a slight obsession with chocolate chip cookies. I have a LOT of recipes for chocolate chip cookies – several of them here on my blog. This version is different because of the vanilla pudding and chocolate chunks. I have had vanilla pudding chocolate chip cookies before and I really just was not impressed because the dough was rather bland. This recipe though is nowhere near bland! I have taken the flavor levels up a notch with extra vanilla and lots of brown sugar and added chocolate chunks instead of chips. The results are fabulous! THIS recipe is my newest “go to” FAVORITE chocolate chunk cookie recipe! Highly recommend these!

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large (5.1 oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

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

Stir in the vanilla instant pudding mix. 

Beat in the large eggs and large egg yolk. 

Stir in the baking soda and salt. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. 

Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool slightly. 

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/E-vnt73

Chew This! Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com


My newest column is all about sharing recipes and memories with family and friends. A couple weeks ago my Grandma Deloris had the chance to “Live A Dream” and she did so by visiting “Rose City Bowl” in New Castle, Indiana! Grandma was a professional bowler for 48 years and did not think she would ever get the chance to bowl again. It was an emotional – and memorable – experience that we are so thankful for. Huge shoutout and special thanks to Glen Oaks Health Campus for making her dream a reality! Shoutout and special thanks also to Nancy McCormack for sharing with me her recipe for homemade crunchy peanut butter cups! These are delicious and I highly recommend them!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is about chicken salad, tarragon, lemon and more tips. Check it out!

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 3rd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Sharing Fabulous Memories and Recipes
Blaise Doubman

My Grandma Deloris was lucky enough to be selected for the “Live a Dream” program through Glen Oaks Health Campus, right here in New Castle! What happens is that a resident will be approached about “living their dreams” and Glen Oaks makes whatever they wish for a reality! I was in awe over this program and wanted to know more about it and I did so by actually being involved in the process! My Grandma Deloris belonged to several leagues over her 48 years of being a bowler but some of her greatest memories are those that she made at “Rose City Bowl” in New Castle. Bowling under the league name “Davis Chrysler” she held several records, both team wise and personally, at the bowling alley for many years. So naturally, when it came time for her to “live a dream” she immediately thought of her days in bowling. Glen Oaks Health Campus worked with her, my family and the local bowling alley to make her dream a reality and it touched my family and I in ways that I can only imagine in terms of how it made my Grandma Deloris feel. All day long she had a smile that I had not seen in many months.

The day of the party she was nervous but those nervous quickly disappeared when she entered the bowling alley and was acquainted again with the familiar sights, sounds and smells. Friends from all stages of her life stopped by to celebrate with her. Church friends, childhood friends, old bowling friends, Glen Oaks Health Campus friends and family all came out to watch her bowl. “Rose City Bowl” and Ann Knott from Glen Oaks Health Campus put together one of the most memorable bowling and pizza parties my family and I had ever been a part of. Grandma had the miraculous experience of bowling again, seeing friends both old and new, and making memories in a place in which she never thought she would see again – the bowling alley. While there of course we swapped stories and recipes. The recipe I am sharing today comes from my friend Nancy McCormack. She works for the “Senior Living at Forest Ridge” area in New Castle and these crunchy peanut butter cups are far better than anything you can buy. Great memories, great times, great stories and great recipes – who could ask for more!?

Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

Feel free to substitute the crushed pretzels for graham crackers and feel free to substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk or dark. Also sprinkle a little sea salt on these before chilling for an even bigger sweet and salty flavor. Crunchy peanut butter also works for those who would prefer it. A very versatile recipe and perfect for making ahead! These pair nicely with popcorn as well as with a cup of coffee.

For the base…
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter

For the topping…
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup smooth peanut butter

Start by placing the pretzel sticks in a large plastic food storage bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. Be sure there are no big chunks of pretzel – these need to be crushed fine.

Place the crushed pretzels in a large bowl and pour in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, confectioner’s sugar and smooth peanut butter. Stir until everything is combined.

Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the combined mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the smooth peanut butter and microwave on high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove and stir the mixture until smooth and glossy.

Pour this mixture over the prepared base and smooth out the top.

Place in the refrigerator to chill for one hour before removing and cutting to serve.

Ask and Answer: There have been a few questions about adding tarragon to the chicken salad that I wrote about in my previous column. A couple of emails expressed concern over the strong flavor and someone else mentioned that it was a very hard herb to find. The trick with tarragon is to use it in small amounts. It is a very strong herb but it pairs nicely with chicken to allow the chicken to taste more chicken like. It can usually be found in most supermarkets in the fresh herb section in the produce area. If you would rather leave it out all together, that is fine! Just use a little parsley and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Experiment and have fun!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/ucpJXgi

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn 

I made a “Welcome Fall” trip to Jacob’s Family Orchard yesterday and stocked up on their delicious apple cinnamon donuts, apple butter, honey, apple pie spice, amazingly rich and delicious caramel apple turnovers, tomatoes and of course popcorn! My favorite is the “Amish” style “purple” popcorn. I find it pops more evenly, has a better flavor and contains more antioxidents than a normal popcorn kernel. Anyways, I got to researching the perfect stovetop popcorn popping methods and discovered one of my own that I could not wait to tell you all about! Their are a couple of secrets that you must do – and I will explain them – and the “why” behind them as I go about the recipe. Are you ready!?

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup “purple” style popcorn
4 tablespoons salted butter

Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Place 4 kernels of corn into the oil. Once the kernels start to pop – you will know the oil is ready! 

Salt the oil with the Kosher salt. This will ensure that once the popcorn pops, it will be salted evenly. 

Once a kernel or two has popped, add in the remaining 1/3 cup of popcorn kernals evenly over the heated oil. Remove from heat and count out loud to 40 seconds. This ensures that all the kernels are at the same temperature and thus when placed back on the heat, the popcorn kernels will all pop at the same time – leaving none unpopped. 

Once 40 seconds are up, place back on the medium high heat and wait until you get some kernel popping action. Once the kernels start popping, place a lid slightly ajar on top and start shaking and moving around the pot gently. Placing a lid slightly ajar will ensure some of the steam to escape therefore making the popcorn dry which is what is desired. 

Once the popcorn kernels stop popping and slow down quite a bit remove from the heat and shake a few more minutes until you do not hear popping. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl. 

Place butter in the already hot pot and allow to melt. Once melted pour over the popcorn and eat while still warm / hot. 

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/Rxh431_