Chew This! Pecan Pie Bars AND Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

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 features not one but TWO delicious recipes for foolproof bar desserts! My “Pecan Pie Bars” and my “Rice Krispie Treat Brownies” are both fabulous and perfect for your Holiday table!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about my recommendation for a different cookbook when it comes to baking and different types of flour! Send me a message, call or text me – even email – with your questions and I will be happy to help! 765-520-8332 or blaisethebaker@gmail.com

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

Pecan Pie Bars AND Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_4ae6e796-4f9f-5d26-94a3-fdf4f5dd58b0.html

Enjoy!

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Knock You Naked Brownies

I found a Facebook video a couple days ago for “Knock You Naked Brownies” and they looked so delicious! I had heard of them before from Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman”, and have had them on my “to try” list for awhile now. I decided that I needed these in my life NOW – so I made them – and oh my! I am so glad that I did! What took me so long to try these? They are fabulous! They are also made with a CAKE mix – not a brownie mix like what you may think – but the finished result tastes just like a brownie and I PROMISE people will never know you started with a boxed mix! Layers of chocolate, caramel, chocolate and more caramel make for a decadent dessert that you will want to make again and again!

Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup evaporated milk
11 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
1/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, melted unsalted butter and cup of evaporated milk. The mixture will be thick and this is desirable.

Spread half of this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While the base is baking, make the caramel by combining the prepared caramel squares and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted, smooth and glossy.

After the base has baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Next, drizzle over the caramel. Take teaspoons full of the remaining cake batter and dollop on top. Do not worry about spreading the batter out because it will spread as it bakes. Plus you want to see a little caramel peaking through, right?

Place back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. You can cut these after they have cooled slightly and serve or you can do like what I like to do and wrap with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for several hours before cutting.

Enjoy!

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…

Coca-Cola Cake 

For years I have enjoyed the Coca-Cola Cake from “Cracker Barrel”. It is served warm and with a side of vanilla ice cream if you like, and I always do, and it is fabulous! It got me thinking that perhaps I could make my own? I have been playing around with recipes for awhile with this cake and I just could not get the taste I was looking for. Until I figured out the appropriate ratio of sugar, Coca-Cola, buttermilk and the secret to frosting the cake while still hot! This cake may very well be BETTER than Cracker Barrel’s version PLUS it makes a whole 9×13-inch pan full! That is dangerous for me! Most of this will be sent to my taste testers – I mean, what is left – I will not share how many pieces I have already eaten but let me say, I HIGHLY recommend you make this cake! Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream. What I do, is cut a piece, plate it, microwave it and immediately scoop some vanilla bean ice cream alongside. Fabulous!


Coca-Cola Cake

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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

In a large bowl whisk together the white granulated sugar and white all-purpose flour. Add in the marshmallows. 

In a saucepan mix the Coca-Cola, unsalted butter and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat and pour over marshmallows and dry ingredients. Beat well and continue to beat until marshmallows have melted. 

Combine the baking soda with the buttermilk. Add to the mixture and beat. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. 

With about 10 minutes of bake time left on the cake, start the frosting. In a saucepan combine the stick of unsalted butter with the Coca-Cola and unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the powdered sugar. Beat. Add in the milk. Beat again. Add in the pure vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add more powdered sugar to get desired consistency. 

Frost the cake while the cake is still hot from the oven. Allow to cool before serving. 

Enjoy! 

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…
















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Trisha Yearwood!!!

So yesterday my parents and I attended a Trisha Yearwood book signing / meet and greet at the Williams-Sonoma in the Keystone Mall in Indianapolis. We were not sure what to expect but I think we were all shocked when THIS moment happened! I am still SO EXCITED about it! Wow…

SOMEONE PINCH ME!!! No – this is not photoshopped! Ha! Mom gave Trisha Yearwood a copy of my cookbook and she LOVED IT! She turned to me and asked ME for my autograph! Told her I had already autographed it! She said “Good!” Ha! She was flipping over it and talking about how she really appreciated it – said she would read it “like a novel” and said she loved cookbooks! She said she would read it on her tour bus! Someone PINCH ME!!! We chatted for a bit about our mutual cookbook love and then she thanked me again and gave me another hug! She was the sweetest and so friendly! LOVE HER!!!

Blaise

Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips 

I could hardly concentrate on taking a photograph for these cookies because I wanted to dive into them so bad! It took me a few tries to develop this recipe and it was actually almost a recipe for a “bar cookie”. However, the finished recipe of this cookie was very much worth the extra time and effort. These chocolate cookies are soft and the rich and pair perfectly with the peanut butter chips. Print this – bookmark it – PIN IT – save it – whatever – just make these! This recipe was inspired by a recipe that was printed on the outside of a bag of peanut butter chips that I found going over some old recipe files. 

Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

2 1/2 sticks (10 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups peanut butter chips

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

In a large bowl cream together the soft unsalted butter and white granulated sugar.

Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

Stir in the baking soda, salt and instant coffee granules.

Gently stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder followed by gently folding in the white all-purpose flour.

Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips.

Place teaspoon size amounts of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool on their baking sheets.

Enjoy!

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Recipe Tasters 

People often ask – “when you recipe test WHO eats all of that!? YOU!?” Well that answer depends. Sometimes yes – me – everything LOL BUT when I feel like sharing – AND when I need other people’s opinions – my local and loyal taste testers – I make up and pass out plates such as the one here. Today’s “recipe tasting” sample plate is chocolate chip cookies that are slim, soft and chewy and chocolate brownies with a thick chocolate fudge frosting. I think the perfect brownie has double the frosting as the thickness of the brownie and who doesn’t love all chocolate chip cookies!? Anyways – this plate is headed to my Grandma Barbra and my Grandpa Jr.

Blaise 

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!

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…











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!

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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! 

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