Chew This! Monica’s Love Brownies

Monica's Love Brownies

Thank you to all of those who pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sunday’s of each month to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column features and recipes. Really means a lot to me. I appreciate your support and dedication. My newest column, last Sunday, was a recipe for “Monica’s Love Brownies”!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 1st 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Spreading Love and Brownies
Blaise Doubman

I am a huge cookbook lover and collect cookbooks the way some people may collect stamps, coins or knickknacks. One of my current favorite cookbooks is “The Best of Better Baking.com” written by: Marcy Goldman. It is filled with delicious, and easy, recipes that I turn to time and time again for foolproof baking. She is one of my culinary inspirations who has written, and self-published, several cookbooks on a variety of topics. When I was shopping around my debut cookbook I remember speaking to Marcy about it and asking for her help. She was more than happy to take me under her wing and share some of her greatest advice as a baker, a cookbook author and a self-publisher. After I spoke to her, I immediately called and emailed the publishers that were looking over my cookbook and pulled out of all possible deals. My goal was clear to me and that was to self-publish my cookbook and expand my brand on my own. If a publisher got wind of my success and offered to publish, great! If not, the time would come, and things would fall into place as they should. Between Marcy and my friend Donna Cronk, I had all the self-publishing guidelines and tips that I needed to make a clear-headed decision. My gut instinct was right and here we are!

In expanding my brand, I decided to try a “Blaise the Baker Mail Order Dessert Delivery” service. Without going into detail, there needs to be more research done! Ha! It was an enjoyable experimentation, but right now food writing and recipe developing keep me busy enough. Plus, there was something lacking in it to me and that was the hand to hand, eye to eye, delivery to the actual customer. I missed seeing someone’s eyes sparkle at the delivery of a fabulous dessert or their big bright smile when they see a dessert delivery coming their way. Take for example my friend and taste tester, Dr. Monica Price Kowaleski. She is one of the most trusted eye care professionals in Greenfield, an optometrist operating a family owned business (Price Eye Care Inc. located at 946 N State Street in Greenfield) and a very dear friend to my family and I. A few months back, during an eye visit, I brought in some brownies that I had developed based off one of Marcy Goldman’s brownie recipes. Monica and her staff flipped over them and that was all I needed to know that the recipe I was tinkering with was perfect. I named this recipe after my friend Monica and would highly recommend you stir up a batch of these! Feel free to leave out the chocolate chips and walnuts for a smoother finish brownie but be sure to make these in advance. These delicious brownies take time and prepping ahead!

Monica’s Love Brownies

These brownies are best made in advance because they need to set up properly and rest awhile before enjoying. At first look you may think these brownies may be too rich but they really are not! They are thick and chewy with a delicious chocolate flavor that the coffee really helps carry through. These also freeze beautifully! Some of my taste testers prefer to eat them directly from the freezer! Regardless, these need to be eaten chilled.

4 sticks (16 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
6 large eggs
1 cup, plus 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda, heaping
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray again with the non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the unsalted butter until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove and add in the white granulated sugar, packed light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract and instant coffee granules. Beat well until the mixture is thick and combined.

Beat in the large eggs, one at a time, beating about 50 strokes to incorporate each egg before adding another egg. Once all the eggs are thoroughly beaten in, beat another minute.

Add in the unsweetened cocoa powder, white all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt all at once. Gently, and patiently, fold in until no dry ingredients remain in the batter.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips and or walnuts, if using.

Scoop the batter gently into the prepared pan and spread well and even out the top.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 43 minutes. The top will be set but will not look dry.

Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, place, uncovered, in the freezer for 2 hours. After gently frozen, flip brownies, or lift out, onto a clean work surface. Peel off the parchment paper and cut brownies into desired sizes.

Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Ask and Answer: I have received several questions about my previous column for “Funfetti Cake Balls” and if you can use different flavors of cake mix for this recipe. The answer? Yes! Use whatever flavor of cake mix you would like, just adjust the outer coating to match the cake ball flavor. Also, lots of questions pertaining to my upcoming second cookbook. To answer your questions, there is currently no release date sat and no preorders being taken. All I can say is that the book is scheduled to be released later this year, 2018. Thank you for the interest.

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Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

The World is going crazy over the infamous “Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies”! I made them and was actually disappointed. I went back into the kitchen and made some changes – honestly I think mine are so much better! And yes – this is what recipe development and recipe testing looks like on paper – A MESS!

Good thing I can read it!!! Ha!

Will post the finished recipe once it is completed.

Blaise

New York Black and White Cookies

These are just like the ones you find in and around the New York City area! They are almost like miniature cookie cakes! Delicious! And yes – I know this is a terrible photo! Ha! I am a food writer and recipe developer – not a photographer.

New York Black and White Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk
4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat the unsalted butter until creamy. Add in the white granulated sugar, slowly, beating well after each addition.

Add the pure vanilla extract and large egg whites and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.

In another large bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture and milk to the beaten butter mixture in 3 additions each – starting with the flour mixture.

Drop 1/4-cup size amounts of dough onto parchment lined baked sheets. Place about 3-4 cookies at a time on each baking sheet.

With a wet knife, spread each cookie into a 3-inch round creating a smooth surface.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 9 minutes, being sure to rotate each sheet halfway through the baking time.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine 6 cups confectioners’ sugar with 1/4 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. When combined and smooth, take half of this mixture and place into another bowl and combine with 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.

Each frosting should be on the thicker side, but still spreadable. Carefully adjust the confectioners’ sugar and milk in each frosting until you reach desired consistency.

Frost half of one side of the cookie with the vanilla frosting and the other half with chocolate. Lay out at room temperature for about an hour before enjoying. This ensures the frosting to set up properly.

Leftovers should be kept in a sealed storage container at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! I am SO EXCITED to finally be able to announce that for the past 18 months I have been working on my SECOND COOKBOOK!!! There are SO many more recipes and stories that I CAN NOT WAIT to share with all of you! I am talking with a publisher now and my cookbook will be released later this year! I AM BURSTING with excitement and have SO MANY new and fun ideas planned for this one but will keep the surprises secret – for now! Stay tuned HERE and to http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker for updates! I am so thankful for this opportunity and I am so thankful for all of YOU who have made this journey possible! ROUND TWO – here we goooooooo!!! AND yes – you will still be able to buy my first cookbook for those wondering – which is officially in a NEW PRINTING SEASON!!! So thankful and grateful. Love you all!

Blaise

Tiger Cookies

I have been wanting to add Frosted Flakes cereal to chocolate chips cookies forever – so I figure, why not today? I added Frosted Flakes and MINI chocolate chips instead of chunks or regular size and made them smaller than usual for that bite size crunch. These are GRRRRRRREAT! Ha!

Tiger Cookies

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heaping cup white all-purpose flour
2 cups Frosted Flakes
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Cream together unsalted butter with the light brown sugar and white granulated sugar.

Add in large egg and pure vanilla extract. Beat together well.

Beat in baking soda and salt.

Stir in white all-purpose flour followed by the Frosted Flakes and the mini chocolate chips.

Place teaspoon size balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Remove and cool.

Enjoy!

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Quick Chocolate and Caramel Fudge and Quick Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge

I love a quick chocolate fudge! You know the kind – made with chocolate chips, a can of sweetened condensed milk and a little butter. Combine all in a large bowl and microwave until melted and smooth. Pour out, allow to cool and enjoy. But what could be better than this? Adding caramel or peanut butter to the mix! How? Do this –

Quick Chocolate and Caramel Fudge

Combine 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl and add one can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Place in microwave and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove and stir before microwaving another 30 seconds. Stir mixture until combined and smooth and glossy. Pour into a non-stick cooking spray sprayed foil lined 9×9-inch square pan and smooth out the top. Place about 1 cup baking caramels into a microwaveable safe bowl and add a splash of milk. Microwave about 60 seconds and remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Dollop blobs of the melted caramel on top of the fudge and swirl into the fudge using a knife. Place into the refrigerator until firm. Cut and serve. Enjoy!

Quick Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge

Combine 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl and add one can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Place in microwave and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove and stir before microwaving another 30 seconds. Stir mixture until combined and smooth and glossy. Pour into a non-stick cooking spray sprayed foil lined 9×9-inch square pan and smooth out the top. Place about 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter into a microwaveable safe bowl along with 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar. Microwave about 30 seconds and remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Dollop blobs of the melted peanut butter on top of the fudge and swirl into the fudge using a knife. Place into the refrigerator until firm. Cut and serve. Enjoy!

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FOUR YEARS

FOUR YEARS TODAY I officially launched my website “Blaise the Baker”! Thousands and thousands of followers, hundreds of recipes, so many extraordinary opportunities, my “Chew This!” column, my cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and all of your amazing feedback and dedication has made this one awesome journey!!! Through everything – new things, changes, difficult decisions, surveys, taste and recipe testers, and on and on – your dedication and unwavering support and feedback has meant everything to me! Thank you to my friends, my fans, my readers, my followers, my subscribers and my family. Thank you for everything. I am SO EXCITED for so many projects I have open and going at the moment – most I can’t really talk about yet – I think the best is still yet to come and without you – none of this would have been possible.

THANK YOU for everything – I truly love you all!

Blaise

My Cookbook – Refresher

COOKBOOK REMINDER: My cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” is still available to purchase in a variety of ways! I’ve been getting lots of questions / emails about this so I’ll post a refresher –

You can also order my cookbook directly through me by sending $15 total ($12 for the cookbook / $3 shipping and handling) to Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. You can also pay online through http://paypal.com Use the email blaisejdx@gmail.com when sending money. You can also send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a copy along with an invoice that would need to be paid 30 days after receiving your order. If ordering 4 or more cookbooks – shipping and handling is FREE!

My cookbook is available for purchase in a retail setting in the following shops –

“The Book Nook” in New Castle, Indiana. Located at 1325 G. Ave. Call ahead for hours – 765-521-2188

“Carousel Flowers and Gifts” in Shirley, Indiana. Located at 205 Main Street. Call ahead for hours – 765-738-1500

“Glen Oaks Health Campus” in New Castle, Indiana. Located at 601 W. CR 200 S. Visit Room 112 and buy your copy from my Grandma Deloris. She loves seeing everyone and selling them for me. She’s a good business woman! Ha! Stop in and chat awhile and taste test some of my fresh goodies while you’re there.

“Warm Glow Candle Outlet” in Centerville, Indiana. Located at 2131 North Centerville Road. Regular hours are daily 9am-7pm. Come and find me in their “Artisans and Java” storefront area.

“Temptations” in New Castle, Indiana. Temptations is located at 535 N Memorial Drive and open Monday through Friday 11-2.

All copies available to purchase outside of my personal address are already pre-autographed with my signature as well as Grandma Barbra’s and Grandma Deloris’. Copies can be personalized by request.

Message me, text me, call me, email me for any further questions. Thank you all again for the dedication and support!

Blaise

What kind of recipes are inside my cookbook?

Take a look below –

Chew This! Chocolate Banana Bread Bars

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column and recipe for my “Chocolate Banana Bread Bars”! They are deliciously simple, effortlessly easy and unbelievably scrumptious! My taste testers went wild for these – and I think you will too! Enjoy!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 4th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A New Take on Banana Bread…
Blaise Doubman

I love banana bread and I have experimented with countless recipes over the years. There has been banana bread with nuts, without nuts, with sour cream, with extra butter, melted butter, softened butter, a combination of butter and vegetable shortening, brown butter banana bread, banana bread with raisins and even a banana bread made with a yellow cake mix. If you think that is a lot, consider the fifty other versions I have tried but did not want to mention in fear of readership boredom and lack of room. Seriously though banana bread, to me, always needed something extra. No, not cinnamon and no, not extra bananas, that only makes the finished loaf tough in the end, I have tried it! I have always thought it was missing… chocolate!

Chocolate! Yes, chocolate. I am a registered chocoholic and proud of it. Anything and everything, to me, is better with chocolate and this recipe is no exception! It took a few rounds in the kitchen with this recipe before it was perfect but the finished result was well worth the extra time and extra work. My taste testers, shout out to Tiffany at Glen Oaks, loved this so much that they encouraged me to bring it again – that next day! Ha! The bread is baked in an untraditional way, in a 9×13-inch baking pan, but does so because you cut this bread into bars! The combination of the moist flavorful banana bread with the chocolate version is pure and utter heaven for banana and chocolate lovers! I highly recommend you stir up a batch of these!

Chocolate Banana Bread Bars

These really stretch when it comes to cutting serving sizes, so cut the bars small and serve for a large gathering! If you want to freeze the leftover bars, do so by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil before placing into a freezer safe zipper bag. Once frozen, bring to room temperature over night to gently thaw before eating.

1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 large bananas, peeled and mashed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

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

Beat together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add in the prepared bananas, large egg and pure vanilla extract. Beat well.

Finally, fold in the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Measure out a little less than 2 cups of this mixture and drop by large spoonful’s erratically around the inside of the prepared pan.

Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to the remainder of the batter in the bowl and beat well.

Place the now chocolate banana batter in spoonful’s around the batter that has already been placed in the pan. Do not worry about being neat with this. You will see why in a minute.

Now, with the back of a spoon, carefully spread out all of the dollops so that they gently form together and come together into one large even batter service. Next, take a knife and gently swirl the batter together making a marble effect on the top.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 25 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before cutting, serving and enjoying.

Ask and Answer: I heard from so many of you with my previous column of my chocolate mayonnaise cake and I love and appreciate your feedback! To answer a few of your questions, yes you can use water instead of the coffee, yes you can make the cake in 2 9-inch circle cake pans, the baking time will not change and you may frost the cake with whatever frosting you desire, or simply sprinkle over some powdered sugar and serve alongside a bowl of fruit. I loved hearing your memories of growing up with a cake very similar to mine in your household.

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Foolproof Chocolate Truffles

I love truffles and this made from scratch version can be transformed into hundreds of different flavors! Stir in different extracts, roll in different sugars, roll in a variety of nuts or simply use different types of good quality chocolate. Fabulous!

Foolproof Chocolate Truffles

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Desired mix-ins, dippers and roll-ons

Start by lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Stir and microwave again 30 seconds. Stir this mixture until smooth and combined. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed, watching not to burn the chocolate.

Once combined, wrap bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes. Remove and roll firm chocolate mixture into small ball the size of two teaspoons. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Once all rolled, formed and placed, place baking sheet in freezer for 40 minutes.

Remove and decorate accordingly. Dip in melted chocolate, melted almond bark, roll in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts etc. Let your imagination soar with this one!

Eat and serve immediately. Leave these truffles at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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