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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White Cloud World Teas

THE SECRET IS OUT!!! I am so excited to announce that Blaise the Baker has joined White Cloud World Teas to bring you some of the most fabulous teas – and new and delicious recipes – that I know you’ll go crazy for! Check out http://whitecloudworldteas.com for more information, ordering information and more – and follow us along on social media for new and exciting things coming soon!

(photos provided by White Cloud World Teas)

Blaise

Chew This! Funfetti Cake Balls

Funfetti Cake Balls

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 “Funfetti Cake Balls”! So fun!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, March 18th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Funfetti Cake Balls Bring Big Smiles
Blaise Doubman

Recently I announced publicly on my social media pages, that for the past 18 months I have been secretly writing my second cookbook! The responses I got back were overwhelming! So many people were just as enthused and excited as I was sharing the news! After I wrote my first cookbook, I never did think I was “finished” with writing and sharing recipes in that way. At the same time though, I could not really tell you when my second cookbook would come together, if at all. People would ask me about it and I would just shrug my shoulders and tell them to stay tuned. I guess in the back of my mind, I knew after the first cookbook was published, that I was not done with things because I had so many more family recipes and stories to share. Developing recipes, testing recipes and sharing recipes is something that I truly love. When I find something good, read something I love, taste something out of the ordinary, see a movie I think is fascinating or hear a song that puts me in a good mood the first thing I want to do is share it! I want to share it with anyone and everyone I know, and sometimes, more often than not, share it with people I do not know! Ha! I love to share the things I love with people.

I love it too, when I bake something and immediately it puts a big smile on people’s faces! This is exactly what happened with my newest creation, “Funfetti Cake Balls”! Cake balls and even cake pops for that matter, are nothing new, but my newest creation combines one of America’s most loved cakes, Funfetti, with a delicious white almond bark coating and a sprinkling of rainbow sprinkles, just for fun. These are perfect for birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, anniversary parties, pitch-ins, get togethers, anything and everything you name it! Sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles or even get creative with crushed up chocolate cookies, chocolate sprinkles or different flavors and colors of sanding sugars. Most often when making cake pops, or even brownie pops, you first must bake the cake, or brownies, allow to cool, crumble in a bowl, add frosting, and on and on. Not these! These are simple, foolproof and fun to make. This recipe would be a perfect hands on activity for children in the kitchen. And as far as my second cookbook, it will be released sometime in 2018, still not sure on an exact release date, but once I know more about it I will share the details here with all you.

Funfetti Cake Balls

These are best eaten the day they are made but can be kept covered, at room temperature, for 48 hours. The leftover white almond bark can be used in a variety of ways such as dipping wavy-style potato chips, pretzel rods or a vast array of cut fruits. Simple dip away your desired edible and immediately sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Allow to set up at room temperature for several minutes before serving and enjoying.

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups Funfetti cake mix
½ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Rainbow sprinkles
2 boxes white almond bark candy coating
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter with the Funfetti cake mix, white granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract. Feel free to mix in a few heaping tablespoons of the rainbow sprinkles to the mix if you want sprinkles throughout the cake balls.

Once the ingredients are combined and a dough is formed, roll into balls slightly smaller than a tablespoon. Place the rolled balls onto the parchment lined baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Prepare the candy coating by placing both boxes into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Towards the end of the melting process, add in the tablespoon of solid vegetable shortening and stir well to combine. Continue microwaving until the candy coating is smooth and glossy, being careful not to scorch the coating.

Remove the balls from the freezer and start to dip them in the melted candy coating. This needs to be a fast job because the candy coating starts to harden quickly. What you need to do is place a couple of the frozen balls into the melted coating, roll around using two forks to ensure even coating, carefully remove excess candy and place balls back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle over the rainbow sprinkles.

Continue with this method until all the balls are dipped and adored with sprinkles.

Allow the coating to set up completely before serving and enjoying, about 15 minutes.

Ask and Answer: Inga Brown Neal, of local “Temptations” fame, had a suggestion with my previous column for “Mini Baked Apple Pies”. She said that she would fill the pies with apple butter and she wouldn’t use glaze, instead she would use just sugar. I thought this was a fabulous idea and promised her if I used the recipe I would credit her, so here it is! Shout out and special thanks to Inga for the suggestion. Also, some special thanks go out to Inga for delivering some of the best potato soup I have ever had from her business “Temptations”. Thanks again Inga!

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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

Scratch Made Banana Pudding

I have grown to love banana pudding over the years. Growing up I just did not like it because the cookies would get soggy, the texture would glob up and the flavor I liked just was not there. But I have discovered homemade banana pudding to be the best – of course! This one is made in the microwave believe it or not and may turn “questionable” when making it but that is highly desirable with this one. Never make banana pudding from a boxed vanilla pudding mix – always make it this way – from scratch, flavorful and delicious.

Scratch Made Banana Pudding

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 stick (2 oz) unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Box of vanilla wafers
4 bananas, peeled and sliced

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the whole milk, unsalted butter, beaten eggs, white granulated sugar and white all-purpose flour. Microwave on high for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.

In a 9×13-inch baking pan combine together the vanilla wafer cookies with the sliced bananas. Pour the finished microwaved mixture over the cookies and bananas carefully.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes before eating for a warm treat. For a cool, more traditional treat, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 12 hours before eating. Top with whipped cream if desired.

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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Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

I have been on a brownie kick lately and have been experimenting with different flavor combinations. A few days ago I made my orange brownies and topped them with a new orange cream cheese frosting I had developed and everyone loved them! Awhile back I made some pumpkin brownies that people went wild for too and I decided to revisit those with a maple cream cheese frosting. These are fabulous! Save this recipe for your Fall and Thanksgiving tables but go ahead and whip up a batch now since the brownies are only 2 ingredients!

Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

For the brownies…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin

For the frosting…
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups confectioner’s sugar

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 beat together the dry cake mix with the pure pumpkin until both are combined together. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the cream cheese with the unsalted butter. Beat in the pure maple syrup followed by the confectioners sugar.

Frost brownies evenly. 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 –

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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