Chew This! Mini Baked Apple Pies

Mini Baked Apple Pies

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 “Mini Baked Apple Pies”! When I tested these, my taste testers went crazy!

Highly recommend you try these…

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

A Mini Twist on Apple Pie
Blaise Doubman

Spring is just around the corner and with a new season, new recipes always enter my mind. Spring, to me, means not only warmer weather and flowers blooming, but also fresh fruits and garden planting season, lemonade and brisk evenings. I have been on a “pie quest” for several months now, trying to learn more about pies, their history, different crusts, fillings, new and delightful taste combinations, not to mention delightful recipe tests – and I have still a way to go, but continuous learning is the way of life. Take your basic apple pie for example. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways that people make their apple pies! Some people add raisins to their filling, while others add a little blueberry or a twist of lemon. Some people pile their apples high and add maple syrup over the top before placing on the crust, while others cook down the apples until almost a thick glaze forms around the bottom and dots butter over the top before placing on the crust. And, let us take the crust for example! Do you make your crust with lard? Butter? Shortening? A combination? Do you add cheese? Mayonnaise? I am fascinated by this and why people use and add what they do.

When developing the recipe, I am sharing here today with all of you, I wanted something basic and simple, but something that was new yet familiar. You can, by all means, make your own pie crust for this recipe, but I wanted to make it easy. As Food Network star Nancy Fuller always says, “Scratch made is best, unless you are stressed”. And that is so true! Do not be intimidated in the kitchen by making your own pie crust and do not be ashamed of buying refrigerated pie crust! A shortcut is a shortcut and there is nothing wrong with wanting to save time! I wanted this recipe to make mini pies that were baked in the oven and not fried. You can fry them if you wish. I also wanted to create a glaze for them, but these are also delicious eaten plain. They are also delicious crumbled up on vanilla ice cream but that is another story. I love recipes that are familiar, foolproof, delicious and flavorful and I hope you will enjoy these mini baked apple pies.

Mini Baked Apple Pies

These hand pies can be made with homemade dough rather than refrigerated dough, can be made with your favorite fruit filling and can be deep fried if desired. That is the beauty of this recipe, it is very versatile! The finished pies should be kept covered at room temperature and will last up to 3 days.

2 boxes refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl blend and mash the apple pie filling with a fork. Add in the ground cinnamon and pure vanilla extract, stirring to incorporate.

Unroll the pie crusts onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or bottom of a narrow glass, cut out 6 circles from each pie crust. You should end up with 24 total circles and will have to work carefully in batches.

Place a heaping teaspoon of the apple mixture in the middle of each of the cut-out circles. Fold the circles over, crimping the sides tightly with a fork. Using the fork, poke the tops of each pie once to allow them to bake and steam evenly.

Brush the tops of each prepared pie with the large egg white. Place the pies onto the prepared baking sheets and bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool only slightly before glazing.

In a large bowl whisk together, the confectioner’s sugar and whole milk to make the glaze. Drop the slightly warm pies into the large bowl of glaze and coat evenly. The easiest way to do this, is by using two forks and working carefully. Place the glazed pies onto the parchment lined baking sheets and allow to cool completely and allow the glaze to set up before serving and enjoying.

Ask and Answer: I posted a picture of some homemade croutons awhile back on my social media and several people wanted the recipe, so I thought I would share it here with everyone. The secret to good homemade croutons is in the kind of bread you use, and it may not be what you think! The secret? Hamburger buns! Take a pack of hamburger buns, cut into desired size and place on large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and choice of seasoning mix, if any. Toss together with clean hands. Bake in 425-degree oven until crisp, stirring every 5 minutes. Desired baking time, and crispness, is up to you. I bake mine about 20-25 minutes, stirring and flipping the croutons often. Serve in air-tight container for 3 days.

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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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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 –

Kourtney’s Sheet Pan Suppers

A friend of mine, Kourtney, shared on her Facebook page some simple and delicious looking “Sheet Pan Suppers” awhile back and I told myself I was going to share them with everyone as soon as I got the chance to try a few of them myself! Let me tell you, these are fabulous! You can literally take any raw protein you want, Kourtney goes back and forth usually between pork and chicken, and any raw vegetable and make a complete one baking sheet meal that is not only healthy and nutritious but delicious as well! The possibilities with this meal are endless! Shake on any seasoning or flavor combination you want!

Kourtney’s Sheet Pan Suppers

Take a 9×13-inch baking sheet and wrap up well with aluminum foil. Spray gently with a non-stick cooking spray. Place your prepared raw protein into the middle and fill both sides with the prepared raw vegetables of your choice. Melt butter and garlic and pour over evenly. Simply top with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning blend. Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated 425 degree oven for one hour.

Enjoy!

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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

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

Chew This! Picnic Chicken Salad 

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 picnics and the perfect picnic foods! I love chicken salad – and have a couple of recipes in my cookbook for chicken salad – but the recipe I am sharing now is quickly becoming my favorite! There are sweet elements, salty, crunchy and flavorful. I would love to know what you add to your chicken salad! Email me and let me know! Pack a cooler – add some ice – fix this salad along with some other picnic classics and venture out on a picnic and make memories with the ones you love. Enjoy the season!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is my recipe for egg salad! The “secret topping” makes all the difference with this!

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


Picnic Chicken Salad

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 20th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Chicken Salad is Perfect Picnic Food
Blaise Doubman

I find that some of the most perfect picnic weather days are those days that are towards the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The weather is not too hot, or sticky. Not too humid or overcast either. The days are getting shorter but there is still just enough daylight time to get what you want to get done accomplished. I find that from about the middle of August until the end of September to be the perfect time, in Indiana anyways, for an outdoor get-together, a reunion or a picnic. Just the word “picnic” gets me thinking about little cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, fruit salads, lemonade, cold salads and icebox desserts. In my cookbook I have several recipes for cold salads, and more than one for chicken salad. Between my Mom, Darla, my Grandma Deloris and my Grandma Barbra, I am not sure who is the biggest chicken salad fan. Perhaps that is where I got my love for this classic cold salad?

When I was developing this recipe I wanted to make a chicken salad that had the things I like best inside. I am not that big of an onion fan, nor of boiled eggs or celery when it comes to my chicken salads. I prefer green grapes, toasted nuts and a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream. My friend and neighbor Jan Lines said that she preferred diced pineapple in her chicken salad, which does not sound bad! My Grandma Barbra always makes hers with a roasted chicken and my Mom usually makes hers with a mayonnaise combination. My Grandma Deloris uses salad dressing instead of mayonnaise and I have found that I like roasting chicken breasts in the oven to start off my salad. All in all, everybody makes a different salad and there are really no rules when it comes to making it, but the following is my recipe and my rules and I hope you will enjoy and serve this at your next picnic!

Picnic Chicken Salad

I like eating my chicken salad with saltine crackers but feel free to eat your chicken salad on bread, buns or even just a spoon! Tarragon brings out the flavor of chicken in cold salads so feel free to use about a rough teaspoon of the chopped herb in your salad. Also experiment with the type of grape and use red or purple if desired.

2 large chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
½ cup green grapes, halved

Start by cooking the chicken breasts. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken breasts skin side up on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake in preheated oven for exactly 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin and cut the meat away from the bone. Chop into large chunks.

In a medium sized skillet, toast the chopped walnuts and chopped pecans over medium heat for about 3 minutes being careful not to burn the nuts.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and sweet pickle relish.

In a large bowl combine the prepared chicken, toasted nuts and mayonnaise mixture. Carefully fold in the prepared green grapes. Taste. Salt and pepper to your tastes.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve and keep chilled.

Ask and Answer: I received an email from someone asking if I had a recipe for egg salad. I wrote her back and she said the recipe was the best she had ever had. I thought since the theme of this week’s column was picnic – I would share it here! Start with 1 dozen boiled eggs. Mash eggs in a large bowl with a potato masher. Add in 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Add ¾ cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons yellow squirt mustard, 1 tablespoon spicy squirt mustard, 2 teaspoons pickle juice and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on top combination of smoked paprika, fine sea salt and garlic powder. Store and serve chilled.

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Blaise the Baker IN JAPAN!


Guess what!? “Blaise the Baker” is IN JAPAN!!! My cookbook can be seen right in front of the famous Daibutsu (Big Buddha) in Kamakura! How fabulous is that!? Shoutout and special thanks to SARAH HODGE from http://bundtlust.com Love “Blaise the Baker” and the GLOBAL posts! So exciting! ❤️🌏

Blaise