Polar Bear Paws

My friend Karen gifted me some of this delicious candy as a Christmas gift this year and she was kind enough to share the recipe with me. I highly recommend making these for your Holiday gifting!

Polar Bear Paws

11 oz caramel bits or unwrapped squares
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
24 oz white chocolate almond bark

Start by placing the caramel bits or unwrapped caramel squares in a medium sized microwave safe bowl and add in the whole milk and unsalted butter.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the pure vanilla extract. Add in the dry roasted peanuts and allow the mixture to sit and thicken for about 10 minutes.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Dollop out tablespoon size amounts of the caramel and peanut mixture onto the prepared baking sheets.

Place into the freezer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the white chocolate almond bark in a large microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in one tablespoon solid vegetable shortening if the mixture needs to be slightly thinned out – which makes the dipping process easier.

Remove the mounds from the freezer and carefully pull off from the parchment paper. Using two forks, dip each piece into the melted white chocolate almond bark and coat evenly. Place back onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Allow the white chocolate almond bark to harden slightly before enjoying. If refrigerating or freezing these to speed up the hardening process, be sure to eat and serve at room temperature only.

Enjoy!

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Warm Glow Announcement

Hello everyone! I am posting some very exciting news! My cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” is now officially available to purchase at Warm Glow Candle’s new building “Artisans & Java”!

If you are not familiar with “Warm Glow” or their fabulous candles I highly recommend a quick Google search! My absolute favorite scent is their “Merry Mint”, which smells like Christmas and Peppermint all rolled into one. I buy it in bulk and have it scenting my home year around.

Their newest store “Artisans & Java” is located where their old building “The Watering Can” was located. “Artisans and Java” is a fantastic space where Artisans of all walks of life have their special creations on hand and available to sell. It is an artists dream space and anyone who loves and appreciates the arts should check out this newly renovated space! Coming soon is a coffee bar – hence the name “Artisans AND Java”… I personally can not wait for that!

My friend Donna Cronk has both of her books there to sell, “Sweetland of Liberty” AND “That Sweet Place” – both of which I highly recommend – and not just because I make a fictional appearance in “That Sweet Place” and developed the “Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie” recipe that is included in the book – but because both books are wonderfully heartwarming reads.

I am so thankful and grateful for this opportunity and would like to send a special shoutout to Donna Cronk, Shelly Davis and “Kids at Heart Publishing”. This newest venture has sparked up some new ideas for me as well as ignited even more of a passion for following and making dreams come true.

Please stop by for a visit sometime and check out this locally fabulous space and pick up a copy or two of my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First”, as well as books and works from my friends as well.

Directions –
2131 North Centerville Road
Centerville, IN 47330

Hours –
Open everyday 9am-7pm
Holiday hours may vary

Website –
http://warmglow.com

Blaise

Saltine Cracker Candy

My “Saltine Cracker Candy” can be found in my cookbook but since there’s been a lot of talk about it, I decided to share it here with all of you – step by step. This recipe can also be made using pretzels, pretzel chips, graham crackers, Ritz crackers, club crackers or sourdough thins. Feel free to use dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate or a variety. Also feel free to top with a variety of chopped nuts.

Enjoy!

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Under Construction

Hello everyone! Over the past several days I have received quite a number of messages and emails about the online version of my “Chew This!” column for “The Courier-Times”. When you click the links to direct you to my column and recipes, there is an error message that appears. This is because “The Courier-Times” website is currently undergoing construction and the archives have not appeared yet. Please be patient with this. If there is a column or recipe you are trying to locate please send me an email – blaisethebaker@gmail.com or send me a text message – 765-520-8332 and I will help you the best that I can. Sorry for the inconvenience and please stay tuned here as I will update you when I can.

Blaise

Mississippi Mud Brownies

I still sing the song when I spell out Mississippi. Do you? Do you know which song I am talking about? You know, the one that helps you remember how to spell it? No!? Ok. Maybe it is just me then. Anyways, these “Mississippi Mud Brownies” are delicious any way you spell them! Some people add toasted pecans to the tops of the brownies (with the marshmallows) but I prefer to leave them out for a number of reasons. Highly recommend you try these! Homemade brownie, topped with smooth peanut butter, marshmallows and a silky chocolate frosting. Hello, YUM!

Mississippi Mud Brownies

For the brownies…
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups mini marshmallows

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

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 whisk together the melted butter, white granulated sugar, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. The mixture will be bright colored, smooth and glossy.

Next, whisk in the pure vanilla extract.

Whisk in the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

After baking, leave oven on and remove brownies. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Spread evenly the smooth peanut butter all over the top of the brownies.

Sprinkle on the marshmallows. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting whisk together the melted butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole milk, pure vanilla extract and powdered sugar until smooth and glossy.

Frost the brownies evenly then refrigerate for one hour before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

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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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Chew This! Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole

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 “Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole”. I can not tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with everyone! For years and years my family and I have searched high and low for this recipe – and now, thanks to Carolyn Sue, and our recent reconnection – I have the recipe here to share with everyone! The recipe is warm and familiar – not to mention delicious. Make this fabulous side dish for your Thanksgiving table!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about your Thanksgiving questions! 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!

Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_aea698ed-c505-5539-ba27-18412f5daca3.html

Enjoy!

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Carolyn Sue and Aunt Susie

Pasta Fagioli

We are entering cold weather season here in Indiana and nothing to me says “welcome cold weather” like a big bowl of warm and comforting soup! Pasta Fagioli – which basically means “pasta and beans” – is quickly becoming one of my favorite soups! It is hearty, warm, cooks up in no time and is only 4 ingredients! FOUR! Can you believe that? Print this out, save it, bookmark it, whatever you want to do – just keep this recipe and make it this weekend!

Pasta Fagioli

1 jar “Ragu Chunky” pasta sauce with tomato, basil and garlic
2 cans (19 oz each) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed but not drained
16 oz ditalini pasta, cooked and drained
4 cups reserved pasta water
4 cups water

To prepare the spinach: microwave the frozen spinach in a microwave safe container for four minutes. Using a fork, cut up and separate. Do not drain the spinach.

To prepare the pasta: cook in a large amount of salted boiling water with a splash of olive oil added. Cook according to package directions.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine the pasta sauce, prepared kidney beans, prepared chopped spinach, pasta and reserved pasta water. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally.

Add in four cups of water and simmer, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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…

Sugar Cookie Crust Lemon Bars

I LOVE anything and everything lemon! Lemon bars, lemon cookies, lemon candy, lemon brownies and did I mention lemon bars? If you browse my site you will find dozens of lemon based recipes! Well the recipe I am sharing today is also of the lemon, bar, variety and they are delicious! The base of the lemon bars are made from sugar cookie dough and the filling is foolproof! If you are looking for something new and different, these lemon bars are out of the box, unique, delicious and simple!

Sugar Cookie Crust Lemon Bars

1 roll Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

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.

Break up the sugar cookie dough with floured hands and sprinkle evenly into the prepared pan. Again with floured hands, press down and pat evenly to create a crust. 

Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes. 

While the crust is baking combine the beaten eggs, white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour, melted unsalted butter, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Whisk until combined and frothy. 

Pour over the hot crust and place back into the oven for 30 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool until room temperature. Wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and lift bars out of the pan using the foil overhanging handles. 

Sprinkle evenly with powdered sugar. 

Cut, serve and store chilled. 

Enjoy!

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