Chew This! Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

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 recipe is a recipe that I am in love with! Banana brownies with caramel frosting! How fabulous does that sound!? I am currently really involved with developing recipes for brownies that are not chocolate. I have made strawberry brownies, lemon brownies, orange brownies, these banana brownies and yesterday I started developing a recipe for pumpkin brownies. In the future I am thinking about blueberry brownies and pineapple brownies. My recipe today is so quick, so easy and beyond flavorful! The caramel frosting that goes on top really transforms these into that “much buzzed about” dessert that your friends and family will be talking about well after the dessert course is served. Highly recommend that you try these! 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature answers the question on how I transform my chocolate chips cookies into something “special” once in awhile – with that sweet and salty touch. 

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


Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_81e9fff1-9bc3-5891-ab3f-0f61f72c50a2.html

Enjoy!

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Apple Brownies with Cinnamon Sugar 

I have been obsessed with brownies lately – and not the chocolate variety. I am talking about strawberry brownies, lemon brownies, banana brownies, pineapple brownies and even blueberry brownies. My latest development though!? Apple brownies! Think of the taste of your favorite apple cobbler in brownie form. These are moist, delicious, simple and perfect for any time of year! Stay tuned for other “brownie” recipes that will be on their way to you sooner than you think! Try these – enjoy – and let me know what you think! Fabulous! 

Apple Brownies with Cinnamon Sugar

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Red Delicious apple
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8×8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. Line with parchment paper, leaving excess hang over – creating handles – alongside two sides of the pan – then spray again lightly with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the soft unsalted butter, white granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Beat in the large egg. 

Add in the ground cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix until combined. 

Peel and core the apples. Cut into small pieces and add to the batter. Stir together. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool. 

Store and eat straight from the refrigerator if you want your brownie to have a more “traditional” brownie texture. 

Enjoy! 

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Chew This! Fresh Orange Brownies 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday – and Happy Easter! 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

I love brownies and I love anything citrus, so I figured, why not combine the best of both worlds? These have nothing artificial and are packed with real orange flavor. The secret is to use fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest. People go crazy for these!

Also in this column is my “Ask and Answer” feature in which I talk about my “Bake Sale” experience as well as some of my most popular “Bake Sale Tips”. I love sharing this with you!


Fresh Orange Brownies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_baef3e4f-d389-5582-a2ea-40e08cd5c2d6.html

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Lunch Lady Brownies 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Just to catch up those who may not already know – I write a food column in “The Courier-Times” that appears on the first and third Sundays of each month. You can pick up a copy of the paper if you are in the Henry County, Indiana area OR view it online (with a paid subscription) at http://thecouriertimes.com. I love doing this and it gives me such an incredible opportunity to share with everyone my love for family, food, memories and recipes. 

Today’s column is for “Lunch Lady Brownies”. Food trends come and go and most recently the food trend of “Cafeteria Classics” has started – and does not look to be going anywhere anytime soon – thankfully! I love memories of school cafeteria food, cafeteria classics – all so nostalgic. These brownies are delicious – and so easy! They are the perfect mix of cake and fudge and the frosting has to be put on while the brownies are still warm! Trust me on this. Highly recommend you try this! 

ALSO – in my “Ask and Answer” section – I talk about riced cauliflower and give a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust! 

What is your favorite “Cafeteria Classic”? Have a favorite food or favorite food memory (or recipe) to share with me? Email me! blaisethebaker@gmail.com 


Lunch Lady Brownies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_c3289943-51f2-518a-8a20-e7b50ac868f0.html

Enjoy! 

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Cookbook Corner – Butter and Chocolate

As many of you already know, I also review some of my most favorite, fabulous cookbooks, right here on my blog – or my website as I have been calling it lately. I do not review a cookbook unless it is one that I personally love myself! My tastes may be different than your tastes, that is great! And then again, maybe we enjoy some of the same books? I read and go over hundreds of cookbooks a year, but I only give the ones I REALLY LOVE the honor of making it into my “Cookbook Corner”. Browse around my website, search “Cookbook Corner” in my search engine, or Google “Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corners” for a full list of all of the wonderful books that I have in my collection.

The latest cookbook I am obsessed with is…

butter-and-chocolate

“Butter and Chocolate” By: Sheila G. Mains

Let me start off by saying that this book is FABULOUS! Well, of course it is, or I would not have been giving it center spot in my “Cookbook Corner” feature. I may even go as far as saying it is in my TOP 5 FAVORITE COOKBOOKS OF ALL YEAR – 2016! Yes, I am serious! I love the recipes in this book, I love the format, the photography, the stories, everything! Sheila is a GENIUS and I love her for coming up with such user friendly recipes using butter and chocolate – my two favorite food groups I feel the need to mention.

If you have heard of Sheila before it is perhaps because of this…

brownie-brittle

She is the creator of “Brownie Brittle”! I had not tried this treat until recently and let me tell you – O.M.G.! IT IS DELICIOUS! I am highly recommending everyone reading this post go out and buy a bag (I found mine at my local “Cracker Barrel” store) and TRY IT! Yes, I am going crazy and using all CAPS because IT IS THAT GOOD! Can I tell you a secret? I am buying a bag of this for everyone I know for the Holidays to include in their “Foodie Gift Baskets”. If you have never had it before it is a thin, crisp, flavorful chocolate brownie. Comes in a lot of flavors – the chocolate chip is my favorite. IF you can not find it in your local area, order it here – http://browniebrittle.com/

Anyways, she is the creator of this fabulous treat…so if you have heard her name from somewhere, chances are – it is from this!

Her cookbook is chopped FULL of recipes ranging from BROWNIES (my favorite section) to cheesecakes, candies, donut holes, bread pudding, bars, cookies, cake pops, parfaits and just about everything else you can think of. And – the best part? All of the treats inside use BROWNIE BATTER! Yes, and some even call for her “Brownie Brittle”.

Some of my favorite recipes are…

cookie-dough-brownies

“Cookie Dough Brownies” (page 26) and also featured on the cover. They are a delicious brownie, topped with cookie dough (egg free) and a frosting made from chocolate chips. I served these with family and friends (and some taste testers) and they were blown away! I can not tell you how many times I have made these since I have gotten this cookbook! This recipe will be in my rotation from now on, very delicious and I highly recommend!

Another recipe I am enjoying is…

salted-caramel-brownies

“Salted Caramel Brownies” (page 33). If you love salted caramel (like I do) you will love these! My friends and family went wild for these too! Great flavor and the salt really sets them apart from the other brownies that you may find in the stores.

Some other recipes I have been enjoying are…

“Signature Brownies” (page 19) – This recipe is the base recipe for the other recipes in the book. Some call for this recipe in a smaller size pan, and some in a larger. Sheila will go over which recipe to use, in each recipe these brownies are called for. They are delicious because they combine semi-sweet chocolate chips with unsweetened cocoa powder.

“Red Velvet Brownies” (page 30) – I LOVE anything red velvet – these are no exception.

“Peanut Butter Cup Brownies” (page 34) – If you love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter you must try these! And of course, use real peanut butter for them!

“White Chocolate Cinnamon Blondies” (page 40) – These are delicious! I love the flavor combination of white chocolate and cinnamon and I can not wait to serve these this Thanksgiving! I think they will be something new and fun added to the table.

“Brownie Filled Donut Holes” (page 51) – The name says it all!

“Brownie Banana Bread” (page 58) – This chocolate banana bread is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes! I love banana bread and this recipe is really over the top!

“White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars” (page 74) – I love the incredible combination of white chocolate and raspberry! Think of that combination and add the flavors and textures of a cheesecake – fabulous!

“Brownie Whoopie Pies” (page 87) – A new take on the traditional.

“Pumpkin Pie with Brownie Brittle Crust” (page 102) – I may never make a traditional chocolate crust again! I love her version using her incredible “Brownie Brittle”!

“Cannoli Brownie Bites” (page 135) – A cannoli and a brownie = incredible!

“Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches” (page 150) – Perfect for the summer!

“Lava Cakes” (page 169) – You must try these! Foolproof and decadent…

AND guess what!? I get to SHARE WITH YOU ALL one of my favorite recipes from the book! “Brownie Bread Pudding” (page 62) IS A MUST TRY!

And yes – their photos are so much better than mine! I do not pretend to be a professional food photographer, and until I have a friend who can send me free props, give me lessons, lend me a camera, lighting and professional style tips – you are stuck with MY photos! Ha! Seriously though – if you can help me out with my photos – blaisethebaker@gmail.com Until then, I guess I will have to settle with “food writer, recipe developer, columnist and cookbook author” – I like the sound of that, what about you!?

brownie_bread_pudding-image

Brownie Bread Pudding

Several years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house for brunch. When I asked what I could bring, she replied without even taking a breath, “Why dessert, of course. That’s your specialty!” Wow! No pressure, right? Now, I had to come up with something different, something spectacular. Hmmm, I thought. Bread pudding is pretty popular. I bet if I “brownied” it up a bit, it would pass muster. Well, my bread pudding never even made it to the dessert table. It was served along with the main course, and there wasn’t a crumb left when it was time for coffee and sweets. I took my empty bowl home—with my brownie queen reputation still intact.

YIELD 6 servings
PREP 30 to 35 minutes
BAKE 45 to 50 minutes

Unsalted butter for greasing pan
Brownie Filling recipe (page 43)
12 slices brioche bread or challah, at least 1 day old
PUDDING MIXTURE…
2 cups light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 °— 8-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.

Prepare the brownie filling according to directions. Spread it on 6 slices of the bread, then top each one with another slice of bread to form 6 sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 6 to 8 pieces and pile the sandwich pieces into the greased baking dish.

Prepare the pudding mixture: Combine the cream, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until warm. Whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the cream mixture to the egg mixture gradually, stirring constantly to make sure the eggs do not cook.

Pour the pudding mixture over the bread pieces and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil after about 20 minutes and check every few minutes until golden brown on top. Allow the pudding to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Taken, with permission, from Sheila G’s Butter and Chocolate by Sheila G. Maines. Published by Kyle Books, photography by Tina Rupp. Shout out and special thanks to Sheila G. Maines and Kyle Books.

To see even MORE recipes and to buy “Butter and Chocolate” please click here…

http://www.kylebooks.com/page/detail/Sheila-Gs-Butter-Chocolate/?K=e201607041734251265

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise 

Bakery Style Chocolate Fudge Brownies 

This recipe is a take on one of the most popular bakery style brownies around. They are thick, fudgy and full of flavor. The frosting is thick and rich. Both pair together beautifully. The secret to these brownies is the cake flour! I am highly recommending you try these ASAP!

Bakery Style Chocolate Fudge Brownies 

For the brownies…
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups cake flour
1/4 cup water

For the frosting…
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon simple syrup
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk

For the simple syrup…
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar

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

In a large bowl combine the large eggs, white granulated sugar, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract and baking powder.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the solid vegetable shortening. Do not boil. Once melted, add in the light corn syrup and stir together. Cool slightly then add to the above mixture, stirring everything together well.

Next, add in the cake flour and stir until everything is well mixed. Once well mixed, add in the water. Stir the batter until smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Before starting on the frosting, prepare the simple syrup. Combine the light corn syrup, hot water and white granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.

To make the frosting, combine the unsweetened cocoa powder, vegetable oil, solid vegetable shortening, light corn syrup and pure vanilla extract in a bowl. Once a thick paste is formed, add the instant coffee granules, light corn syrup, melted unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup. Stir this together before adding in another 4 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Stir this together well. Next, add in 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons of the whole milk. Mix together until the frosting is smooth and combine. Next add in the remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar along with the remaining tablespoon of whole milk. Mix together until the frosting is smooth and combined. If the frosting is thin, add in a little more confectioner’s sugar. If the frosting is extra thick, add in a little more whole milk. You are looking for a spreadable consistency that resembles ice cream. Use this whole batch of frosting to frost the cooled brownies.

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Zebra Blondies

I love this recipe! Feel free to add white chocolate chips to the blondie batter, pecans or even chocolate chips! These are quick, easy and fun! Perfect for a party, get together or pitch-in. No matter what the occasion, people will go crazy over these…


Zebra Blondies

For the blondies…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white whole milk

For the chocolate ganache…
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

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

In a large bowl cream together the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Once mixed, add in large eggs and beat well to combine. Next, add in the pure vanilla extract and stir together well.

Finally, add in the white all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt, all at once. Combine just until the flour is dissolved, being careful not to over mix the batter.

Spread this mixture into the prepared baking pan, and spread out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon or clean fingers.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 24 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the softened unsalted butter, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until thick and smooth.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and solid vegetable shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl for about 90 seconds. Stir well until the chocolate is fully melted, shiny and glossy looking.

When ready to frost blondies, frost evenly. Spoon chocolate ganache over the frosting in “stripes” making a zebra pattern. This is best accomplished by swishing a spoonful of the chocolate ganache evenly over the frosting.

Place in refrigerator for about 2 hours, then remove and serve.

Enjoy!

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Coconut Chocolate Brownies

I am not the biggest can of coconut, but when mixed with sweetened condensed milk, topped and covered with chocolate – now maybe THIS I can do… AND the best part? It is easy – and tastes just like that popular candy bar you can grab up by the checkout counter. 

Try these today…

Coconut Chocolate Brownies

1 package brownie mix (13×9-inch)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, (mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
5 cups shredded coconut, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tub chocolate fudge frosting

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spraying a 13×9-inch pan with floured baking non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, prepare the brownie mix according to packaged directions. Mix in the chocolate chips and instant coffee granules. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine 4 cups of the shredded coconut with the can of sweetened condensed milk.

When the brownies finish baking, remove from the oven and immediately top with the shredded coconut mixture. Spread evenly with a knife.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the remaining 1 cup shredded coconut, stirring continuously, until the coconut becomes toasted and brown.

Spread the toasted coconut out over foil or parchment paper – and allow to cool slightly.

In the microwave, place the plastic tub of frosting (remove the lid and foil wrapper) for 1 minute.

Pour the melted frosting evenly over the brownies and coconut mixture. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon.

Finally, top with the toasted coconut. Refrigerate until firm, then cut and enjoy. If cutting while warm, enjoy with caution – the coconut brownie is hot! This is also perfect served with ice cream.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I can not tell you how many times I have tested this recipe because you would not believe me. So – let me just tell you the things I have learned about these along the way…

1. You MUST use a brownie mix for the recipe. I have made the brownies in this from scratch several times and it does not work. Do not ask me why – it just does not. 

2. You MUST use the brownie mix that I have specified. Why? I tested a lot of brownie mixes too and it must have great flavor, fit an 8×8 inch square pan and the mix must have chocolate chips inside. 

3. You may NOT want to use all of the chocolate chip cookie dough for the top of the brownies. Why? You may want to snack on the dough – which is what I usually do. OR you may want to bake them off by themselves later on. Totally up to you. 

4. Use milk in place of the water in the brownie mix and when making the brownies, add in a teaspoon of instant coffee granules. You will not taste the coffee – but the addition of this makes the chocolate flavor come out even stronger. 

Ok. Let’s get started…

  
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

For the brownies…
1 package (18.9 oz) Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix and ingredients to prepare – eggs, oil, milk, instant coffee granules

For the chocolate chip cookies…
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
4 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions – and my notes listed above.

Pour the prepared brownie mix in the prepared pan and even out with the back of a spoon.

Next, make the chocolate chip cookie dough by stirring together the unsalted butter, white granulated sugar and light brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add in the large egg and pure vanilla extract, and stir to combine.

Gently add in the white all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Fold together until no white marks are visable.

Finally, fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Place big spoonfuls of cookie dough on top of the brownie batter. Place as little or as much as you would like. I usually use about 1/2 of the batter and eat the rest – or save it and bake it off later.

Place this in preheated oven for 37 minutes.

Carefully watch when baking. If the cookies start to turn too brown – place aluminum foil over the top while still baking.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Blondies

I love blondies! This recipe is basically a delicious chocolate chip cookie dough (with a little extra pure vanilla extract) and baked in a 13×9-inch baking pan. There is something here for everyone because after it is cooled, the middle sinks and is chewy and gooey and the edges are slightly crunchy and sandy. Amazing!

Chocolate Chip Blondies Blaise the Baker

Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 large eggs
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon white all-purpose flour (to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cookie)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and flour lightly. Or spray with “Baker’s Joy” spray – which is my preferred method.

In a large bowl mix together the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Next add the pure vanilla extract and instant coffee granules. Stir to combine.

Add in the 2 large eggs, one at a time, stirring with each addition.

Next add in the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until every trace of flour has disappeared – being careful not to over-mix.

Finally, add in the flour coated chocolate chips, and gently fold into the batter.

Place batter in prepared pan, even out the dough and smooth out the top.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 31 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Enjoy!

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