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!

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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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Chew This! Sweet Surprise Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Happy “CHEW THIS!” Sunday! I am SO EXCITED to share this recipe with everyone today! My “Sweet Surprise Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake” may not be what you expect! Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think! My Grandma Deloris LOVES this cake and I think you will too! Also my “Ask and Answer” feature, features some answers to your questions about my baked spaghetti! Enjoy!

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Chilled Bittersweet Brownies

I am constantly developing, testing and researching recipes. Some of my finished recipes appear on my blog, while some of them appear in my “CHEW THIS!” column for “The Courier-Times”. Other recipes appear on my Facebook page, Instagram page, Snapchat or in my cookbook. I developed this recipe but could not wait for it to appear anywhere – so I am sharing it here and now! If you love more of a fudge brownie opposed to a cake like brownie and if you like your brownies dense and chilled, this recipe is for you!

Chilled Bittersweet Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup white all-purpose flour

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

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the unsalted butter and bittersweet chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Sit aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the large beaten eggs with the dark brown sugar, white granulated sugar, salt and pure vanilla extract. Once combined, add in the melted butter and chocolate mixture and beat together well.

Finally, fold in the white all-purpose flour until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth and even out the top.

Place in preheated oven for 37 minutes exactly. Remove and allow to cool, in the pan, at room temperature.

Once cooled, wrap tightly and place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. When ready to cut, serve and eat, remove brownies from pan using the parchment paper and cut into small pieces.

Leftovers should be kept chilled in an airtight container. Will last 4 days.

Enjoy!

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Grandma Mary’s Chocolate Brownies

My friend, Theresa Pierce, gave me this recipe awhile back and I have made it several times. I am not sure why I have not featured it before now, but here we are. Theresa said she thinks the original recipe came from one of Grandma Mary’s “Delco Plant 3” cookbooks but was not for sure. I am giving credit here to Mary and naming them in her honor regardless.

These are fabulously delicious, different than most brownie recipes and can feed a crowd! The recipe calls for 1 can of “Hershey” syrup, or one pound, which is equal to 1 1/2 cups in a liquid measure. The recipe also says you can include nuts but I have never included them and neither has Grandma Barbra when she has made these. If nuts are your thing, please add them. Also a final note on the frosting. The frosting tends to harden quickly, like candy, so be aware and spread evenly – fast!

These are moist, slightly chewy and have a taste all of their own. They do however remind me slightly of Ina Garten’s “Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes” but in brownie form and without the Ganache. Highly recommend that you try these!

Grandma Mary’s Chocolate Brownies

For the brownies…
1 stick (4 oz) margarine, melted (not butter)
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups “Hershey” chocolate syrup
1 cup + 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
Nuts, if desired

For the frosting…
6 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
6 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a regular sized baking sheet (cookie sheet) with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the melted margarine, white granulated sugar and large eggs. Stir in the “Hershey” syrup and white all-purpose flour. Add nuts here if desired.

Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Place in preheated oven for exactly 22 minutes. Remove and cool.

To make the frosting, combine the butter, milk and white granulated sugar over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Stir constantly for 90 seconds.

Remove from heat and stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Immediately pour the frosting over the cooled brownies and quickly spread evenly. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes, then cut and serve.

Enjoy!

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Cookbook Corner – Cake, I Love You

My current favorite cake cookbook!?

“Cake, I Love You” By: Jill O’Connor

I love cookbooks and I especially love cookbooks based on desserts and if that dessert happens to be CAKE – I am all in! I will flag up now though and say that I know the talented author of this beautifully genius cookbook, Jill O’ Connor but my friendship does not in any way sway me one way or another. I am here to give open and honest feedback and that is what I will do. BUY THIS BOOK! Ha! Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy it! Filled with wonderful recipes, mouthwatering photos, beautiful stories and descriptions – what more could you possibly want?

The cookbook is divided into the following categories – Banana, Coconut, Chocolate, Caramel and Butterscotch, Citrus, Spirits and Spices, Garden and Orchard.

There is also sections on Baker’s Gear, Baker’s Pantry and Building A Better Cake – which all helped me tremendously when fully wanting to understand the operation known as: baking a perfect cake. I highly recommend reading these sections before you try any of the genius recipes included.

Just SOME of my favorite recipes include –

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Melted Chocolate Bar Frosting” (page 74). Which I made first and everybody LOVED! Here is a picture –

Banana-Brownie Swirl Cake” (page 28)

Salted Butter Pecan Cake” (page 94)

Sticky Toffee Pudding” (page 98)

Luscious Lemon Loaf” (page 111)

Sweet Potato-Praline Spice Cake with Marshmallow Meringue” (page 145)

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cake” (page 169)

In case you are wondering there ARE recipes for coconut cakes but I am not a coconut fan. So – there is that! Ha!

I would recommend reading the first sections of the book, then diving in and making your favorite flavor of cake. Everyone went WILD for her mayonnaise cake and honestly her recipe for “melted chocolate bar frosting” was my FAVORITE frosting of all of 2017. There I said it! It was amazing and I have actually had it on other things other than just this cake! Cupcakes – cookies – brownies – spoons! Ha! And yes – it tastes just like a melted chocolate bar! This recipe alone is easily worth the price of the book. Genius recipe – genius!

I would love to get together with Jill and have a “taste off” of mayonnaise cakes! Maybe one day. I am actually getting ready to finalize a new chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe that I hope to include in an upcoming “Chew This!” column. I will not let anything slip right now, but how does coffee sound with the cake? Ok, no more hints and back to the review.

I love this book and highly recommend it to dessert lovers and cake lovers alike.

To buy “Cake, I Love You” click here – https://www.amazon.com/Cake-Love-You-Decadent-Delectable/dp/1452153809

Shoutout and special thanks to Chronicle Books for the opportunity to review this cookbook. 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

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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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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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…