Chew This! Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

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 “Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie” and it is FABULOUS! It was a joy and nothing short of pure pleasure to develop this recipe! I must have made this countless times and my recipe testers were always happy to try a sample. This pie uses cinnamon rolls straight from the refrigerated section and even utilizes the frosting that comes with each! No need to make a pie crust, the cinnamon rolls are the bottom AND top crust! Fabulous, right!? The cinnamon and maple filled apple mixture pairs perfectly with the cinnamon rolls and warm vanilla frosting. I am highly recommending you serve this at your Thanksgiving table! People will beg for the recipe and countless memories will be made! This is so simple, why not serve two?

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains my recipe for “Drop Biscuits”! These are so simple and so easy AND can be quickly transformed into dumplings for chicken and dumplings, beef and dumplings, turkey and dumplings, in NO TIME flat!

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


Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 5th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A New Twist on a Classic Pie
Blaise Doubman

It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in just a couple of short weeks! 2017 has really flown by for me, how about for you? I love this time of year when there is a cold snap in the air, people start preparing for the Holidays and the long winter months ahead. There is something really comforting and soothing to me about the types of food that is prepared around this time of year too, such as warm bowls of soup, fresh baked breads, roasted vegetables, casserole dishes, homemade pies and cinnamon coffee. The time of year may be cold outside but I also find it warm inside with family and friends, sharing memories, good times and good foods. I love looking back over my childhood Holidays and remembering who brought what to the dinner table and who shared what recipe with me from their kitchens.

One of my favorite late Fall seasonal desserts would have to be apple pie. I have made apple pie in all different forms, sizes, flavors and textures. I have made hand held mini apple pies, apple slab pies, deep dish apple pies, with cornflakes sprinkled along the bottom to prevent a soggy pie and apple pies on a stick! My latest favorite version though would have to be my “Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie”! There is nothing to making the crust to this because the bottom and top crust is refrigerated cinnamon rolls! How easy is that? The filling is packed with flavor and the icing on the cake? Or pie in this case, is the icing or the frosting that comes with the cinnamon rolls! You use the already made frosting to frost the pie! It really is as good as it sounds! Bring this to your Thanksgiving table and people will be begging for more!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

I have made this pie using Granny Smith apples as well as McIntosh. I find that the type of apple used in this pie is up to the person who will be eating it. Most all apple pie recipes call for Granny Smith apples but I have found during my experimentation that several diverse types of apples can be used in baking perfectly fine and the results are delicious. I do find that the McIntosh apples bring out more sweetness to the pie, while Granny Smith brings out a certain tartness that pairs nicely with the ground cinnamon. Experiment and even use a combination of apples!

6 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
2 refrigerated cans regular size cinnamon rolls
¼ cup white granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your pie dish with non-stick cooking spray. This recipe was developed using a 9-inch pie dish but will work with an 8-inch. This recipe will also work using a deep-dish pie dish, just adjust the cinnamon roll slices accordingly.

In a large bowl combine the prepared apples with the white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, corn starch, maple syrup, ground cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine.

Open both cans of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and cut each roll in half.

On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each cinnamon roll half until slightly thicker than a sheet of paper. Place a layer of the flattened cinnamon roll halves along the inside of the prepared pie dish, flattening them together to create a bottom crust.

Pour in the apple mixture and spread evenly.

Place the remainder of the flattened cinnamon roll halves along the top, crimping and closing off any holes that may appear, to create a top crust.

Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Carefully remove the aluminum foil and baking another 7 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and while still warm, frost the top with the frosting containers that come with each refrigerated cinnamon roll tube. Spread evenly.

Serve warm and alongside vanilla bean ice cream.

Ask and Answer: Janet Ward, a member of my Blaise the Baker Facebook community, wanted to know where she could find my recipe for “Drop Biscuits”. I am sharing that recipe here for her and for all of you. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl combine 1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder, pinch of salt and 1 stick (4 oz) cubed unsalted butter until the mixture resembles coarse pebbles. Add in ¾ cup whole milk and stir gently until combined. Drop the dough in ¼ cup measurements all along the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown. This recipe can also be used in making “Drop Dumplings” – just drop the dough by tablespoon size amounts into boiling chicken stock and cook until dumplings are floating and still tender in the middle.

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Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles 

Lately I have been obsessed with instant vanilla pudding and adding it to baked goods and seeing – and tasting – the results. These “Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles” are quickly becoming a favorite around here and I highly recommend you try them!

Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

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

Stir in the vanilla instant pudding mix. 

Stir in the large eggs. 

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Combine 1/4 cup white granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a small bowl. 

Roll tablespoon size balls of dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheets. 

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool. 

Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread

Seriously – this is the BEST banana bread I have EVER had! My Grandma Barbra LOVED it – as did some of my local taste testers. I wanted to develop a recipe that takes your typical old-fashioned banana bread and have it be transformed into something almost magical! The cinnamon really balances well with the bananas and the toffee is just enough to take it over the top! The special mixing combination of the butter and bananas is one of the secrets to this recipe. Magical – flavorful – fabulous!

Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 large bananas, peeled
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 bag toffee bits
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a regular size loaf / bread pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the bananas. Mash the bananas with the butter and mix well.

Add in the white granulated sugar and light brown sugar and cream well before beating in the 2 large eggs. 

Stir in the sour cream. 

Next stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. Fold in 3/4 of the bag of toffee bits. 

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle evenly on top the remaining 1/4 bag of toffee bits. Sprinkle on the Turbinado sugar evenly. 

Place in preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once baked remove and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the loaf / bread pan. Cut with sharp knife and serve. 

Enjoy!

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My favorite toffee bits –

Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles

I have a recipe for “Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles” so I wanted to develop a recipe for those who loved the Snickerdoodle flavor of cinnamon-sugar but wanted a cookie that was crumbly and sandy in texture instead of soft and chewy. This recipe is a home run! It is easy – flavorful and hits the crumbly and sandy texture so well that I named them my “Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles”. These are fabulous!

Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups + 3 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
Cinnamon and Sugar for rolling (below)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large egg.

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Finally fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Roll tablespoon sized balls into a mixture of 1/2 cup white granuated sugar and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Lightly press down on each ball.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 18 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

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Snickerdoodle Blondies 

I love Snickerdoodle cookies and these blondies may be even better than the cookies! These are buttery, chewy, full of flavor and full of cinnamon burst! Highly recommend you make these for the upcoming “Cookie Swap” parties for something different, new and delicious! 

Snickerdoodle Blondies

For the Blondies…
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture…
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Start by preheating 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 soft unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the 2 large eggs before adding in the pure vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour, being careful not to overmix.

Spread the dough, evenly, into the prepared baking pan.

Evenly spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the dough and place into the preheated oven for 31 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

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Elephant Ear Cookies

I love elephant ears at the State Fair and these are the perfect thing to whip up when you are craving an elephant ear, but want to enjoy it from the comforts of home. Use your favorite pie crust recipe – from scratch of course – and simply follow my instructions! These are fabulous!

Elephant Ear Cookies

Your favorite double pie crust, prepared
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough until about 1/4-inch thick on lightly floured parchment paper. Dust off any excess flour before placing onto a large baking sheet. Do this twice.

In a medium bowl, mix together the white granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.

With a pastry brush, brush on the melted butter evenly across the pie crust.

Sprinkle evenly the cinnamon-sugar mixture across both buttered pie crusts.

Place – one at a time – into the preheated oven for 22 minutes.

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

When cooled, break up into pieces using a knife and fork.

Enjoy!

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Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

I am a huge fan of cupcakes! I love making them, eating them – but not decorating them… I am not the World’s Best Decorator by any means – I think it is because my focus is always on the eating of the dessert – and less on how it looks. Regardless, the perfect garnish can hide some imperfections – like the sliced banana garnish I use for these!

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart. You can Google her version of the recipe and see what changes I made. I added more cupcakes to the total amount baked, changed some of the measurements and added some flavorful ingrediants. I am always looking on how to improve a recioe – and in this case – I have done it!

Instead of making banana bread next time you have some ripe bananas to use – make these moist and delicious cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

For the cupcakes…
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
4 ripe bananas, mashed 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting…
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Lightly spray cups with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. 

Next, add in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, mashed bananas, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. 

Gently fold everything together, being very careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold until all the white streaks of flour have disappeared. 

Next, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins. This batter makes 18 cupcakes and you need to fill them each 3/4 of the way full to the top.

Pour a small amount of water into the remaining 4 empty cupcake cavities. 

Place in preheated oven for exactly 27 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted and cooled unsalted butter with the honey, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in enough powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You’ll want a frosting that is thick, ice cream consistency, but yet easy spreadable. 

To frost the cupcakes, divide the frosting evenly between the cupcakes, and frost accordingly. 

Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars

Someone once said that I had too many cookie recipes… is that even possible!? Who could have too many cookie recipes!? I may need to change the type of person I associate with… Ha!

These are not really a “cookie” by definition, but a “bar”. They are a spin on my “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” – but with cinnamon added, maple syrup added, chocolate chips left out – and the dough is pressed and baked in a pan instead of divided into cookie dough balls and baked. Simple, right?

These are chewy, flavorful and delicious served warm, or chilled! A friend of mine actually eats these for breakfast on the go… genius idea! 

Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars Blaise the Baker

Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light and fluffy in texture.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract.

Next, add the white all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until just combined.

Finally, gently stir in the oatmeal.

Place dough into prepared pan, and smooth out the corners and top.

Bake in preheated oven for exactly 25 minutes.

Allow to cool, then cut into desired pieces and serve.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Snickerdoodles

Today is the official publication of my FOURTH “CHEW THIS!” column in “The Courier-Times”! This recipe is PERFECT for the Fall and delicious with a cup of warm apple cider…

Make sure and pick up a copy TODAY and let me know what you think! I have tried this recipe and developed it over and over and this recipe is perfect for those of us who love our cookies to be chewy and yet soft at the same time. The smell of cinnamon and sugar fill the house when these are in the oven… a wonderful fragrance for the Fall and cooler weather.

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 5th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Cinnamon and Sugar are the Smells of Autumn
Blaise Doubman

Autumn is here and to me that means the smell of cinnamon and sugar coming from the kitchen. There is nothing like the freshly baked smell of something with cinnamon and sugar coming from the oven. Apple pie, apple crisp, cinnamon bread, candied pecans and Snickerdoodle cookies are just a few of the mouth watering scents that usually make their way through the kitchen throughout this time of year. These scents along with the changing colors of the leaves, cooler weather, and Jacob’s Family Orchard’s apple cider, donuts and slushies (personal favorites of mine) are all signs that Autumn is upon us!

Over the past several months I have been testing Snickerdoodle cookie recipes and with this time of year, it’s the perfect excuse to make these delicious cinnamon and sugar rolled cookies. In “The Joy of Cooking” it states that Snickerdoodles are probably German in origin meaning “snail noodles”. A large part of my research though, shows that the actual invention of these cookies is largely unknown. Whoever invented these and for whatever reason – I would like to thank them for this creation, and after trying this recipe, you will want to thank them too…

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

These cookies fall into the category of “soft and chewy”. They will last several days in an air-tight container. Before starting the recipe, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature – an important rule when baking. Also remember to bake these just at 17 minutes and allow them to cool on the baking sheet. You can place these fairly close together on the baking sheets – they do not spread out that much. When using a 1-inch cookie scoop it makes around 3 dozen cookies.

For the cookies…
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz.)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture…
½ cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Next, add in the shortening, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.

Carefully add in the flour (a cup or so at a time) and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix the dough.

In a small bowl, combine the ½ cup white granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon and stir together until well combined.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop the dough out into balls and place into the smaller bowl with cinnamon and sugar and roll around until evenly coated, one at a time.

Once evenly coated, place on prepared cookie sheets. Do this until all the dough is used.

Place baking sheets, one at a time, into preheated oven and bake for 17 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…