Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

I LOVE sweetened condensed milk and will admit to eating it straight from the can. During my recipe research I found a few recipes for making your own, which always sounded too difficult. Why make your own when you can buy it already made? After experimenting I found that it does not have to be complicated to make your own – and can even be fun! Save this recipe to try – and if nothing else – save it for when you are out of the canned variety.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered milk

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar, boiling water, melted unsalted butter and pure vanilla extract. Using an electric whisk beat until combined.

Add in the powdered milk and beat until thick and smooth. This will take, at high beating speed, about 7 minutes. 

Using a clean spoon taste the sweetened condensed milk. If there are sugar crystals you can taste on your tongue place bowl in microwave for one minute and beat again. Sugar needs to be completely dissolved. 

Cool to warm room temperature and store in refrigerator or use right away. 

Enjoy! 

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Phyllis’ Peanut Butter Fudge

My good friend, Phyllis Arnett, shared with me this delicious recipe for quick and easy peanut butter fudge. I was a little hesitant at first, but after making it, I became a firm believer in how delicious this fudge really is! It only calls for 4 ingredients and you should really already have all of them on hand. Try this recipe and let me know what you think! Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

This recipe did not make it in time for it to be included in my upcoming cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” but I am sharing it here with everyone instead. Shout out and special thanks to everyone who has already preordered! I am so thankful. If you are interested in preordering my cookbook (available September 9th) please send $15 check or money order to:

Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. Thanks in advance!

PB fudge

Phyllis’ Peanut Butter Fudge

1 pound butter
18 oz smooth peanut butter
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large microwave safe bowl melt together the butter and smooth peanut butter.

Once melted, stir in carefully the confectioner’s sugar and pure vanilla extract.

Combine well. Place in desired size greased pan and smooth out the top.

Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting and enjoying.

Phyllis

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Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

A friend of mine offered me the challenge of using a cake mix to make something other than a cake or cookies – and something that was savory and not sweet. Guess what!? I did it! With research and development I have discovered a recipe for “Cake Mix Yeast Rolls”. Yep! You heard that right… And they taste nothing like cake. They taste everything like yeast rolls!!!

No kneading, and simple as can be!

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls Blaise the Baker

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

1 envelope dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 package of white cake mix
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Start by combining the dry active yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Swish around slightly to make sure yeast is dissolved.

Next, add in the white all-purpose flour, white cake mix, salt and melted butter. Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with vegetable oil. Turn to coat the whole dough ball with the oil. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick cooling spray and divide dough evenly between cups – filling each muffin cup about 1/2 full.

Cover again with kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake yeast rolls for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool in pans.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Unbelievable Meatloaf

Happy Easter Sunday! And Happy “CHEW THIS!” Sunday! Today’s recipe is a personal favorite of my Grandma Barbra… a FOUR ingredient meatloaf! Yes – you heard that right…only FOUR ingredients and it is so unbelievably delicious and easy to throw together… well – you just will not believe it!

Unbelievable Meatloaf

Unbelievable Meatloaf

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 5th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A four ingredient meatloaf, wins approval for ease and flavor!
Blaise Doubman

I don’t know how many times people have messaged me with questions on what they can fix for dinner, what they can fix with the least amount of ingredients possible and how they can make something fast – but flavorful. I love answering questions like this, and really helping “brainstorm” to find a solution. More times than not, after thinking for awhile, and seeing a limited ingredient list, a new and delicious recipe is born. Recently, I got to thinking about what I could do to make a meatloaf that would be quick, flavorful and made with as little ingredients as possible. Could I develop an uncomplicated meatloaf recipe that would be an approachable recipe for even the beginning cook?

Meatloaf usually contains two types of meat – usually a mixture of ground beef and ground sausage (sometimes veal). Just about every recipe also calls for ketchup, herbs, spices, eggs, milk and some type of crackers or bread. What could I eliminate without eliminating any of the flavors? I had to keep the meat, that was a given, and the egg helps “hold” the meatloaf together. But what about the herbs, spices, crackers and or bread…? And then it hit me. I remembered seeing a recipe where store bought “cornbread dressing” mix was used in making meatballs. Why not use the same concept for a meatloaf? That was it! I could use the “cornbread dressing” mix, and that would take care of the herbs, spices and the crackers that are needed in your more traditional meatloaf. The water would help cook the meatloaf and help “plump” the cornbread dressing mix (which would provide plenty of herbs and spices) – helping the egg hold everything together. This recipe is super simple to throw together, and so delicious, it’s unbelievable.

Unbelievable Meatloaf

This recipe is so delicious you won’t believe it! And with only 4 ingredients! (Water, salt and pepper don’t really count as “ingredients” in the cooking world). I use “Stove Top” brand cornbread stuffing mix for this recipe. It contains the perfect amount of herbs and spices needed for this recipe. This can be served with any side dish you desire – mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese or even roasted vegetables would be perfect. This is also delicious sliced and served on bread the next day, for the ultimate “comfort food” sandwich.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot sausage
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 box cornbread stuffing mix
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

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

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. The easiest way to do this is with clean hands.

Next, place the mixture into prepared baking pan and form into a loaf shape.

Place in preheated oven for one hour.

Remove from oven, and let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

I have had a lot of questions about what type of “stuffing mix” to use.

Here is the box I use…

SONY DSC

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Chew This! Candied Pecans

Happy “Super Bowl” Sunday – and Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Oh – and Happy February 1st! I am so excited to share this recipe with everyone. I have taken a basic recipe, turned up the flavor and made it basically foolproof!

Candied Pecans Blaise Doubman Chew This

Candied Pecans

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 1st 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Candied Pecans are simple, flavorful and perfect for snacking!
Blaise Doubman

I’ve loved pecans for as long as I can remember. The earliest memory I can recall is my Grandma Barbra buying me a small bag of pecans at the old New Castle “Becker Brothers” grocery store. I loved them from my first taste. They add so much flavor to chocolate fudge, blondie brownies, on top of sweet potatoes and in spicy chili pecan soup. Yes, soup! It’s made with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, onion, garlic, tomato – and topped with pecans. (A little hot for my taste, but good with a little sour cream and still in my recipe development process). It wasn’t until about three years ago though, that I started tinkering around with the process of actually candying the pecans. Want to make pecans better? Candy them with white and brown sugars and cook them in a low and slow oven – they’re incredible! These are not only delicious and easy; they will make your house smell better than any candle ever could!

Did you know that pecans are an excellent source of Vitamin E? Did you know they are a good source of energy? Pecans are also rich sources of several B-complex vitamins and great providers of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc! They really are a “miracle” nut – so don’t feel guilty when you’re snacking on your third or fourth handful. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a “diet recipe”, but pecans are more beneficial than eating a candy bar. And these candied pecans really add a flavorful crunch on top of your salad too. Sprinkle a few on top of your grilled chicken salad with orange dressing – how delicious does that sound? You’ll be amazed at how easy these are to make! Even if you’re a novice in the kitchen – try this recipe! It’s foolproof…

Candied Pecans

This recipe really is foolproof. Just follow the directions and you’ll get perfectly candied pecans every time. Store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They are delicious sprinkled on top of salads, desserts or even main courses like soups, chicken dishes, etc. These are also a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! Wrap them in little Valentine’s bags and tie with a red or pink ribbon. Be creative and have fun with different flavor combinations! Creativity and having fun are two important things when entering the kitchen. Leave your reservations at the door and enter with an open mind and have fun!

½ cup granulated white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups pecan halves
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of water

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 13×9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl mix together the granulated white sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the egg white, vanilla extract and splash of water until combined and frothy. Once combined, add in the pecans and toss until evenly coated with the egg white mixture.

Next, add the sugar mixture to the pecans and stir gently until all pecans are evenly coated with the mixture.

Pour the pecans onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Once completely baked and candied, remove the pecans and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Chew This! Chocolate Brownie Truffles

Happy Sunday and Happy Holidays! Today is the official publication of my newest “CHEW THIS!” column for “The Courier-Times”! I am SO excited to share this recipe with everyone…

It is quick, easy, delicious, rich – perfect for last minute Holiday gift giving!

Be sure to pick up a copy TODAY and let me know what you think – and be sure to check out my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker) for by “step by step” photos.

Chocolate Brownie Truffles Chew This Blog

Chocolate Brownie Truffles

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 21st 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Quick, unique and festive brownie truffles for the Holidays!
Blaise Doubman

I love giving (and receiving) homemade food gifts around the Holidays. Gifts like premeasured dry ingredients in clear glass jars for cookies (all you do is write the recipe on an index card, attach the card and have the receiver add the appropriate amount of wet ingredients) are both personal and charming. Nothing though says the Holidays like these delicious chocolate brownie truffles. They are easy to make, unique, fast and festive! Wrap these up in cellophane with a ribbon, or in a Holiday tin with tissue paper – and you have a perfect Holiday gift for giving! Just be sure to deliver the gift right away because if you’re like me – you’ll end up eating the gift before you can give it!

Everyone is familiar with the popular “cake pop” dessert (baked cake, crumbled into frosting, rolled into balls and then dipped in chocolate) but this brownie version is even more decadent and rich. It tastes more like a truffle candy once the chocolate coating is on it and set up. This treat would be a perfect for an office party or pitch-in! Just a warning though: these won’t last long wherever they are taken. They are perfect with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk…

Chocolate Brownie Truffles

These are amazingly rich and decadent so eat and give only a few at a time. Unlike the popular “cake pop” this brownie version doesn’t require anything additional added to the brownies to help hold them together. These can be decorated in any way desired. Dessert sprinkles in any color, rolled in colored sugar, drizzled with melted white chocolate or even served plain with no decoration. It’s best to place the brownie truffles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet before and after dipping in chocolate. Store truffles, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

1 box of good quality brownie mix (make sure it fits 13×9-inch pan) and ingredients called for on the box. (Usually water, vegetable oil and eggs)
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 12oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons milk
Dessert sprinkles for decoration

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 13×9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Prepare the brownies according to the package directions, except instead of adding water, add milk. Add the 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules to the batter and stir to combine.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes and remove, allowing to cool completely before continuing on with the recipe.

Once the brownies have cooled, line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Taking a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out the brownies into balls, rolling and forming them tightly with your hands, placing them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet after they have been formed.

Once you’ve finished scooping and rolling (you should get about 18 brownie balls) place the sheet pan into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Place the 12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Splash in the 3 tablespoons of milk and microwave on high 60 seconds and stir.

Microwave another 30 seconds and stir until completely melted and shiny. Allow this to cool slightly before continuing.

Using 2 forks (this is the easiest method) take the brownie balls, and roll them in the melted chocolate (one at a time) being sure to coat all sides evenly before placing them back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Once all the brownie balls have been coated evenly in the chocolate, sprinkle the tops of each with dessert sprinkles.

Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until the truffles are reading to be eaten, gifted or served. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

I found a similar recipe to this on a Facebook posting, and had to try it. The ingredients – only 3 – could be found in any cabinet and the directions could not be any simpler!

I tried it…and loved it! And I think you will to. I DID make some changes to the original recipe, but there are still only 3 ingredients needed.

If you are not a fan of cherry, use apple, blueberry…any type of pie filling will work! Use your favorite…

Slow Cooker Dessert Blog

Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

1 box “classic yellow” cake mix
1 can of pie filling (I used “Comstock” brand)
1 stick of butter, melted

Start by spraying your slow cooker liner with a non-stick cooking spray.

Empty the cake mix into the prepared slow cooker liner and add the can of pie filling and melted butter. Stir everything together until well combined.

Place lid on slow cooker, turn on “high” and bake for 3 hours.

Enjoy!

(This recipe really depends on the SIZE of your slow cooker… I baked mine in a slow cooker with the capacity to hold for eight. If your slow cooker is less than this – adjust the bake time accordingly.)

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Ina’s Easy Cheese Danish

I have been wanting to publish this posting for quite awhile – but life had other plans…

It is no secret that I am a HUGE Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) fan – and these are beyond amazing! I have made this particular recipe for years because it is not only super EASY, but calls for some of my favorite ingredients – puff pastry, cream cheese and lemon.

These are delicious made ahead (wrap with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight) and popped into the oven in the morning for breakfast… or even for a late night snack!

Puff Pastry Blog

Ina’s Easy Cheese Danish

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!

Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes

Today is the official publication day of my “CHEW THIS!” column in “The Courier-Times” and I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with everyone! These pancakes bring to me, a load of childhood memories. My Great Grandma Flora and I would eat pancakes down at my Grandma Barbra’s house EVERY DAY! I do not think we missed a day (or a pancake) for several years.

It was almost like a tradition – and something that I still remember fondly today…

Make sure and pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think! These pancakes are delicious topped with butter and maple syrup – or even powdered sugar and fresh berries!

Oven Pancakes Blog

Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 19th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Pancakes without the mess and hassle…
Blaise Doubman

Pancakes are a “comfort food” to me – something that brings me back to my childhood. When I was younger I would walk with my Great-Grandma Flora down to my Grandma Barbra’s house every single day to eat pancakes. Rain, snow, sleet, hot weather…it didn’t matter. Every day we were there eating pancakes for lunch. My Great-Grandma Flora would be over the moon that, in the future, New Castle would have a restaurant named “Stacks”! I remember us talking at the kitchen table about opening a “pancake restaurant”. (Only jokingly of course – I was only 6 or 7 at the time.) And I’m sure my Grandma Barbra thought she was already owning and operating a pancake restaurant at the time – right there in her own house! My Grandma Barbra and I still reminisce about those “good old days” and how much we both miss them…

The one thing I’m sure my Grandma Barbra doesn’t miss though – the mess that comes along with making pancakes! It can be a mess flipping them in the skillet (or on the griddle) one by one until all of them are made. Splattering batter everywhere, standing by the hot stove waiting for each to be done, not knowing when they are “ready” to flip and hearing everyone complain about being hungry…or is that just me!? My solution? Oven pancakes! They are quick, easy and delicious! Stir up the batter, pour it into the prepared pan, throw it into the oven and within 20 minutes you will have delicious pancakes all hot and ready at once to serve with the topping of your choice!

Lemon and Butter Oven Pancakes

These aren’t your typical pancakes – and with one look (and taste) you will know the difference. This recipe is a spin on the “Dutch Baby” pancake (a “custard” type pancake that is made in one pan and then cut into squares – usually a cast iron skillet). I made this recipe in a glass baking dish – which would really be the best option to use. These are best served hot, right out of the oven, and topped with butter and pure maple syrup. Although a topping of powdered sugar and fresh fruit wouldn’t be bad either! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. These will keep for about 3 days when chilled.

4 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the 4 tablespoons of butter into a 9×13-inch baking dish and place it into the oven, while the oven is preheating. (This will melt the butter and bring the dish up to temperature.)

Next, combine the all-purpose flour, eggs, milk, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice and salt in a large bowl and whisk well to combine.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the dish with the melted butter and carefully swirl it around to make sure the butter coats the bottom of the entire dish evenly.

Pour in the pancake batter, carefully, right into the middle of the dish.

Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until puffed up and golden. The sides will rise up out of the pan – which is normal, and really something worth witnessing!

Remove from oven and cut into squares and serve hot with the topping of your choice.

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