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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Chew This! Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! (And Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!) As many of you already know, I have a food column in “The Courier-Times” on the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s each month. It is a place where I can share my stories and recipes, and I love it! I am always trying to think of new and different recipes to share with everyone – and this one takes the cake! Or, well, cookie! Ha!

I spent longer than a person might think in developing this recipe, but the reward was well worth all the time, trouble and sink loads of dishes. The recipe produces a single chocolate chip cookie in less than two minutes. Two. Minutes! It is dangerous – it is fun – it is addictive – it is delicious!

This recipe was tested in your average microwave. Do not try and bake this in the oven – or a convection oven. If the cookie is still gooey after your 50 seconds, microwave 10 seconds longer. If too dry, microwave less. 50 seconds worked for me.



Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 19th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A Single Serving of Chocolate Chip Cookie
Blaise Doubman

I love chocolate chip cookies! Ever since I was a little boy, there is nothing, to me, more satisfying than baking and eating chocolate chip cookies. My earliest memory of my love for these cookies had to be in Kindergarten. My Mom, Darla, would promise me that there would be a batch of chocolate chip cookies waiting on me when I got home from school, if I would go and behave. The trick worked every time. I can remember on some days, looking at my little Mickey Mouse watch, and counting down the minutes until it was time to go home. Which for me, meant going home to nice warm chocolate chip cookies. That memory is fond for me…

My love for the cookie has followed me for years now, and I just can’t seem to get enough! I’ve developed countless chocolate chip cookie recipes for my blog, so for this recipe I wanted to create something different and unique. Awhile back I developed a recipe for a chocolate cake in a mug, and put it on my blog. There were rave reviews, so it got me to thinking – why not have a chocolate chip cookie in a mug? The development for this took awhile, because I just couldn’t get that cookie consistency I was looking for. Then finally, I skipped the baking powder and baking soda, and just went right in with the rest of the ingredients. I also left out the egg white, but needed the egg yolk for binder and flavor. The result was fabulous! This recipe is short, easy and simple. I’ve made it so many times that I actually have it memorized, and don’t even have to use measuring equipment anymore! That could be a good thing…or a bad thing! Just think of this as a single serve size chocolate chip cookie, but warm from the microwave, not the oven.

Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug

You can use milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or even peanut butter chips for this recipe. Also feel free to substitute the light brown sugar, for dark brown. Experiment and have fun with this recipe! For a “Snickerdoodle” cookie in a mug, use this recipe but leave out the chocolate chips. Instead, sprinkle the top, before placing into the microwave, with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
3 ½ tablespoons white all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by melting the butter completely in a medium sized mug in the microwave.

Next, add in the white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine everything together with a fork.

Add in the large egg yolk, and combine before adding in the white all-purpose flour.

Finally, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir well.

Place in microwave, and on 100% power, microwave for exactly 50 seconds.

Remove from the microwave, and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

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Pineapple Icebox Pie

Since it has been so hot and humid here in Indiana, I have been experimenting with “Icebox Pies”. I have fallen in love! Some of them can be made with just simply a thin cookie and some layered whipped cream. They are simple, fun, easy to throw together and best of all – beyond delicious!

This recipe may sound “odd” – but trust me…it is so delicious you will not believe it! The sour cream adds a deliciously rich, back flavor and the vanilla pudding thickens it and adds an “icebox pie” taste that combines beautifully with the crushed pineapple! You can top this with homemade whipped cream (whipped heavy cream with a little white granulated sugar at the end), Cool-Whip or leave it plain and simple.

Pineapple Icebox Pie Blaise the Baker

Pineapple Icebox Pie

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
1 cup sour cream
2 (3.4 oz.) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Store bought (or homemade) shortbread pie crust

In a large bowl combine the crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, sour cream, vanilla instant pudding mixes, pure vanilla extract and salt. Pour into prepared shortbread pie crust and even out the top.

Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.

If serving with whipped cream, top before serving.

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! Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta

HAPPY SUNDAY! Today’s the official publication of my “CHEW THIS!” column in “The Courier-Times”! I am SO excited to be sharing this delicious, quick AND easy MEAL with all of you!

Be sure to pick up a copy TODAY and let me know what you think of my “LESS than 30 minute meal…”

For STEP BY STEP pictures (to show you how quick and easy it really is, visit my Facebook page – http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker)

Also – let me just send out a big SHOUT OUT to everyone for the AMAZING responses I got from my last column about Thanksgiving traditions! I loved hearing and reading about all of your favorite traditions and recipes! Keep that wonderful feedback coming – I thank you for it!

Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta

Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 7th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Prepare a shrimp and pasta dinner in less than 30 minutes!
Blaise Doubman

How about preparing a complete meal for four to six people in less than 30 minutes? All you need is this recipe and perhaps a side salad and some garlic bread. I was inspired to create something with seafood that was not only delicious, but fast and easy. I also wanted to create a recipe that could be made in less than 30 minutes – from start to finish! And seafood is a miracle food containing a lot of health benefits! Did you know that eating just 8 ounces of seafood per week reduces the risk of heart disease by more than 35%? Did you know that the fatty acids found in seafood can actually make you live longer? Yes – these are scientifically proven facts! How exciting is that!?

My love of shrimp scampi started early. When my Grandpa Max and my Grandma Deloris would take me out for seafood, shrimp scampi is what we would always order. It wasn’t until just recently that I started adding pasta to my shrimp scampi…and I discovered that I loved it even more! Baking it in the oven with grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs take it to the next level and add a “salty crunch” to the dish.

Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta

Frozen smaller shrimp are best used for this recipe. Adding salt to the boiling water is very important in “flavoring” the pasta. It’s really your only chance to do so. Undercooking the pasta will allow the pasta to finish cooking in the hot sauce and in the oven at the end. I used “Panko” style breadcrumbs for more of a “crunch” but regular breadcrumbs are fine. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

12 oz. precooked frozen shrimp (small sized, cooked, peeled, deveined, tail off)
1 stick of butter (4 oz.)
¼ cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
Juice from 2 lemons
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup bread crumbs

Start by getting your pasta water ready. Fill up a large pot (about half way) with water and place over “high” heat.

Next, melt the stick of butter together with the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run cold water over the shrimp for about 5 minutes, to thaw out the shrimp. Toss the shrimp a few times to ensure even thawing.

Once the pasta water starts to boil, add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir gently and then add the angel hair pasta – cooking it only for 4 minutes.

Set a timer for 4 minutes and preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Once the shrimp is thawed, remove from colander and place in skillet with melted butter, olive oil and garlic.

Squeeze into the skillet the juice of 2 lemons and sprinkle in the black pepper, stirring well to combine everything. Keep the heat under the skillet to medium.

With the pasta still al dente (meaning still firm to the bite) carefully reserve about ¾ cup of the starchy cooking liquid from the pot and then drain. Return the pasta to the pot.

Add the shrimp scampi and it’s sauce to the pasta and stir really well to combine – distributing the shrimp evenly throughout the pasta.

Add the reserved starchy cooking liquid. (How much you use here will be up to the pasta – but generally you will add about half of what was reserved. When the pasta is slick and glossy – enough has been added.)

Next, spray a medium sized baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and pour in the combined shrimp and pasta and even out with the back of a wooden spoon.

Evenly top the shrimp and pasta with the grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.

Place into preheated oven for 5 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

Remove from oven and serve hot.

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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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2-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Yesterday, I made an AMAZING chocolate cake…in a MUG…in the microwave! Yes – you read that right!

I am not sure I had ever had anything like this before. AND I admit that I was (at first) a little…against the fact of making a cake in the microwave. I figured – why make a cake in a MUG when you could make a regular size cake and eat on it for days!?

Well, I am “seeing the light” now, and I understand why people would want a “mug cake”. It is easy, fast, individual sized, and so delicious!

The recipe I used came from “Lucky Peach”. I have included the recipe below – but here is their official posting, recipe and story… http://lky.ph/post/43087441437/mug-cake-for-lonelyhearts

Chocolate Mug Cake Blog

Lucky Peach’s Two-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small or medium coffee mug (microwave safe)

Add the egg, milk and vegetable oil to a small or medium coffee mug and whisk together. Next, add the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder, and mix thoroughly until everything is combined. Finally, add in the chocolate chips, pure vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

Put your mug into a 1000-watt microwave for 2 minutes.

The cake might rise over the top of the mug, but do not be alarmed.

Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! This can serve two. 

Note: Mine served one – me. 

Enjoy!

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Lightning Fast Desserts

There is nothing I love more than making desserts from scratch…expect maybe aside from eating them! 😉

I love taking the time to ensure that everything is done correctly and I love seeing (and tasting) the final outcome! In making desserts from scratch YOU control the quality of the ingredients – which I love.

BUT – I know that everyone does not have the time to make homemade desserts from scratch, so I am going to share FIVE of my favorite “lightning fast desserts”! TWO of these desserts have already been featured on my blog and they are the recipes for my “Any Flavor Chip Fudge” (which has just been updated) and my “Turbinado Peanut Butter Cookies”. You can find them here…

Fast blog

Lightning Fast Fudge recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/fudge-favorite-chocolate-fudge-and-favorite-peanut-butter-fudge/

Lightning Fast Cookie recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/peanut-butter-cookies-with-turbinado-sugar/

The other three recipes I am going to share are super simple and super delicious! I have made them a LOT over the years, and I hope that you will to. They are…

Lightning Fast Biscuits and Jam

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly for about a minute.

Roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is approximately 2 inches.

Bake at 425 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 14 minutes exactly.

Top with your favorite jam and serve!

Makes about 6 large biscuits.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Banana Bread Cookies

2 overripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Add the oats and walnuts and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can room temperature soda

Any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of soda will work! Experiment! Try them all! My favorite though is chocolate cake mix and “Coca-Cola” – so delicious!)

Combine cake mix and soda and whisk together until smooth.

Pour the batter into a cupcake paper lined tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly.

Let them cool completely and then frost as desired! I really like “frosting” them with whipped cream!

This makes 12 regular size cupcakes.

Enjoy!

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