Chew This! Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

Baking School

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 5th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Blaise the Baker Baking School, Blue Ribbon Baby Food Cake
Blaise Doubman

When my best friend, Cindy Shelton, asked if her granddaughter, Maddie Shelton, could bake with my Grandma Barbra and myself for a 4-H project, my answer right away was, yes! For the past several years I have been thinking about offering some type of cooking school or baking school and this was the perfect opportunity to test things out! The baking day went fabulous and even a recipe was born from the project! Maddie went above and beyond my Grandma Barbra and I’s expectations and was a pro in the kitchen. Beating, folding, sifting and pouring, Maddie really did great. The project called for a cake made from baby food and I had the perfect recipe. The addition of baby food in the cake really makes the cake flavorful and super moist. I know, lots of people hate that word but what other word should be used!?

A couple of days after our baking school, Cindy made sure to tell me Maddie had won a blue ribbon from the cake! There was no doubt in my mind that she would win, after all, I knew the recipe was a wonderful recipe because I had made it several times before. Our baking day ended with Maddie’s family stopping by and all of us sharing a piece of cake. Everyone loved it! My Mom, Darla, even stopped in for a little fun, as did my Dad, Jamie and the newest addition to my life, my little 8 week old Sheltie, Penny. Needless to say, wonderful memories were made and I was so proud of Maddie for doing a job well done! In my opinion, she really has a bright future ahead of her. Congratulations Maddie and thanks again for thinking of me!

Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

This cake will last up to 5 days, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature with no frosting. If using the frosting, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs, beaten
1 4 oz jar applesauce baby food
1 4 oz jar carrot baby food
1 4 oz jar peach baby food
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
3 ounces cream cheese, soft
3/8 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a jellyroll pan, lightly, with solid vegetable shortening.

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar and vegetable oil.

Beat in the large eggs. Stir in the baby foods and combine well.

Stir in the ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 29 minutes.

Cool and then frost with frosting.

To make the frosting combine the soft cream cheese with the soft butter. Beat in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick but spreadable.

Ask and Answer: Lots of people have been wondering if my second cookbook will be available to purchase in the same locations as my first. The answer is yes! My cookbook is available through mail order as well as at Temptations, Glen Oaks Health Campus and The Book Nook all in New Castle, Indiana. Also available at Carousel Flowers and Gifts in Shirley, Indiana as well as Warm Glow Candle Outlet in Centerville, Indiana.

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Chew This! Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 6th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Lemon Cupcakes Perfect for Spring
Blaise Doubman

I know that the weather for the past several weeks has been very unspring like, but spring is here, and we need to enjoy it before the heat and humidity of the summer lurks in. I have always been someone who loves all four seasons, but spring has always been my favorite, followed by the fall. Spring is a time where, after a long winter, trees and flowers start to bloom and the weather starts warming up, without the humidity, and it feels like Mother Nature is offering everyone everywhere a “rebirth” of sorts. When I think of spring flavors I think of citrus flavors like lemon, orange, lime and pineapple. I also think about lighter feeling meals and lighter desserts that are deliciously tasty but do not weight down your body or stomach. When developing recipes, I often think of the season they will be enjoyed in and some of the seasonal aspects of what is fresh for that time of year. That is where this recipe started.

In the past I have experimented with all types of “fruit brownies” such as orange brownies, lemon brownies, lime brownies, strawberry brownies and even tropical pineapple brownies but this time I wanted to change things up and create a light, but flavorful, cupcake. I also wanted to create a glaze, or an icing, instead of a thick heavy frosting for the top. The cupcakes call for fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, which is very important for the overall fresh flavor. Fresh lemon juice is also called for in my icing. You can decorate the tops of these with a piece of candied lemon, a sprinkling of lemon zest, a dash of lemon sugar or simply leave them undecorated and with a smooth and shiny top. The best part of these cupcakes may be that they are extremely versatile. If you do not care for lemon, simply replace the measurements below with fresh orange, lime or even pineapple! This recipe is simply amazing.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

These cupcakes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. I prefer eating these chilled, so feel free to store inside the refrigerator as well. Always use fresh lemon juice and never the bottled variety. There is no substitute for fresh lemon zest or fresh lemon juice. Also remember to zest your lemons first before cutting and juicing. To get the most juice from your lemons, roll the lemons back and forth across your cutting board before cutting or place in microwave for about 10 seconds to get the juices flowing.

For the cupcakes…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the icing…
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
Fresh lemon juice

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and beat together until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth and glossy.

In a separate bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well until all dry ingredients are combined and free of lumps.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the beaten butter and sugar until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add in the whole milk, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and beat just until the batter has come together and is light and glossy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before icing.

To make the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and whole milk in a bowl with a whisk. Slowly add in fresh lemon juice until the desired constancy is reached. I prefer a thinner icing for these cupcakes, but a thicker icing can be made by adding less fresh lemon juice.

Prepare the cupcakes by icing the tops, serve and enjoy.

Ask and Answer: I heard from so many of my readers with my previous column dedicated to my sweet fur baby Macy. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful messages. So many of you wanted to know if I had any more “doggie recipes” and I have a few but want to remind everyone to check with your dog’s veterinarians and ask about any possible food allergies. Dogs, just like humans, may have food allergies that a person would need to know about before providing or recommending any specific recipes. I will, however, recommend a cookbook for those interested. “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” By: The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company is a wonderful resource for those looking for safe and non-toxic “doggie recipes”.

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White Cloud World Teas Lavender Berry Rooibos Strawberry Cake

In my partnership with “White Cloud World Teas” I immediately wanted to try some of their tea in one of my desserts. Their delicious Lavender Berry Rooibos paired perfectly with my Fresh Strawberry Cake! The rooibos creates a wonderful back note of flavor that people will go crazy for! For this recipe you can use fresh strawberries, or frozen. If using frozen, be sure to thaw at room temperature before using and mashing.

White Cloud World Teas Lavender Berry Rooibos Strawberry Cake

For the cake…
1 small package of strawberry gelatin dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
1 white cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons dry Lavender Berry Rooibos

For the frosting…
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons prepared Lavender Berry Rooibos

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the dissolved strawberry gelatin with the white cake mix. Add in the vegetable oil, beaten eggs and mashed strawberries. Mixture will be slightly thick and this is desirable. Stir in the dry rooibos until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 37 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the frosting combine the confectioners’ sugar, melted unsalted butter, mashed strawberries and prepared rooibos. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Frost the cooled cake and serve!

Leftovers should be kept chilled in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Enjoy!

To purchase some of the fabulous “White Cloud World Teas” Lavender Berry Rooibos that I have used in this recipe please visit –

White Cloud World Teas

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Header picture and logo above used with permission from White Cloud World Teas. If you have any questions please email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I love anything red velvet! These are surprisingly simple and can be made any size. I prefer these smaller with a slightly thicker frosting. Refrigerate if preferred.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

For the whoopie pies…
1 box Red Velvet cake mix
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the frosting / filling…
1 stick unsalted butter
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil until combined.

Place dough, slightly smaller than a tablespoon size, into balls onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 minutes.

Once baked, remove and allow to cool completely before filling.

To make frosting / filling combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add the salt and confectioners’ sugar. Add in milk until desired consistency. I like the frosting thick but spreadable.

Put frosting between two cooled cookies and press slightly together.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

I have been on a brownie kick lately and have been experimenting with different flavor combinations. A few days ago I made my orange brownies and topped them with a new orange cream cheese frosting I had developed and everyone loved them! Awhile back I made some pumpkin brownies that people went wild for too and I decided to revisit those with a maple cream cheese frosting. These are fabulous! Save this recipe for your Fall and Thanksgiving tables but go ahead and whip up a batch now since the brownies are only 2 ingredients!

Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

For the brownies…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin

For the frosting…
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups confectioner’s sugar

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

In a large bowl beat together the dry cake mix with the pure pumpkin until both are combined together. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the cream cheese with the unsalted butter. Beat in the pure maple syrup followed by the confectioners sugar.

Frost brownies evenly. 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

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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Coca-Cola Cake 

For years I have enjoyed the Coca-Cola Cake from “Cracker Barrel”. It is served warm and with a side of vanilla ice cream if you like, and I always do, and it is fabulous! It got me thinking that perhaps I could make my own? I have been playing around with recipes for awhile with this cake and I just could not get the taste I was looking for. Until I figured out the appropriate ratio of sugar, Coca-Cola, buttermilk and the secret to frosting the cake while still hot! This cake may very well be BETTER than Cracker Barrel’s version PLUS it makes a whole 9×13-inch pan full! That is dangerous for me! Most of this will be sent to my taste testers – I mean, what is left – I will not share how many pieces I have already eaten but let me say, I HIGHLY recommend you make this cake! Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream. What I do, is cut a piece, plate it, microwave it and immediately scoop some vanilla bean ice cream alongside. Fabulous!


Coca-Cola Cake

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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

In a large bowl whisk together the white granulated sugar and white all-purpose flour. Add in the marshmallows. 

In a saucepan mix the Coca-Cola, unsalted butter and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat and pour over marshmallows and dry ingredients. Beat well and continue to beat until marshmallows have melted. 

Combine the baking soda with the buttermilk. Add to the mixture and beat. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. 

With about 10 minutes of bake time left on the cake, start the frosting. In a saucepan combine the stick of unsalted butter with the Coca-Cola and unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the powdered sugar. Beat. Add in the milk. Beat again. Add in the pure vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add more powdered sugar to get desired consistency. 

Frost the cake while the cake is still hot from the oven. Allow to cool before serving. 

Enjoy! 

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…
















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Chew This! Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes 

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 my “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes” which when served in gold wrappers and a huge strawberry on top of each for garnish, makes one glamourous dessert! These were so fun to develop and my taste testers loved these! Do not worry about the champagne in these – the alcohol bakes off – while leaving a special “bubbly” flavor. Feel free to replace with white grape juice if you so desire. These are perfect for baby showers, birthdays or just an everyday celebration!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains information on where I buy the lemon sugar that I feature so often in my recipes.

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


Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 1st 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Glamorous Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes
Blaise Doubman

A couple of months back my family and I went to Alexandria, Indiana and had a nice meal at the Gather’s Family Resource Center Café. I had their root beer based bbq chicken, small red potatoes, salad and of course dessert. They are famous for their “Red Raspberry Cake”. I tried a piece and immediately set out to make my own version. Gloria Gather, the matriarch and one of the founding Gather family members, said that her secret was in using a white cake mix mixed with the raspberry Jello. I set out, found her recipe in a cookbook and made one myself. It was delicious! I posted the recipe on my blog and people went crazy! Since then I have adapted the recipe in many ways, such as cupcakes and even a Bundt cake using assorted flavors of Jello and different corresponding types of fruit.

The recipe I am sharing here today is my favorite adaption of the original recipe I posted on blog. By turning the cake into a strawberry based cake, transforming them into cupcakes and adding a small splash of champagne, it elevates the dessert into something glamourous and fun. I just love the looks of these – and the taste! The alcohol in the champagne is baked out of the cupcakes when baked so have no fear when serving these to the underage crowd. I have made these several times and people go crazy! It is best to use frozen strawberries in the cake and the frosting but best to use fresh strawberries for the garnish. Sometimes I will dip the strawberries in melted chocolate before garnishing the top of each cupcake or simply roll them in a little edible glitter or a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Serve these and enjoy!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

These are perfect for movie parties, graduation celebrations, showers and birthday parties. You can substitute the champagne for white grape fruit juice, sparkling cider or diluted strawberry syrup. You can find the glamourous gold liners I have used here in specialty shops and online.

For the cake…
1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
3 heaping tablespoons white all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
½ cup water
2 tablespoons champagne
1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
Remaining frozen strawberries
5 cups confectioner’s sugar

Fresh strawberries for garnish

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. I used the glamorous gold foil liners but feel free to use any liner you would like. Spray pans evenly and lightly with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the white cake mix, strawberry Jello and white all-purpose flour.

In a glass measuring cup whisk together the vegetable oil, large eggs, water and champagne.

In small increments add the wet mixture to the dry. After all of the wet ingredients have been added, gently fold in half of the bag of frozen strawberries.

Divide the batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted unsalted butter with the remaining half bag of frozen strawberries. Add in the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached. What you are looking for here is a consistency much like that of a thick, but spreadable, ice cream.

Remove the cupcakes from their pans, frost generously and top with a whole fresh strawberry.

These may be chilled for up to six hours before removing and serving.

Ask and Answer: Several people have written to me wondering where I bought the “sweet and sassy lemon sugar” that I use on or in most of my lemon baked goods. The answer? It can be bought online through “King Arthur Flour”. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat you have probably seen me using it on and in lemon bread, lemon cookies and lemon frostings. It is a fine powder and lives up to the name! It is very much sweet and sassy – a little goes a long way!

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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

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, July 2nd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Banana Brownies Perfect for Summer
Blaise Doubman

In my latest recipe development processes I have been taking the typical chocolate brownie and transforming them into something new and different. How new and different? How does strawberry brownies sound? What about lemon brownies? Both of those can be found inside my cookbook – but what about pineapple brownies or even cherry brownies? Brownies can be fruity and light just as easy as they can be dense and fudgy. People are always a little skeptical but once they take a bite they quickly become fruity brownie believers!

I love banana bread and my love for it is what inspired this recipe. Only several days after I developed it, did I dream up the frosting. Why not pair caramel and bananas? I took my foolproof caramel frosting, made a few tweaks and added it to everyone’s delight, including my own! They were fabulous! These are perfect for making ahead too because the longer they sit the more moist they become. If you choose to, make ahead, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days. Frost the same day you plan to serve.

Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

You can frost these, or leave them plain. I think the caramel frosting pairs nicely with the banana flavor. Experiment and have fun with these! Sometimes I will sprinkle a little ground cinnamon in the caramel frosting or even add a can of crushed pineapple for a caramel and tropical flavor. So delicious!

For the brownies…
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

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

In a large bowl combine the mashed bananas, softened unsalted butter and light brown sugar. Beat until ingredients are combined and light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large egg, pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and salt.

Finally, gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Place in preheated oven for 32 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow this mixture to melt and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Cook another 40 seconds and remove from heat. Gently whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.

Evenly pour and spread over cooled brownies.

Cut and serve.

Ask and Answer: I have gotten several messages about how to transform chocolate chip cookies into something a little more special. Here is what I do – I use semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips in the cookies. Before placing them into the oven to bake, sprinkle the tops of each with a little sea salt. People will go crazy over the combination of the two different types of chocolate as well as the salty on top to pair with the sweet.

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