Chew This! Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch 

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 Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help!

My newest recipe is an updated classic! I love the traditional strawberry pizza – that is made with store bought sugar cookie dough, a cream cheese mixture and a mix of strawberries and store bought glaze – but for this recipe I really wanted to take it up a notch. This recipe is so easy! The crust is 4 simple ingredients, the filling the same and the strawberries with homemade glaze will have you wondering why you do not bake from scratch more often! This is the perfect spring and summer dessert for entertaining!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature talks all about the proper ways of freezing cookie dough! Bake – freeze – bake again. My method is a foolproof method you will need!

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

Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 4th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Updating A Classic, From Scratch
Blaise Doubman

Every strawberry season my Aunt makes a strawberry pizza and I love them! I could sit down and eat the entire pizza in one sitting, no problem. Matter of fact, I loved it so much I included the recipe for it in my cookbook – page 39. But really, strawberries, cream cheese, sugar cookie crust; who wouldn’t love it? Whenever I make it I think of strawberry season, farmers markets, Bell’s Strawberry Farm and of course the famous strawberry shortcake at Ivanhoe’s Restaurant in Upland, Indiana. If you have not tried the strawberries at Bell’s or the strawberry shortcake from Ivanhoe’s I highly recommend searching out both for a full strawberry experience.

Strawberries are really versatile and pair beautifully with a wide variety of flavors. Blueberries, orange, lemon, lime and even balsamic vinegar to name just a few perfect pairings. There isn’t anything more comforting to me though than strawberries, cream cheese and sugar cookies. When developing this recipe I really wanted to create a recipe truly from scratch. I did not want to use store bought sugar cookie dough or the strawberry glaze that you can buy in a pouch. I wanted something that was still familiar, yet updated and seasonal. I think that you will find this recipe quite delicious and I hope it gives you the good strawberry summer memories it has for me. This is the perfect recipe for entertaining, reunions or cookouts.

Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch

It is important that the cream cheese be at room temperature before starting this recipe. If the cream cheese has any type of chill on it, you will never be able to get the grainy texture away from the end result. The lemon juice in the filling really brightens up the overall flavor and pairs wonderfully with the vanilla and strawberries.

For the crust…
1 cup white all-purpose flour
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling…
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup white granulated sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the topping…
1 cup strawberries, cut in half
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, confectioner’s sugar, softened butter and salt. Stir until the mixture forms a soft ball.

With gentle fingers, form dough into ball and place in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Press the dough into a 14-inch circle making sure the surface and edges are evenly proportioned. Bake this in preheated oven for 15 minutes exactly. Remove and cool.

To make the filling combine the cream cheese, pure vanilla extract, white granulated sugar and squeeze of lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until lump free and smooth. Spread this mixture onto the cool crust and spread evenly.

To make the topping combine the prepared strawberries, white granulated sugar and cornstarch in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer until the mixture turns thick and glossy which should take about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before spreading on top of the filling.

Place into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best stored and served chilled.

Ask and Answer: Pat Bogue from Spiceland would like to know more about freezing cookie dough to make ahead, freeze and then bake off later. It is simple Pat, just make the cookie dough and roll into balls, placing on a baking sheet. Freeze the baking sheet until the dough balls are firm and frozen. Remove from freezer and place frozen cookie dough balls into a plastic storage bag. Store in freezer until ready to bake. When ready to bake simply place and bake. Bake a couple minutes longer than the recipe suggests for fresh dough. Almost all cookie dough can be frozen easily with very few exceptions. Certain peanut butter cookies and certain oatmeal raisin cookies tend to turn out dry when frozen and baked. Hope this helps!



Grandma Deloris’ Chocolate Fudge Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I am telling you right now – seriously – STOP and make this cake! Make it tomorrow, make it next week, next month – whenever – just MAKE IT! You will be SO glad you did! Years ago there was a local bakery my family and I would visit and they had a version of this cake that was simply incredible. I have taken their inspired recipe and flipped it – made it my own – and named it after my Grandma Deloris of course, because every time I bake this – or eat it – she is the one I think of the most. Why? She would buy these cakes three and four at a time – take them home and freeze them. Now though, I bake my version for her and she says it is “better than” the ones she used to get from the bakery. 

The process is a little time consuming but trust me – it is WORTH IT! And the frosting recipe can be used outside of this recipe. The white buttercream frosting, for this recipe, I use on my homemade cinnamon rolls – best I have ever had! 

So – print this – pin it – MAKE IT soon! My FAVORITE cake!

Grandma Deloris’ Chocolate Fudge Cake with Buttercream Frosting

For the cake…
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups plus 3 teaspoons buttermilk, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup unbleached cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and flour the insides of both pans.

In a large bowl mix together the baking soda, instant coffee granules, melted butter, 3 teaspoons buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, shortening and white granulated sugar. Beat well until everything is combined – at least 3 minutes.

Add in 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, at a time, beating well after each addition until all of the buttermilk is used.

Next, add in the 3 large eggs and beat well – at least 3 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling each about 1/2 of the way full. Take pans, and pound them gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Place them both in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the sides are pulling away from the pan.

Once baked, remove from oven and let cool 2 minutes before inverting each cake onto plates sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Allow them to cool. 

For the chocolate fudge frosting…
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shortening
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon simple syrup


Mix together and add 4 tablespoons simple syrup, mixing well.

Next add in 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons whole milk. Mix together until everything is combined and smooth.

Add in 2 more cups powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon whole milk. Mix together until, everything is combined and smooth. If needed, add another tablespoon of whole milk to gently thin the frosting. If the frosting is to thin, add gently more powdered sugar. The finished frosting should have a thick ice cream (but spreadable) consistancy.

Sit this frosting aside and start on the buttercream.

For the buttercream…
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons “Marshmallow Fluff”

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter and shortening. Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract and salt. Beat well until mixed.

Add in the “Marshmallow Fluff” and beat well again. 

Add in enough powdered sugar, little at a time, to create a frosting the same thickness of the chocolate fudge frosting made earlier.

To assemble the cake…
Leave one of the chocolate cakes on the plate.

Place a thin layer of the white buttercream frosting on the top of the cake. Next, add about half of the chocolate fudge frosting and spread evenly.

Place the other cake on top of this, and lightly press.

Finish by placing the rest of the chocolate fudge frosting on the top of the cake, spreading evenly. Frost the sides of the cake with the buttercream frosting and decorate with chocolate sprinkles, if desired.

Cut and serve. Store cake in the refrigerator.


Glenna’s Butterscotch Pie with Meringue

My Grandma Barbra mentioned to me that she would love a butterscotch pie with meringue on top. I really wanted to make one for her, but I have not really “experimented” with butterscotch a lot – because I do not like it! Much like coconut – I have never liked butterscotch… At least I did not think I did.

Grandma told me she usually used a recipe in her old “Kennard Friends Church” cookbook from her friend Glenna Womack. I found the recipe and decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did! It resulted in a delicious pie that my Grandma Barbra absolutely loved! And – it made a butterscotch fan out of me…something I did not think could happen.

The pie crust recipe is my Grandma Barbra’s recipe. The butterscotch filling, and meringue is Glenna’s recipes. Shout-out and special thanks to Glenna for allowing me to share with all of you, her recipe…

Butterscotch Pie Blaise the Baker

Glenna’s Butterscotch Pie with Meringue

For the pie crust…

1 cup white all-purpose flour
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water

For the butterscotch filling…

3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups white whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons salted butter

For the meringue topping…

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the pie crust by combining the white all-purpose flour, solid vegetable shortening and salt in a large bowl with a fork or pastry cutter. You can also use your fingers. What you are looking for here, are small “gravel-like” pieces to ensure that the shortening is throughout and combined. Next, add the ice water and stir together until a ball of dough forms. Take the dough, and place between two pieces of parchment paper.

Roll the dough until about 1/2-inch thick, between the pieces of parchment. Once rolled to 1/2-inch thickness, gently peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Place your 9-inch pie plate on top of dough, bottom of the pie plate facing you, and flip over. Gently remove the parchment, and lightly tuck your pie crust into the pie shell. If it rips or tears – that is ok. Just take a little water, and “glue” the pieces back together. It will bake fine. Homemade is the look we are going for here – not professional.

Place this in your preheated oven for 18 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

In the meantime, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually stir in the white whole milk, and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir this mixture for 2 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the heat. In a small bowl, place the 3 egg yolks. Take a little of the hot butterscotch mixture, and stir it quickly into the eggs to temper them. This will help you not have “scrambled eggs” in the pie. Once the eggs are brought up to the same temperature as the butterscotch mixture, add everything back into the main saucepan and stir quickly. Place it back on medium heat and cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

After 2 minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the salted butter and pure vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to cool slightly.

Next, make the meringue by combining the large egg whites, pure vanilla extract and cream of tarter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer (or your arm and a wire whisk if feeling confident and strong) beat the mixture until soft peaks are formed.

Gradually add in the white granulated sugar, while still continuing to beat the egg whites. Beat this mixture until stiff peaks are formed. The whole process should take around 7 minutes depending on the speed of your mixer. If using your arm and a whisk, it will be considerable longer.

Once the stiff peaks are formed, spoon the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing to the edge of the pie. With the back of a spoon, make little “peaks” and mountains. This will give good color once baked.

Place in preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes until the meringue tips are golden brown.

Remove, allow to cool before cutting. Once cut and served, store in refrigerator.



Lisa’s Lemon Pucker Brownies

My friend, Lisa Schneider, recently asked me if I had a recipe for lemon brownies, and I told her YES! Well, instead of just sending her the recipe, I figured I would make them (because let us be honest – I LOVE THESE), and that way I could share the recipe here with all of you! (Oh, and I named them after her too…)

These are delicious and PACKED with lemon flavor. These are also made with lemon juice and lemon zest – nothing artificial here…no extracts, etc. – just delicious natural lemon flavor. AND these are, what I would call, “one bowl” brownies. Only one bowl needed. Now…the mixing technique may be a little odd, but trust me – it works.

The glaze just makes these even better – and when chilled in the refrigerator, WOW! Unbelievably delicious… If you are a lemon fan – you MUST make these… NOW!

Lisa's Lemon Pucker Brownies Blaise the Baker

Lisa’s Lemon Pucker Brownies

For the brownies…

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon

For the glaze…

1 cup powdered sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons whole milk

Start by preheating the oven to 350-degrees F.

Line an 8×8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the softened butter with the all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar and fine sea salt. Beat until a smooth consistency is formed – and everything is combined together.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and stir at least 50 times if mixing by hand.

Next, beat in the lemon juice and lemon zest.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth and top and place in preheated oven for 29 minutes exactly. They will appear underbaked – they are not.

While the brownies are in the oven, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and whole milk in a medium sized bowl and whisking until glaze is formed.

As soon as the brownies are baked, remove from oven and pour on glaze. Smooth out evenly with a spoon and allow to cool before cutting. Once they are cut, store in the refrigerator for up to four days.