Chew This! Debra’s Red Velvet White Chocolate Muffins

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 inspired by a loyal reader and friend – Debra Kirkpatrick. She mentioned to me about some delicious red velvet white chocolate muffins she had – that she could no longer find – and wondered if I could develop a recipe. I love a challenge – and here it is! I thought about adding cream cheese – but did not want to go to far from the taste and textures she was familiar with – so I left it out. I think these will quickly become a family favorite!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature spotlights my favorite way of ripening bananas! There is an oven involved – you really need to check this out!

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


Debra’s Red Velvet White Chocolate Muffins

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, July 16th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Loyal Reader Inspires Red Velvet Muffins
Blaise Doubman

I love anything red velvet and when talking about red velvet there are two groups of people. The first group is the group of people I am in. They agree with you and love anything red velvet and they also agree that red velvet has its own unique flavor. The second group of people hate red velvet, think it has no taste and are afraid of the effects of all the red food coloring used. Red velvet, to me, has that unique faint cocoa powder flavor that other cakes can not come close to resembling. We eat with our eyes first and anything red velvet, to me, just screams fun! When people tell me about the red food coloring, I really do not see this as harmful. There are colors, natural or otherwise, found in everything we eat and drink. My favorite motto is, everything in moderation, including moderation. Baking is supposed to be a way of satisfying a specific need, especially that of a sweet tooth, so relax and have fun with it.

My friend, Debra Kirkpatrick, wrote to me one day and was describing some fabulous red velvet muffins that she had eaten and fallen in love with. She told me that they were big, flavorful and had white chocolate chips. There was a problem though. She could not seem to find them anymore! Our conversation ended with me promising her that I would try and duplicate the recipe so that she could enjoy them anytime she wanted. A few months later, here we are! These muffins are the perfect thing for breakfast, snack or dessert. I really hope that you will add these muffins into your recipe files because they really are some of the best I have had!

Debra’s Red Velvet White Chocolate Muffins

These muffins can be made with or without the white chocolate chips. Feel free to substitute your favorite chocolate chips, or leave them out completely. These keep best at room temperature. Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap to maintain freshness. These will last at room temperature for one week.

For the muffins…
1 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
¾ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons red liquid food coloring
½ cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup white chocolate chips

For the topping…
½ cup white granulated sugar
¼ cup white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cavity regular size cupcake / muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to remove any lumps.

In a glass measuring cup combine the whole milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, red liquid food coloring, vegetable oil and large egg. Beat ingredients well with a fork to combine.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently fold the two together, mixing with a light hand. Some lumps may remain and this is good.

Gently fold in the white chocolate chips.

Fill the cavities two-thirds full with the batter.

Make the topping by combining the white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour, cubed unsalted butter and turbinado sugar with a fork. Cut the ingredients together with the fork until the mixture resembles sandy crumbs.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins, being sure not to overload them. You may not want to use the entire amount of topping. You want topping on the muffins not a crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before enjoying.

Ask and Answer: I had several people write to me and ask about a quick way of ripening bananas for my banana brownies. My favorite method is the “oven method”. Place your unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake in 300 degree F oven. The time for this depends on the size of your bananas so keep checking frequently. You will know when they are done because the bananas will turn black and shiny. This works because the heat brings out the fruits natural sugars. The same can be done, in a pinch, in your microwave but use caution.

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Chew This! Make Ahead Streusel Coffee Cakes

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 make ahead wonder! Make my “Make Ahead Streusel Coffee Cakes” TODAY and have them all week for a quick grab and go breakfast or snack! They are deliciously easy to whip up and store beautifully in an air tight container at room temperature. These are portable, flavorful and lets be honest – fun to make! I love making streusel and how bad could it be really – sugar and butter!?

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is about the use of coffee with chocolate and how it brings out all the flavors of the chocolate without any flavor of the coffee!

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


Make Ahead Streusel Coffee Cakes

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 21st 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Make Ahead, Grab and Go Coffee Cakes
Blaise Doubman

About a month ago my debut cookbook officially went into what is known in the publishing world as a “second printing”. Everything stayed the same except for the copyright at the beginning of the cookbook – the copyright went from 2016 to 2017. I have always been interested and fascinated with publishing, newspapers and media. In high school I took newspaper class and was on the yearbook committee. Words in print fascinate me and how people receive those words in print fascinate me even more. Do you get your news from online sources, Facebook, the newspaper, radio, TV, maybe even all of the above? The same can be said for how people get their recipes and meal ideas. I encourage people all the time on my social media networks to email me, text me, write to me, call me – and let me know if you have any questions, feedback or concerns. I love hearing from my readers!

That is where this column recipe came from; a reader. A reader, who did not want to be identified, said that she would love a recipe for coffee cake that she could make once and it would last throughout the week. A coffee cake that could be portable and something that would not only last without getting stale but a coffee cake that would have great taste as well. That got me thinking about the traditional coffee cake and how I could make a few changes. Immediately I knew that I wanted to make them portable by baking them in cupcake / muffin tins! I also knew that the addition of sour cream would make for a flavorful and moist crumb. After several testings I knew that I had a winner! I handed these out to my taste testers and several people thought they were store bought! Several people remarked on the moistness of the cakes and how much flavor they had. I hope that you, and the reader who was an inspiration for these, will make these, love them and pass along this recipe.

Make Ahead Streusel Coffee Cakes

These are the perfect go-to breakfast item because they can be made ahead and stored for a long period of time! Store them in an air tight container at room temperature for up to five days. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator and they will keep for ten days. Wrap each in plastic wrap and freeze for up to six months! Feel free to add a little cinnamon spice to the coffee cake and / or the streusel topping. Also feel free to mix together 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with a splash of whole milk and drizzle each with a little glaze.

For the cake…
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups white all-purpose flour

For the streusel…
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup white all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 12-cup capacity cupcake / muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl cream together the melted unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.

Next, add in the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Beat in the pure vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl combine the baking powder, salt and white all-purpose flour. Whisk this together to remove any lumps.

Add half of the sour cream, followed by half of the dry mixture. Beat well before adding in the other half of the sour cream, followed by the remaining dry mixture.

Fill each prepared cupcake / muffin cup half full of the batter.

To make the streusel topping, combine the light brown sugar, white all-purpose flour, melted unsalted butter and salt in a medium bowl using clean hands. The end result should look like pebbles. The easiest way to mix together would be to use your thumbs and pointer fingers, rubbing the mixture easily throughout. A gentle hand and a small fork would also work.

Top each of the batter filled cavities with one tablespoon, but no more, of the streusel mixture.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 33 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cakes to come to warm room temperature while still in their baking pans. Carefully remove and enjoy.

Ask and Answer: I’ve been getting a few emails about why in most of my chocolate recipes I add a little bit of coffee. Just a small amount of instant coffee granules mixed into chocolate cakes, brownies, frostings, etc. enhances the natural flavors of the chocolate. The end result will have no taste of coffee at all, it will just give your finished dessert that special something. I use instant coffee granules but instant espresso would work in a pinch. A little goes a long way.

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