Polar Bear Paws

My friend Karen gifted me some of this delicious candy as a Christmas gift this year and she was kind enough to share the recipe with me. I highly recommend making these for your Holiday gifting!

Polar Bear Paws

11 oz caramel bits or unwrapped squares
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
24 oz white chocolate almond bark

Start by placing the caramel bits or unwrapped caramel squares in a medium sized microwave safe bowl and add in the whole milk and unsalted butter.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the pure vanilla extract. Add in the dry roasted peanuts and allow the mixture to sit and thicken for about 10 minutes.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Dollop out tablespoon size amounts of the caramel and peanut mixture onto the prepared baking sheets.

Place into the freezer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the white chocolate almond bark in a large microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in one tablespoon solid vegetable shortening if the mixture needs to be slightly thinned out – which makes the dipping process easier.

Remove the mounds from the freezer and carefully pull off from the parchment paper. Using two forks, dip each piece into the melted white chocolate almond bark and coat evenly. Place back onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Allow the white chocolate almond bark to harden slightly before enjoying. If refrigerating or freezing these to speed up the hardening process, be sure to eat and serve at room temperature only.


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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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Black and White Cookies

These cookies should not be confused with the popular New York “Black and White Cookie” – a cakey cookie with two different colored sides. Think of this cookie as a white chocolate chip cookie with cocoa powder added to the dough. My friend Karen sent me a version of this recipe from a Mrs. Fields cookie cookbook and I could not have been more excited. I love Mrs. Fields cookies but I really think this version beats their popular and familiar cookie. Stir up a batch and let me know what you think! Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

I have also opened up my “Blaise the Baker SHOP” on my Facebook page. Join me there at http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker Right now my only product available is my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” but stay tuned for additional items which will be added in the future.

Black and White Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed 
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Once combined and throughly mixed add in the large eggs. 

Beat well before adding in the pure vanilla extract. 

In another bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this in small increments to the wet ingredients and stir well. 

In a small bowl combine the chips with a tablespoon of white all-purpose flour to prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom of the cookies. 

Once all combined and mixed, stir in the white all-purpose flour coated chips. Be careful not to over mix the dough.  

Drop by rounded tablespoon size balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 23 minutes exactly for a crispy cookie or 18 minutes exactly for a softer cookie. 

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool before removing them from the baking sheet. 


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Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Awhile back, a friend of mine sent me a recipe for chocolate pound cake, and wondered if I had ever tried it before. I have – but not in awhile. I am not really sure why – because I LOVE a good pound cake – especially a good CHOCOLATE pound cake! I researched a little about the history, did some recipe research and came up with a recipe that is smooth, chocolate filled (without the chocolate chips because I wanted a “smooth” texture to the cake) and one that is made how I remember my Grandma Barbra making “scratch made” cakes when I was little.

Adding the flour and liquid to the batter alternately (starting and ending with the flour) really ensures things are well mixed, and is a popular mixing method when making a “scratch made” cake.

Do not  get me wrong – I appreciate a good cake mix once in awhile – but with this, I really wanted that “homemade taste” and there really is no other way of getting that – without starting from scratch.

You do not have to add the white chocolate ganache at the end, but I really think it looks nice – and tastes pretty good too! If you would rather leave naked – go ahead. OR dust with some powdered sugar would be good too.

As with anything baking – all ingredients should be left on counter until room temperature before starting.

Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Blaise the Baker

Chocolate Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

For the cake…
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter (4 oz. each)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 cups white granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the ganache…
12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees-F, and grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Make sure you grease and flour generously – you want this to come out of the pan when flipped. I use “Baker’s Joy” spray and use a little extra than normal – works perfectly every time.

Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, instant coffee granules, and unsweetened cocoa powder. I whisk things instead of sifting – I just prefer it for something like this. Whisk until everything is combined.

Next, in another large bowl, combine the unsalted butter, solid vegetable shortening and sugar and stir until light in color and fluffy in texture.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the 1 cup of milk and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to sit while you continue on with the recipe.

Go back to the bowl with the light and fluffy butter, shortening and sugar. Add one egg to the mixture and stir about 50 times. I use a wooden spoon for this – if using a stand mixer, mix what you think 50 strokes would be. Do this with each addition of the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, stir 50 times with each egg addition, and so on until all 5 eggs are added and incorporated into the batter.

Now comes the fun part. Add the sifted flour mixture a little at a time, alternately adding the milk and vanilla mixture, until everything is combined. Remember – start and end with the flour mixture.

Once everything is combined, pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Place in preheated oven for 65 minutes exactly.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to sit for about 30 minutes before trying to remove from pan.

To remove from pan – carefully run a sharp knife around the cake. Place a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip it over, and remove the top. This needs to be done very carefully.

Allow to cool before adding the ganache.

In the meantime – make the ganache…

In a medium sized bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips 30-seconds at a time until melted. This should take under 2 minutes. Stir once it is melted to make sure everything is melted and it’s smooth and nice. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Drizzle over the cake in any design or pattern you desire.


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Lemon Bar “Muddy Buddies”

I have recently discovered a love for the site Pinterest – so many delicious recipes, wonderful ingredients and not to mention hundreds of thousands of recipes under the category (one of my favorite categories) “LEMON”. Most of the pins that I “pin” are that of either chocolate or lemon…and this recipe combines BOTH beautifully. White chocolate and lemon are pared together in this simple (and delicious) “Chex Mix” recipe. I have to credit my Aunt Kami for finding and this sending this recipe my way – thank you!

I had actually already tried the bagged version of this that they sell in supermarkets – but I was disappointed because the taste was “chemical” to me. This version is simple, light and fresh! I will be returning to make this recipe again and again…and I hope you will to!


Lemon Bar “Muddy Buddies”

8 cups Rice “Chex” cereal
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Before starting this recipe make sure you have two CLEAN big brown paper grocery sacks. It is really the easiest way to make it. If you do not – get some before making this recipe. Not many groceries store have these, but I believe Kroger (Pay Less) does if you ask at Customer Service. Meijer too. 

Start by combining the white chocolate, butter and lemon curd in a saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until melted together.

Pour the Rice “Chex” cereal into the large big brown paper grocery sack. (I used TWO sacks – one within the other to prevent any potential mess…)

Once the lemon and white chocolate mixture is melted (you do not want the mixture to boil – just melt together) pour it into the grocery sack all over the tops of the cereal.

Fold the grocery sack down and shake to coat evenly.

Unfold the bag and add the powdered sugar. Start with the 1 1/2 cups – if you think you need a little more, add it at the end.

Once the powdered sugar is in the bag, close it up and shake well again.

Spread out the finished mixture on a cookie sheet to cool completely.

Storing this at room temperature in an airtight container will have it last about 5 days.


If you do not like lemon – check out my chocolate version of this (delicious as well) by clicking this link…


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