CHEW THIS! Orange Bars

Orange Bars

Lost Recipe Orange Bars.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 17th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Lost Recipe, Found!
Blaise Doubman

When testing and developing recipes for my cookbooks, website and this column, I keep a detailed list of all the recipes I have made, tried, tasted, developed, published and printed. Hardly ever do I misplace a recipe but within the last year or so, it happened! I searched and searched for my recipe for orange bars. I was so proud of the recipe and now where had it gone? I love lemon bars but wondered if I could somehow make an orange version. The recipe took about two weeks to figure out and I decided that I would share it in my second cookbook. Well, needless to say the recipe never materialized, and it did not make it into my second cookbook. I just told myself I would never find the recipe and would need to develop it again later, once I had the time. Several months passed and I decided that it was about time to develop the lost orange bars recipe. I tried, unsuccessfully, for a couple of weeks and then decided to move on to other recipes. I was disappointed but not discouraged.

Over the course of the last several months I have started “weeding” my cookbook collection. Going through and donating the cookbooks I know that I will never use or have duplicates of, etc. It was a huge task, but I did finally finish. I can not even fathom the number of cookbooks I donated but the number was easily in the thousands. As I was going through all those cookbooks, organizing, separating and trying to get them in order, I found several pieces of notebook paper that I had put inside of one of the cookbooks, sticking out on the sides. I pulled them out and low and behold! There was my orange bar recipe that I had lost several months back! What were they doing inside one of my cookbooks? I have no idea. I am a relatively organized person, so what I was thinking at the time I will never know. I was thrilled to find the recipe though and even though it did not make it into my second cookbook, I am excited and thankful to share it here with all of you! Try these, they are remarkably fabulous!

Orange Bars

These are best made ahead and chilled in the refrigerator, so plan ahead with this recipe.

For the crust…
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white all-purpose flour
½ cup white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt

For the filling…
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
¼ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs

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 combine well the softened unsalted butter, white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar and salt. Once a dough forms, press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

In a large bowl whisk well together the fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour, baking powder and large eggs. You will know the mixture is well combined once bubbles start appearing in the filling.

Once the crust has finished baking, remove from the oven and pour in the filling.

Return to the oven, carefully, and continue to bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top part of the bars are no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 30 minutes.

Wrap in aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Remove, dust with powdered sugar and cut into desired squares.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting so many air fryer questions that it has been hard for me to keep up with them all! Lot of people would like to know what brand and size I have. I have Target’s air fryer called the “Air Fryer XL” and is 5 quarts. Really when shopping for an air fryer, buy the brand and size that you think would be best for you. Lots of people have also wondered if my recipes are “air fryer friendly”. Yes! Just about any recipe is, you just have to take the time and patience in finding out the correct temperature and time. There are online charts that you can Google that will help you with this process. You can even bake in your air fryer!

RITZ Cracker Cookies

These are sweet, salty, buttery and crunchy! Deliciously addictive. Love them!

RITZ Cracker Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 sleeve RITZ crackers, whole

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

Cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the large egg.

Beat in the white all-purpose flour, milk powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add in the RITZ crackers and mix only until crackers break up. You do not want cracker crumbs, just broken up crackers into small to medium sized pieces.

Place tablespoon size balls of dough into the parchment lined baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

CHEW THIS! Nana’s Fudge

Nana’s Fudge 

Jackie Coffman's Famous Fudge.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Jackie Coffman’s Famous Fudge, In Memory
Blaise Doubman

My family and I really got acquainted with Jackie Coffman during her stay at Glen Oaks Health Campus. However, her connection with my family goes back many years beforehand. Jackie and her husband, Howard, used to be best friends with my Grandma Deloris’ brother, Donald Davis, and his wife, Susie. They would travel the country and go on several vacations together every year. I remember hearing stories about how the four of them would have a general direction of which way they wanted to travel, how far and a budget and just take off. How fun does that sound? Talk about an adventure! My Grandma Deloris said that Donald would talk frequently about their travels and how much fun everyone had together. Growing up, I always thought those trips sounded so interesting. Who would know that years later Jackie would become almost a part of our extended family? It was a blessing to my family and I when Jackie entered our lives at Glen Oaks and made Grandma Deloris’ transition there that much smoother.

Jackie was always dressed in the most vibrant colors and always dressed up, a hair never out of place. I loved hearing her laugh, seeing her smile and walking around at Glen Oaks always being the first person to volunteer to help someone out. My family and I share so many good memories of Jackie, especially during our frequent BINGO games. I don’t know what it was about Jackie and BINGO, but she would win several times every game! Luck was on her side for sure. She would say I was her good luck charm, because I would sit with her and help her keep up with the numbers, but I can tell you, she brought to the room her own luck and charm. Her charm radiated every time you would talk to her. Throughout Jackie’s time at Glen Oaks we also got to know her daughters. Debbie, Brenda and Lori. All three of them just as equally loving, charming and friendly as their Mom. Jackie and her family have been such a bright spot in the lives of me and my families and we are so thankful for that. Jackie recently passed away and at her memorial was a recipe for “Nana’s Fudge”. It was a recipe she was known for and I just had to include it here to share with everyone. I know Jackie is up in Heaven, having adventures with my Uncle Donald, Aunt Susie and her husband, Howard, just like they did here on Earth. Thank you to Debbie, Brenda and especially Lori for your love and friendship. We love you all.

Nana’s Fudge

This recipe was displayed at the memorial service for Jackie Coffman. I copied it exactly the way it was presented. I wanted to respect and share her original recipe. For newer fudge makers I will help you out with a little more instruction. 3 cups white granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 ½ cups milk should be combined in a large pot over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Once at a boil, keep stirring. After about 5 minutes, check for the “softball stage”. Stir and cook another minute after. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, beat in 3 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and a heaping cup of smooth peanut butter. Pour into greased pan of choice. Smaller dish for thicker fudge, larger dish for thinner fudge. Let set and cut.

3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup cocoa
1 ½ cups milk

Stir over medium heat with large spoon. Allow to boil, stir more.

Water / paper plate test.

Let cool before adding spoonful of butter, capful of vanilla, large scoop and 1 cup of peanut butter.

Stir, pour into greased pan. Enjoy!

Ask and Answer: Lots of people have been asking for air fryer recipes and I have the perfect recipe for air fryer donuts! Take a can of large flaky biscuits and using a milk cap, push holes into each of the biscuits. Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil spray. Place 3-4 donuts into the basket at a time and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the basket, flip the donuts and bake another 2-3 minutes. Remove and dip in melted butter, followed by either a sugar, brown sugar cinnamon mixture or powdered sugar. Serve warm. These are fabulous!