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Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

I stumbled upon this recipe through a Facebook post and decided to try it. Turns out the recipe needed a little adjusting but the basics and the final result are delicious! The cookie is soft and the frosting, fudge.

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

For the cookies…
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons water

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl combine the cake mix, beaten eggs and vegetable oil. Mixture will be thick.

Place heaping tablespoon size balls onto prepared baking sheets and bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 14 minutes.

Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. In a medium sized sauce pot over medium heat melt the unsalted butter with the whole milk and unsweetened cocoa powder. Once the mixture is melted, smooth and combined, add in the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. Add tablespoons of water into the frosting and beat until frosting is thick but spreadable.

Pour the frosting carefully onto each cookie, spreading over the whole cookie.

Allow the frosting to set for about 5 minutes, eat and enjoy.

Gooey Butter Cake

I love a gooey butter cake! Try this!

Gooey Butter Cake

For the crust…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 large egg

For the filling…
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s 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 baking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl make the crust by combining the dry yellow cake mix with the melted butter and egg. Pat this mixture into the bottom of the pan.

In another large bowl beat together the melted butter and cream cheese. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Combine well. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Pour on top of crust and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 48 minutes. Be careful not to over bake! The center will still be jiggly when it is done baking.

Let rest at room temperature until cooled. Wrap with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove, cut and serve.

Vanilla Fudge

Looking for something different than the typical chocolate or peanut butter fudge? Why not try vanilla fudge! It’s scrumptious!

Vanilla Fudge

4 cups white granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large pot over medium high heat combine white granulated sugar, soft unsalted butter, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, light corn syrup and sea salt. Stir everything constantly while the mixture comes to a boil. Once at a boil, stir constantly, for 12 minutes – or until the mixture has reached softball stage.

Remove from heat and stir in pure vanilla extract. Hand beat for a few minutes.

Pour mixture into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment – or use electric hand beater and new bowl. Beat on medium high speed for 7 minutes.

Remove and pour into greased 9×13-inch pan. Smooth out the top. Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove and cut.

Snickerdoodle Squares

I love Snickerdoodles and these squares are a delicious update on the classic cookie! Add a little white chocolate for a twist.

Snickerdoodle Squares

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl cream together the melted unsalted butter with the light brown sugar. Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

Add in the baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and baking soda and mix until combined. Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly. Sprinkle evenly, on top, a mixture of 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before cutting, serving and enjoying.

CHEW THIS! Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 21st 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Chicken Nuggets are Dressed to Please!
Blaise Doubman

I love chicken nuggets and remember when I was about 12 years old winning a contest to see how many chicken nuggets I could eat! How many did I eat? I will not write about it here because I simply do not want to scare you but let me just say I ate away the competition! Ha! As I grew up and discovered what fast food chicken nuggets really were, not that edible, I decided to see if I could make my own! How hard could it be!? I tried using several cuts of chicken and types of chicken meat and decided that chicken breast was the easiest and tastiest.

When it came to the breading I tried several different “crumb” mixtures but decided I liked the simplicity and taste of the buttery RITZ cracker. When you start adding chicken seasoning, garlic, rosemary and additional kinds of peppers it really takes away from the flavors of the meat. I wanted something that reminded me of my childhood but was updated and at the same time very easy to prepare. Chicken breast, cut with kitchen shears instead of a knife, keeps the work clean and easier. I also prefer the taste of melted butter as a dredging instead of egg because after all, who doesn’t like butter? I really believe these may be the best chicken nuggets I have ever had and the homemade honey mustard dipping sauce that I share below really takes them over the top! Highly recommend that you try these!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

You can replace the RITZ crackers in this recipe with regular saltine crackers, but I must warn you that the color and taste will be different. The nuggets will not be as golden, and the taste will not be as buttery. This is the perfect recipe for chicken to get into the kitchen and help! Just be careful and watchful of the sharp kitchen shears.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed fine

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-size pieces. I find that using sharp kitchen shears is the easiest method. Place the bite-size pieces into a bowl.

In a large bowl, pour in the melted butter. Stir in the salt and black pepper.

In another large bowl, pour in the finely crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

Take a handful of the chicken pieces and dip them into the melted butter mixture. Be sure to coat the chicken well. Shake off the excess butter and place into the crushed RITZ crackers. Be sure the chicken is well coated in this mixture too, followed by shaking off the excess here as well. Place the now coated chicken bites onto the prepared baking sheet.

Continue to do this until all the chicken is coated and on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve alongside the honey mustard dipping sauce.

To make the honey mustard dipping sauce simply whisk together ¼ cup honey with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a pinch of black pepper. If you would like more sauce than what is prepared, this recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Ask and Answer: A lot of local people write to me and wonder what my favorite pizza place is in the area. I love pizza and hate to single any one pizza place out, but I would have to say the “Royal Feast” at Pizza King is hard to beat! I also really enjoy Mancino’s and 1000 Degree Pizza as well. I have fond childhood memories of Pizza King so that also plays into my enjoyment.