CHEW THIS! Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes

Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes 

Buckeye Chocolate Cupcakes.JPG

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

Simply Scrumptious Cupcakes!
Blaise Doubman

I love developing recipes by combining two or more recipes to create one big fabulous recipe! That is exactly where this recipe came from. I took my recipe for chocolate cupcakes, developed a recipe for a smooth peanut butter frosting and combined it with my buckeye candy recipe for garnish and a new and exciting recipe was born! People go crazy when I make these! I have made these more times than I can count and every time I do, they never last more than 15 minutes. People who really know me, know that I cannot decorate a cupcake for anything! I have tried and tried, took a class, checked YouTube channels and just cannot do it! Decorating must not be in my DNA, but I have tried. I have even used fondant, disaster! So, when it comes to decorating, glitter and confetti are my best friends. Ha! Seriously though, I have worked my way around my “non-decorating” skills by trying to be clever about the situation. How?

Well for example, when making strawberry cupcakes, I simply place a huge strawberry on top of each. Malted milk ball cupcakes? I throw on some malted milk ball candy. Whatever is in the cupcake, or in the flavors, I place whatever that might be on top and guess what? People love it and it looks fabulous! I have done this method with Sour Patch Kid cupcakes, raspberry cupcakes and Red Velvet Oreo cupcakes. It is the same method with these cupcakes! Make the cupcakes, frost them and then top each with a big buckeye candy! How fabulous is that!? These must be one of my favorite cupcakes and I really think they will become your new favorites as well! These are perfect for parties, reunions, buffets and more! Whip up a batch today!

Buckeye Chocolate Cupcakes

These are best made and eaten the day they are baked. The buckeye candy, if any leftover, can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. This recipe is best if smooth peanut butter is used throughout.

For the cupcakes…
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 cup mayonniase
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

For the frosting…
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup heavy cream

For the buckeyes…
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons solid vegetable shortening

Start by making the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2, 12-cup capacity cupcake molds with cupcake paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix, mayonniase, water, large eggs and instant coffee granules until smooth and combined. The batter will be shiny and bubbly.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake in preheated oven, 23 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. While cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, soft unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt until combined. This is best done using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once combined, add in the heavy cream and mix only until smooth and combined. Do not over mix.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and set aside at room temperature.

Next, make the buckeyes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, melted unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine until the mixture is smooth and combine. Roll the mixture into larger size teaspoon sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Place a toothpick into each. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. In a large bowl melt together the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening until smooth and glossy. Remove frozen peanut butter balls from freezer, dip the balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a little space on top, uncovered. Place dipped balls back onto parchment lined baking sheet. Place back into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and remove toothpicks from each. Using a knife gently scrap the holes closed on top of each buckeye candy.

Place a buckeye candy on top of each cupcake, pressing down gently. Serve immediately.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of questions about the new Kennard Senior Living facility in Kennard, located where the old Kennard Elementary School was located. Their “Olde School Café” is officially opened 8am-2pm Monday through Thursday for breakfast and lunch specials. Their pizza shop, located in the same area, is opened from 5pm-9pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My “Blaise the Baker” baked goods are baked fresh and available for purchase on the weekends in joint operation with their pizza shop! Please stop by and give everything a try! Call ahead your order by calling 765-781-CAFÉ (2233). Hope to see you all there!

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!

Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

These are easy AND delicious! How fabulous.

Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sea salt, for sprinkling

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, light corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Microwave on high 14 minutes, stirring the mixture about every 3 minutes.

Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Place into the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Remove and place into the freezer for about 40 minutes. Remove and cut into pieces.

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

A CREAMY version of my favorite peanut butter fudge. This is beyond amazing!

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter

Line a 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl place the confectioner’s sugar, milk and butter. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and beat well. Microwave on high an additional 30 seconds.

Beat in smooth peanut butter.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Allow to sit for about 2 hours before cutting and enjoying.

Chocolate Crisps

This are the perfect quick candy to stir up for a Holiday gift. The mixture of chocolate and cranberry pairs unbelievably well with the crunch of the corn flakes. If you are really in a hurry, pop these into the refrigerator to finish setting up and drying.

Chocolate Crisps

1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl combine the milk chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is smooth and melted.

In a large bowl pour corn flakes and dried cranberries. Pour melted chocolate over corn flakes and dried cranberries.

Combine well, coating every single corn flake and dried cranberry with the melted chocolate.

Place large scoops onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the top with salt if desired.

Allow to set up before enjoying.

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.

CHEW THIS! Fluffernutter Fudge

Fluffernutter Fudge

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 16th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Fluffernutter Fudge
Blaise Doubman

Well, as of writing this column, I have still yet to figure out my Facebook problems. I thought I had them figured out, but I was wrong. Once things get ironed out and I have a link to share with all of you, I will share it. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all under the user name “blaisethebaker”. Moving on to talk about an edible update that I do have and can share; a new fudge recipe! I love fudge but hate messing with candy thermometers, boiling sugar and the complete mess and danger of it all. This recipe requires no extra candy equipment and can be made in less than 4 minutes! Seriously? Yes!

The Fluffernutter sandwich is popular across the US and I happen to love them! I highly recommend you try them fried, fabulous! Add a little sliced banana and you have a sandwich that Elvis himself would generously approve! I love making fudge and love the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow, so I decided to take a crack at the recipe I am sharing here today. The marshmallows really need to maintain their shape in this recipe and they will, so do not worry about cooling the microwaved mixture too much. The presentation of this fudge is fun too and people will go crazy for the taste! With only a handful of ingredients that you already have in your pantry, why not whip up some of this delicious fudge and have a Fluffernutter moment with me?

Fluffernutter Fudge

This fudge is best eaten the day it is made, which should not be hard to do!

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) peanut butter chips
1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by lining a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large microwave safe bowl add the melted butter together with the peanut butter chips and microwave on high 90 seconds until the peanut butter chips are melted. Stir together until both ingredients are smooth and combined.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and pinch of salt, stirring to combine.

Add in the marshmallows and stir gently until the marshmallows are all coated.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. Remove and lift the fudge out of the pan using the help of the aluminum foil.

Cut into small squares and serve. Leftovers should be kept chilled in the refrigerator.

Ask and Answer: I received a few emails about my last column for my “Comforting Banana Bread” so I thought I would answer those questions here. Yes, you can freeze the loaf. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and place in freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw, simply remove from freezer and remove aluminum foil. Allow to come to room temperature by placing into the refrigerator or leaving on the counter in a cool place. You can also add walnuts, pecans, or even cashews to the mix. I would slightly toast the nuts first to “wake up” their flavors. This bread is also delicious served with strawberry jam for a unique flavor combination. Also feel free to take the thick slices and make a banana bread style french toast. Delicious!