Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

This moist cake reminds me of a classic spice cake without all the overwhelming spice flavors of some. Delicate and delicious, even better topped with homemade caramel frosting!

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

For the cake…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

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

In a large bowl, cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar. Add in the chilled applesauce and combine. Will look curdled but that is desirable. Keep working.

Beat in the baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Beat in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the frosting combine the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow this mixture to melt and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Cook another 40 seconds and remove from heat. Gently whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.

Evenly pour and spread over cooled cake.

Cut and serve.

Caramel Frosting

This is my favorite caramel frosting!

Caramel Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium high heat melt together the unsalted butter, lightly packed light brown sugar and salt. Once melted together, stir and cook for 2 minutes until lightly brown and bubbly.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Stir together. Remove from heat.

Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Use immediately.

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! Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting.PNG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 6th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A whole new type of cookie rings in the New Year!
Blaise Doubman

Happy New Year! Can anyone else believe that it is 2019? Where has the time gone? Let us all hope that this year brings good health and happiness to one and all! 2018 had good moments for me, personally and professionally, as well as some darker moments, those too both personally and professionally. Let me also say, thank you all for your continued dedication and support. I really appreciate each and every one of you! If you are a new reader, a loyal reader, or even just an occasional reader, I really appreciate your time. There is nothing I love more than hearing from my readers about how much they enjoy my columns and recipes. Speaking of, drop me a line on my new website, http://trailblaise.com Click on the “contact” tab and leave me a comment or even a question! I read and respond to all comments that I get.

In celebrating the new year, I wanted to create a new and unique cookie that was easy to make, flavorful and simple. I am so excited to share this newest recipe with everyone! The recipe is actually a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough frosting, that you divide in half, bake half then frost the cookies with the remaining frosting! I have made these several times and every time I make them, people go wild! No, there are no eggs in this recipe, so you do not have to worry about eating raw egg, however, there is white all-purpose flour. If you are concerned about that, simply take the flour and lightly toast it either on a sheet pan in the oven, or skillet. Just be aware that doing this does slightly change the flavors. This frosting, dough, is best made the day it is made. I would not recommend making it in advance. I love this recipe and I really think that you will find this new and unique cookie something sweet to ring in the new year!

Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

This recipe is for the cookies and the frosting. Feel free to double this recipe, or even triple, if desired.

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

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

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

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, salt and baking soda.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour, then fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Divide the frosting in half.

Shape tablespoon size balls of the frosting and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven, one baking sheet at a time, for 12 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. Carefully use the other half of the frosting to frost the wafer cookies. Work carefully because the baked cookies will be very fragile.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about what, if anything, can be used as a substitute for cream of tartar. Substitute fresh lemon juice or white vinegar for the cream of tartar. For every ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar.

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I remember my ex-boss, Angela, bringing this cake to a team meeting when I worked at a local library and it was seriously fabulous! I have made this cake ever since and it is based off of a recipe from Food Network Star Katie Lee and her debut cookbook. Wonderful!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
18 oz smooth peanut butter

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray containing flour.

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the unsalted butter, buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 cup water. Stir constantly until bubbly. Once bubbling slightly remove from heat.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

Slowly beat in the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth and combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Once baked, remove and while the cake is still hot, spoon the smooth peanut butter all over the top, spreading evenly. Allow the cake to sit for a couple of hours to cool and the peanut butter to harden slightly.

When ready to frost the cake combine 1 stick unsalted butter with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 6 tablespoons buttermilk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until bubbly. Once bubbly remove from heat and add 16 oz powdered sugar. Stir quickly together. Pour evenly over the top of the cake and spread evenly.

Allow to sit for an hour before cutting.

Lemonade Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls but these cinnamon rolls have been transformed into a lemon version! How? The typical cinnamon and sugar mixture has been replaced with a powdered lemonade drink mix, fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. These are beyond delicious and I am recommending these to all the lemon lovers out there! Fabulously lemony!

Lemonade Rolls

For the rolls…
2 packages dry active yeast (each 1/4 oz)
2 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups white all-purpose flour
1 box lemon cake mix
2 teaspoons salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup lemonade drink mix powder

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

In a medium sized bowl combine the dry active yeast and warm water. Let stand. Be sure the mixture is bubbly. If the mixture is not bubbly, throw it out and start over.

In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, lemon cake mix and salt. Whisk together. Carefully add the yeast and water mixture. Stir together well. Once the dough has formed, form into a ball and place a clean kitchen towel over the top. Place in a warm spot to double in size for at least an hour.

After an hour, remove the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted unsalted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the dough the lemonade drink mix powder.

Roll up the dough, starting with the corner closest to you. Cut off the ends with a sharp knife and cut the remaining dough into 10 large size pieces. Place them cut side up into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot to double in size for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Place pan into oven and bake 25 minutes.

Meanwhile make the frosting by combining the melted unsalted butter with the powdered sugar, fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Remove rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Frost the rolls while still warm. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.