No-Bowl Chocolate Cake

I love how you completely prepare this cake in the pan you bake it in! Less mess and let me be honest, more fun! Try it with your kids, or yourself, today!


No-Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Dump in the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a not greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Whisk everything together using a wire whisk. Add in the hot water, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract and white vinegar. Whisk good – being sure to get the bottom and corners of the pan.

Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and make frosting. In a saucepan over medium heat combine 1/2 cup white granulated sugar with 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Pour over still warm cake and smooth evenly.

Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Southern Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” August 27th, 2018

I have been cleaning and clearing out some of my cookbook collection while I wait for Facebook to allow me to start a new account. About a month ago my Facebook was hacked and I thought I had fixed it. Not the case! A couple weeks later I found out my account had indeed been compromised and there was no turning back – or “changing my password” in terms of saving it. I tried everything. I went through – saved photos and what I could – then deleted. And yes, this included my “Blaise the Baker” fan page with almost 4,000 “likes”! Crushed and upset does not even begin to describe my emotions but what can I do? I hope once my social media accounts are back up and running that you will follow along with me. Once they are set up I will make sure and post the links here so you can follow along. In the meantime I thought I would share a new cookie recipe that I am obsessed with!

I stumbled upon a recipe for “Southern” style chocolate chip cookies in an old cookbook of mine and decided to try them. They use powdered instant vanilla pudding in the mix and although I have made cookies like this before, it is the melting and cooling of the butter – as well as how they are mixed that make all the difference. Delightfully different – tasty – chewy and just slightly tan colored.


Southern Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

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

In a bowl beat together the melted and cooled unsalted butter with the large eggs until the mixture is creamy.

Beat in the packed light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Add in the instant vanilla pudding mix, pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

Gradually stir in the white all-purpose flour. Gently fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Place heaping teaspoon size amounts of dough, into balls, onto the parchment lined baking sheets and leave about 2 inches of spreading room between each cookie.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 11 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.


Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” September 2nd, 2017

I made a “Welcome Fall” trip to Jacob’s Family Orchard yesterday and stocked up on their delicious apple cinnamon donuts, apple butter, honey, apple pie spice, amazingly rich and delicious caramel apple turnovers, tomatoes and of course popcorn! My favorite is the “Amish” style “purple” popcorn. I find it pops more evenly, has a better flavor and contains more antioxidants than a normal popcorn kernel. Anyways, I got to researching the perfect stovetop popcorn popping methods and discovered one of my own that I could not wait to tell you all about! Their are a couple of secrets that you must do – and I will explain them – and the “why” behind them as I go about the recipe. Are you ready!?


Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup “purple” style popcorn
4 tablespoons salted butter

Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Place 4 kernels of corn into the oil. Once the kernels start to pop – you will know the oil is ready!

Salt the oil with the Kosher salt. This will ensure that once the popcorn pops, it will be salted evenly. 

Once a kernel or two has popped, add in the remaining 1/3 cup of popcorn kernals evenly over the heated oil. Remove from heat and count out loud to 40 seconds. This ensures that all the kernels are at the same temperature and thus when placed back on the heat, the popcorn kernels will all pop at the same time – leaving none unpopped. 

Once 40 seconds are up, place back on the medium high heat and wait until you get some kernel popping action. Once the kernels start popping, place a lid slightly ajar on top and start shaking and moving around the pot gently. Placing a lid slightly ajar will ensure some of the steam to escape therefore making the popcorn dry which is what is desired. 

Once the popcorn kernels stop popping and slow down quite a bit remove from the heat and shake a few more minutes until you do not hear popping. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl.

Place butter in the already hot pot and allow to melt. Once melted pour over the popcorn and eat while still warm / hot.


Leftover Thanksgiving Meal Turnovers

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” November 27th, 2015

Leftover Thanksgiving Meal Turnovers


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 27th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Savory Thanksgiving turnovers may be better than the main meal…
Blaise Doubman

I used to joke that my family Thanksgiving was like a zoo. Everyone talking loudly over one another, rooms full of people, children playing and knocking over lamps and anything else that wasn’t tied down, timers going off in the kitchen, people leaving in and out of the front and back doors, car horns honking, plates clattering, football games blaring in the background and just when you thought you had heard every possible sound there was to make…the smoke alarm would start going off in the background. Sounds like a zoo to me, doesn’t it you? But memories and times like these are what I remember most from my family Holiday get-togethers. (For the longest time I told anyone and everyone I knew that I needed reality show cameras to follow me around during family functions and Holidays. I’m still waiting for Ryan Seacrest to call me back.)

I wouldn’t trade these times and memories for anything in the world. I look back and fondly remember times like this as it seems the Holidays around here are changing. There’s not many “little kids” running around anymore, and everyone seems to have their respectable table manners down to a science. There’s less talk about babies and school playground problems, and more talks about politics and the job market. The nature of our family get-togethers may be maturing and changing, but one thing that has stayed the same is my love for the day after Thanksgiving.

I love the day after Thanksgiving – and not because of the sales. It’s because the “main meal” of Thanksgiving is over, most usually everyone has returned home and is plotting their sale attacks and plans for the weekend, and everything (in my house anyways) always seem quite and serene. I can relax after spending countless hours in the kitchen feeding countless hungry mouths of family and friends, and I get to enjoy the best part of the meal once everyone is gone…the leftovers! One rule when coming to one of my family food functions? Eat all you want – but don’t take the leftovers. Those are mine!

It sounds selfish, but hear me out on this. After the meal is prepared, and everyone is happy, satisfied and full, your treat (as the cook) is to eat the leftovers the next day, while everyone is away. Experimenting with leftovers is a favorite Holiday tradition of mine. And, honestly, I like the leftovers better than the main meal! The turkey is more moist and tender, the cornbread stuffing has allowed itself to gain maximum flavor and the green bean casserole is always better because the beans are soft and tender.

I’ve tried all kinds of things with the leftovers – and even with the leftover desserts! One popular way of enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers is to make a sandwich! Pile it high with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and even some of the green been casserole and enjoy! One year I made a similar sandwich and placed it in a buttered Panini maker. Delicious! It was grilled, buttery, crisp and perfect. One year I literally scrapped everything together in a bowl, added some turkey seasoning that was leftover from the turkey rub, placed it in a 9×13-inch baking pan and placed on top spoonfuls of homemade biscuit dough. When baked in the oven, the biscuits baked and the casserole underneath became bubbly and flavorful and it was so good! There’s so many combinations that I’ve experimented with, and thought about, for day after Thanksgiving food…I could probably write a book on the subject. My mind goes wild thinking of all the combinations I could try.

Even desserts can be remade into day after Thanksgiving treats! Cakes have been cut up and layered into a pretty dish with sweetened whipped cream between each layer, and topped with fresh fruit and the same goes for leftover pies! This year I’m going to see about making a leftover pumpkin pie milkshake! Sounds pretty delicious, don’t you think? We will wait and see what develops on that…

Leftover chocolate chip cookies are always saved, because I like crumbling them up and placing them in fresh chocolate chip cookie dough and baking them off in a “double baked cookie” way. I first read about this method in one of my favorite cookbooks by Elinor Klivans. Talk about a genius way of using up leftover cookies! It sounds a little off putting at first, but once you taste the finished product, you’ll taste how delicious!

Throughout all my years of Thanksgiving-leftover experimentation, I think the recipe I’m sharing here may very well be my very favorite recipe! I have a love for puff pastry and love homemade pizza made with the dough, in place of normal pizza dough, and love homemade apple, cherry and blueberry turnovers. My mind immediately thought “Thanksgiving savory” and filling the puff pastry turnovers with all of the deliciousness that’s left behind! I tried, I ate and I conquered. I loved them, and all of my recipe testers loved them. Some members of my family even said they would rather have these for Thanksgiving this year instead of the day after! Fill them with whatever combination you like, but the taste of turkey, gravy, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and peas is just about the perfect combination. The sharp cheddar sprinkled on top really brings the flavors together, and the crunch of the puff pastry is mouthwatering.

Leftover Thanksgiving Meal Turnovers

The measurements for this recipe are really just to give you an idea of how much of each ingredient you really need to have on hand. This recipe is very flexible and can be made with what I used to stuff my turnovers with, or a variety of other things such as leftover corn, green bean casserole or even sweet potato casserole. Use your imagination and taste combinations before stuffing the turnovers. The shredded sharp cheddar cheese that’s sprinkled over the top can be left off, or even substituted with another type of cheese, or lightly sprinkled with course sea salt. Leftover turnovers can be stored in the refrigerator for two days, and warmed up in the oven at 200 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

Package of Puff Pastry sheets, thawed
2 cups turkey meat, sliced
2 cups cornbread stuffing
½ cup cranberry sauce
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup mashed potatoes with gravy

1 large egg mixed with tablespoon milk (egg wash)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (topping)

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine what you have left over and want to add. In this case, add the sliced turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, peas and mashed potatoes and gravy. You need to add more turkey and cornbread stuffing that the other ingredients because the final result you’re looking for, is a thicker mixture.

Cut both sheets of thawed puff pastry into four equal pieces, leaving you with eight total squares. Lay out each square on the prepared baking sheet, and place about two heaping tablespoons of the leftover Thanksgiving mixture in the center of each.

Fold each of them like you would a turnover. Take the top left corner, and pull it over and down to meet the bottom right corner. Press the remaining two corners together firmly, and be sure the turnover is pretty well sealed. If the sides let a little of the filling spill out, that is perfectly fine. You just really want the first fold to hold its shape.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each turnover before sprinkling on the shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes until the turnovers are puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” October 14th, 2015

A friend of mine offered me the challenge of using a cake mix to make something other than a cake or cookies – and something that was savory and not sweet. Guess what!? I did it! With research and development I have discovered a recipe for “Cake Mix Yeast Rolls”. Yep! You heard that right… And they taste nothing like cake. They taste everything like yeast rolls!!!

No kneading, and simple as can be!


Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

1 envelope dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 package of white cake mix
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Start by combining the dry active yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Swish around slightly to make sure yeast is dissolved.

Next, add in the white all-purpose flour, white cake mix, salt and melted butter. Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with vegetable oil. Turn to coat the whole dough ball with the oil. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick cooling spray and divide dough evenly between cups – filling each muffin cup about 1/2 full.

Cover again with kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake yeast rolls for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool in pans.