CHEW THIS! Darla’s Family Favorite Cookies

Darla’s Family Favorite Cookies

Blaise and Darla.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 7th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Darla Doubman shares secret cookie recipe…
Blaise Doubman

My Mom, Darla Doubman, is a bit shy when people ask her if she has helped develop my skills as a cook and baker. I am not sure why, perhaps she just does not give herself enough credit, but I am here to tell you that she 110% helped cultivate my love for the kitchen. I have so many memories of my Mom and I in the kitchen that continues today! When I was little, I remember helping her make chocolate cakes in the shape of hearts with chocolate frosting. I loved those cakes and miss those heart shaped pans. We made fudge together, brownies, which are her favorites, among several savory dishes as well. Spaghetti, homemade meatballs, meatloaf, cheesy potatoes with sausage, chili, tons of slow cooker meals and even recipes for the grill. No matter what she may unwillingly admit, my Mom is a wonderful cook and baker. I have so many recipes in my cookbooks that are her recipes and some of those recipes are some of my most popular. There is a recipe I shared for her goulash that I have in one of my cookbooks and I am not kidding, I have heard from more people about that recipe than just about any other! People saying it brought back childhood memories for them, people loving it and sharing it with others.

The recipe I am sharing here today is based off one of the recipes of my Mom’s that I shared with everyone in my second cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Celebrates!” and is a recipe that people just cannot believe because of its simplicity. The method I am sharing here is different that the cookbook version and is my favorite method in making these fabulous cookies! The secret to these is that you really need to chill the dough for awhile before rolling into balls because the final dough is very sticky. Chilling the dough firms up the dough and allows easier rolling and a lot less mess. 4 simple ingredients, 3 if you do not add the extract, and you will have one of the best cookies ever! I have fond childhood memories of this recipe and making them with my Mom. I also remember eating more of the dough than the cookies! Ha! The dough is dangerously addictive, so I am warning everyone now! Shout out and special thanks to my Mom, Darla Doubman, for allowing me to share this recipe and memory with everyone. My Mom is the wizard behind the curtain so to speak. I owe everything I am today to her and love her so much. I am so proud of the woman she has become, and I cannot even begin to thank her for everything she has done, not to mention putting up with me all these years! Ha!

Darla’s Family Favorite Cookies

This dough is best made ahead and chilled in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, so plan ahead with this recipe. Feel free to use any cake mix you would like but do not substitute anything fat free or low calorie. It will not only change the texture of the cookie but the taste as well. Do not double this recipe. If wanting to make more than the average number of cookies, simply start the recipe over from the beginning.

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
1 container frozen whipped topping
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for rolling

In a large bowl combine the cake mix and frozen whipped topping until smooth and combined. Add in the large egg and pure vanilla extract and beat well. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls the size of a rough tablespoon and roll gently into confectioners’ sugar until coated on all sides.

Place prepared balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets and bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on their baking sheets until ready to remove. If you need them to firm up faster, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes.

Ask and Answer: I posted on my Facebook page that I was experimenting with “Air Fryer Donut Holes”. Lots of people messaged me wanting the recipe and it is my pleasure to share it here with everyone! Take a can of large flaky biscuits and cut them into fourths. Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees. Spray the sectioned biscuits with a light olive oil mist made for using with air fryer machines. Load about 7 sections in the basket at a time. Air fry for 4 minutes, flip and air fry another 3 minutes. Carefully remove them and dip each into melted butter, followed by a dip in confectioners’ sugar. Allow them to cool slightly in the confectioners’ sugar. Remove, shake off the excess and enjoy. These are delicious hot, warm or even cold!

CHEW THIS! Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes

Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes 

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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!

Black Bottom Cupcakes

These are a delicious combination of chocolate, cream cheese and portableness! They use a cake mix, so super easy!

Black Bottom Cupcakes

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
Coffee, cold
Vegetable oil and large eggs for cake mix

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cavities with non-stick cupcake liners.

In a large bowl beat together the soft cream cheese with the large egg, white granulated sugar, salt and pure vanilla extract. Beat in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In another large bowl make the boxed cake mix but use the cold coffee in place of the water. Use the vegetable oil and large eggs as the box directs.

Place the batter into the prepared cupcake cavities, filling about 1/3 of the way full. Dollop on top one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and do not push down.

Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes.

Remove and cool slightly. Place into the refrigerator for 2 hours before enjoying.

The Cake Bake Shop’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love “The Cake Bake Shop” and their cakes usually steal the show. They have delicious other gems though hidden behind their fabulous glass cases, like these cookies!

The Cake Bake Shop’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Fleur de sel flaked salt, for sprinkling

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat together the melted unsalted butter with the packed light brown sugar and white granulated sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat in the large egg and large egg yolk. Beat in the pure vanilla extract.

Beat in the baking soda and salt.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips.

Place large tablespoon size balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2-inches apart. Sprinkle each with flaked salt.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for exactly 15 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

These are delicious! The molasses in the cookie really adds to the overall flavors!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour

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

In a large bowl cream together the smooth peanut butter, light brown sugar, white granulated sugar and soft butter until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Beat in the molasses.

Add in the baking soda and salt. Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Drop by teaspoon size amounts onto prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cool.

In a large bowl melt together 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips with a pinch of salt, splash of vanilla, 4 tablespoons milk and 2 teaspoons solid vegetable shortening in a microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Dip cookies into chocolate, covering one side. Place on parchment paper until chocolate sets up.

CHEW THIS! Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 9th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Like a granola bar, only better…
Blaise Doubman

I love a good granola bar! They are the perfect on the go snack and can taste pretty good for something that is supposed to be so healthy! I do have to say that some of my favorite granola bars are the ones dipped in dark chocolate, but dark chocolate is supposed to be good for us in moderation, right? I have tried several recipes for homemade granola bars and they always end up being too hard or too sticky. When developing this recipe, it started out to be something totally and underly different. It started out being a bar that contained raisins, cranberries and banana chips. It ended up being more of a dessert bar, more of a luxury than a necessity. Ha! I did leave the oatmeal but skipped out on the additional mix-ins. Instead I decided I would make a bar that was filled with something. Chocolate? No, even better, peanut butter!

The peanut butter filling in these bars really make the dessert what it is! The chocolate chips sprinkled along top really make a difference too because they add that extra punch to help you get through the thick and rich filling. I find that quick cooking oats work better than the old-fashioned variety because they soften up more and provide less chew. So, let us recap here a moment. These bars contain oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate which are all basically health foods, right? Now, the butter and the sweetened condensed milk may be a stretch in some health-conscious circles but everything in moderation, including moderation, right? Make these on a Sunday evening and snack on them throughout the week! They are delicious!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These are best made ahead, wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator. Feel free to substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk, dark or white chips. Smooth peanut butter works best here over crunchy.

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
½ cup smooth peanut butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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.

In a large bowl combine the melted butter, packed light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt until smooth and combined. Beat in the white all-purpose flour and quick cooking oats. Mixture needs to be combined thoroughly.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the mixture and place into a separate bowl. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mixture and stir until combined well.

Press in the remaining mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly with clean hands. Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl combine the smooth peanut butter and the sweetened condensed milk. Pour this evenly over the baked base. Do this step easy and carefully with a gentle hand.

Take the remaining mix containing the semi-sweet chocolate chips and sprinkle evenly over the top. Place back into preheated oven and bake 30 minutes more. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Wrap with aluminum foil and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. Remove and serve.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about where to find me on my newest social media links. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all under the username, btrailblaise Find and follow me for recipes, cookbook reviews, kitchen tips and tricks.