CHEW THIS! TRAIL BLAISE The Baker Cookies

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, October 19th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Blaise the Baker and TRAIL BLAISE
Blaise Doubman

Well I would like to officially announce the “comeback” of my Blaise the Baker brand! For those who do not know, my original brand and blog website, Blaise the Baker was hacked, along with my attached social media accounts, just a little over a year ago. I started Blaise the Baker in February of 2014 and had it for years without any problems whatsoever. As my numbers, views and followers grew, that is when problem struck. My website and all attached social media was compromised, therefore giving me no choice but to rebrand. I chose to rebrand as, TRAIL BLAISE. Jump to present day and I am now, once again, the proud owner of Blaise the Baker. When you visit my old website, or their social media sites, you are now automatically taken to TRAIL BLAISE. I am so happy and thrilled with this outcome, I cannot even possibly say! Several people were involved in making the transition and for that, I thank you all so very much.

When developing this recipe, I wanted to create something that was fun, colorful and delicious. Immediately my mind drifted to monster cookies! They are delicious, huge, colorful and fun! I’ve developed a few recipes for monster cookies, but these are by far my favorites! They have everything that makes a cookie delicious. They are full of peanut butter, oats, potato chips and even M&M’s! Not to mention the delicious ingredients of sugar and pure vanilla extract. Ha! Several people eating these say that the potato chips in the cookie really make the flavor and texture really something extraordinary. It is hard to explain but the potato chips really give the cookies an almost buttery flavor and crunch like texture. Celebrate my Blaise the Baker and TRAIL BLAISE brands coming together as one, by creating these fabulously addictive cookies!

TRAIL BLAISE The Baker Cookies

These are basically a version of the famous “monster cookie” that you can find in certain bakeries and Amish stores across the midwestern US. Feel free to play around with the recipe and try different flavor combinations and different candy combinations. These are also fun to make “plate size” but be sure to adjust the cooking time.

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup crushed plain potato chips
1 10 oz. bag M&M candy pieces

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

In a large bowl, beat together the white granulated sugar, light brown sugar and solid vegetable shortening until smooth and combined.

Beat in the two large eggs, pure vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda until thoroughly combined.

Next add in the white all-purpose flour and stir until combined, no white streaks visible.

Finally, stir in the quick cooking oats, crushed potato chips and M&M candy pieces until everything is thoroughly combined and well mixed.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Roll the dough into balls, but don’t press flat. Keep dough balls about 3-4 inches from each other – giving them plenty of room to spread out when baking.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on baking sheets before enjoying.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about chilling and freezing cookie dough. Just about any cookie dough I have found, aside from peanut butter for some reason, can be made ahead, chilled in the refrigerator or frozen in the freezer. Peanut butter cookie dough is best not made ahead and only made fresh. I have tried all kinds of methods and none has ever worked for peanut butter cookie dough. Other doughs though can be wrapped well, chilled in the refrigerator for five days or frozen for up to three months. When baking the frozen dough, add a couple of extra minutes to the cookies while they are baking in the oven.

Norma Beavers’ Chocolate Chip Brownies

I found this recipe while browsing through my Grandma Barbra’s old “Kennard Friends Church” cookbook. Norma Beavers is a friend to my Grandma and has been for countless years. This recipe is like a giant chewy chocolate chip cookie but in bar form. Highly recommend you try them! I kept the recipe basically the same but changed up the method of sifting the dry ingredients.

Norma Beavers’ Chocolate Chip Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray containing flour.

In a large bowl cream together the softened unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar, packed light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract and water.

Beat in the large eggs.

Beat in the baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate chips along the top of the batter.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. 10 minutes into the baking time, remove from the oven and gently swirl the chocolate chips into the batter. Place back into the oven to finish baking.

Once baked, remove and allow to cool before cutting into squares.

PB Bars

There are a lot of names for this dessert. PB Bars, Buckeye Bars, Bucky Bars, Hardy Bars, No-Bake Bars, Lunch Lady Bars and on and on. I think I must have at least two recipes for bars similar to this listed on my website but these may be my favorites! Some people top these with chocolate frosting, which is delicious too but I would rather top them with melted chocolate!

PB Bars

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, powdered sugar and lightly packed light brown sugar until mixed and well combined. You may need to add about 2 tablespoons milk or water.

Beat in the smooth peanut butter.

Place the mixture into the prepared pan and pat out evenly with clean hands.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

Pour the mixture over the peanut butter base and smooth out the top.

Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Remove, lift from pan using sides of aluminum foil and cut into desired number of pieces. Chocolate sets hard so jagged pieces are not only desired but necessary.

Serve and store at room temperature.

9×13 Apple Crisp

This delicious apple crisp is made in a 9×13-inch baking pan and can feed an army! I love making this for reunions and Church pitch-ins! Fabulous served alongside vanilla ice cream or just as fabulous served on its own.

IMG_8804.JPG

9×13 Apple Crisp 

10 cups cored, sliced and diced apples
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Place apples evenly into 9×13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour and ground cinnamon. Pour this mixture evenly over the apples. Pour the water evenly throughout.

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, quick-cooking oats, white all-purpose flour, lightly packed light brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda until the mixture resembles course pebbles when pressed together.

Crumble the mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture.

Bake, in preheated oven, for 45 minutes.

CHEW THIS! Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp

Angela Kudlets.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, October 5th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp
Blaise Doubman

I am not for sure when exactly my friendship with Angela Kudlets started but I am so grateful that whatever happened to fall into place, fell into place. Immediately we started talking and it was like we were long lost family members! She is one of the sweetest, down to earth, talented individuals I have come across. She is multi-talented for sure because not only is she a self-taught home cook and chef, she is also a self-publishing businesswoman with her own cookbook, recipe developer, brand ambassador, social media expert, recipe tester and television personality! She has appeared on several television programs and podcasts across the Midwest and even did a few cooking demonstrations for audiences at Williams-Sonoma! What did she prepare? Flank steak fajitas that she prepared in her Gotham Steel Pro Series pans. Yes, she is also an ambassador for Gotham Steel, Naturiffic seasonings and Pampered Chef, more on that later. She has helped me in my online social media career more than I can say. She even helped get my “Blaise the Baker” Facebook fan page finally deleted after months and months of me having no access to my own page! Something that I did not think would ever happen! She has a booming website located at http://yournextgreatdish.com with several delicious recipes that she has shared with everyone and a social media presence that is not only fun but delicious and informative as well! Even recently she expanded her brand into partnering with “Pampered Chef” and encourages online parties where you can earn free products! Yes, I threw a party, yes it was fun and yes, I got a lot of free products! It was a blast! Ha!

I highly recommend you follow her online and check out her website, where she even sells scones in a variety of flavors, made to order and freshly shipped! I was honored to be a part of her debut cookbook, “The Everyday Cook’s Cookbook” in sharing my recipe for peanut butter pie and I have been wanting to share my friendship with Angela, with all of you for awhile now! Browsing her website lately, there is one recipe I keep coming back to and that is her sheet tray shrimp! It is so good, so healthy, so flavorful and so colorful! With her permission I decided that was the recipe I wanted to share here with all of you! It was also perfect timing because on my contact page, I have been finding more requests for seafood recipes, perfect! Try this recipe soon and as always, drop me a comment and let me know what you think! Shout out and special thanks to Angela Kudlets of “Your Next Great Dish” for the friendship and support over the years and thank you so much for the permission to share one of your fabulous recipes!

Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp

This is a fabulously colorful dish that people will go crazy over! Substitute the shrimp for your favorite cut of chicken but be sure to adjust the bake time accordingly. I love the seasonings and freshness that this dish offers! The “Naturiffic” Gourmet Salt can be purchased online by visiting, http://www.naturiffic.com

1/2-pound jumbo shrimp, shelled & deveined
1/4 small red bell pepper
1/4 small yellow bell pepper
1/4 small orange bell pepper
1/8 small green bell pepper
1/4 purple onion
1 large navel orange
2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
4 bulbs garlic, fresh
1 medium lime
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
“Naturiffic” brand Gingery Orange Gourmet Salt

Slice orange and lime into thick wheels.

On a 1/4 sheet tray, arrange the orange slices, lime slices, asparagus, peppers, and onions in a single layer.

Place shrimp on top of vegetables.

Sprinkle with desired amount of Naturiffic seasoning.

Place garlic in each corner of the sheet Tray.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes until shrimp is no longer translucent and the vegetables are fork tender.

Remove garlic, orange and lime slices and discard.

Ask and Answer: Several of you have written in about “Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice” and wondered if the recipe could be made ahead and then frozen. There shouldn’t be a problem with this but be sure to adjust the baking time by about 10 minutes. Several of you also wanted to know if the recipe could be tweaked by substituting the white rice for brown or a cauliflower version. Absolutely! Make according to your tastes!