Thursday, August 23, 2012

chocolate waffles

Ms. Sonnemaker.  

I have to say she had to have been my favorite teacher of all time, and I was privileged to have her twice - in kindergarten and again in third grade.  She was a kind, soft-spoken teacher.  She's a big reason why my world revolved around singing for nearly three decades.  And under her direction, I was actually "good" in math.  

Math.  Just saying the word makes my stomach turn. 

I have never really considered myself even O.K. in math.  There's all kinds of baggage that goes along with it, so I won't bore you, but to this day, I'm really proud of this treasure from third grade, given to me by none other than Ms. Sonnemaker herself...  AND... the irony...  it's a cookbook.  My first, actually.

I have the best memories of growing up not a block away from the public library.  I was there just about every day.  I became great friends with the children's librarian, and I loved the smell of the books' pages. Mysteries, kid's craft and cookbooks were my favorites.  Maybe you can see why this gift was just perfect for me!

The best part of the keepsake?  The inscription written in calligraphy.  I'm telling you, I can remember getting this like it was yesterday.  

It has been fun reminiscing and looking through the simple recipes.  They are all very basic and friendly for youngsters trying their hand, first-time, at cooking.  Chocolate Waffles, in particular, intrigued me as I considered what fun thing I could attempt for "breakfast" tonight.  

I did really alter the original recipe, so the book's version became more of an inspiration, with the final version being what's posted here.  The result is tender with a darker chocolate taste, and it was a great balance to the savory flavors of thick-cut bacon and scrambled eggs that were served alongside.  

These would probably be fabulous with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, but since I was trying to act like I require healthy eating for actual meals, I opted for homemade whipped cream, a drizzle of honey and toasted pecans with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  At any rate, any way you fix it, you can't go wrong with chocolate (or a good mystery!).  

So, as the inscription reads:  

Get Cooking! and try a Drew mystery... Oh.  And don't forget to let your favorite teacher know how much you appreciate them.  They can make all the difference in the world; I know mine did!

Chocolate Waffles - makes about 8 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional (I used dark chocolate)
~ Whisk together first six ingredients in medium bowl.
~ In mixer, blend together eggs, butter and vanilla.  Add buttermilk and mix.
~ Preheat waffle iron, according to manufacturer directions and spray with non-stick spray.
~ Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until just combined.
~ Stir in chips, if using.
~ Ladle batter onto waffle iron and cook until edges are crisp.
~ Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, toasted pecans, a drizzle of honey and dusting of

  Recipe inspired by The Nancy Drew Cookbook