Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter, revisited

Is it cheating to start my new blogging by copying and pasting something I posted in a note on Facebook?

Oh well.  Here it is:

Clearly, I'm going about this winter business all wrong. Gazing out the sliding glass door to the backyard this morning, staring at the sparkling white (two feet of remaining) snow and the brilliant blue sky, it occurred to me that my focus should be on the positives of winter, not the negatives. Yes, adding school days into June makes me deeply sad; anything that cuts into my time to hang out in the garden and dig in the dirt is at least a little problematic. But, there are things we can do in winter that we wouldn't even dream of doing in summer.

Like eat chocolate waffles for breakfast.

During the summer, who wants to stand in front of a steaming waffle iron for an hour making breakfast? (Well, unless they're jalapeno-corn-cheddar waffles, but that's a different note...) And dessert for breakfast is slightly less tempting when you can't hide behind ski pants and a parka. But on a winter morning when it's 10 degrees outside, I'm all about chocolate waffles. This recipe is from The Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich. The only two changes I made to it: doubled the amount of whole wheat flour and reduced the all-purpose flour by an equal amount, and used 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate and 1 oz bittersweet chocolate. You'll notice there isn't actually any maple syrup in the recipe, but, um...who cares?!

Chocolate Waffles

1 1/3 cup a.p. flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chips or bar; if bar, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 c milk
2 eggs, beaten until frothy and then poured into milk

1. Preheat a waffle iron and grease it lightly. Combine the flours, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Set aside.

2. Combine the butter, chocolate, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over very low heat. Whisk to smooth, remove from heat, and whisk in milk mixture.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the chocolate mixture, and blend just until everything comes together; watch out for floury lumps. Let the batter stand for a few minutes; it will thicken.

4. Cook the batter in the prepared waffle iron until crisp and golden; about two-three minutes. Keep warm in a low oven. (I used a heaping 1/4 cup of batter for each fourth of the waffle iron, but each waffle iron is different so play with the amount you add.)

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