Liege Waffles

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Okay, so it’s been over a year since my last post on Pumpkin Honey. And a lot has happened. Not really, but a few things I suppose.

Stephen & I interned on a small, family-owned, organic farm in Central Pennsylvania called Jade Family Farm.

We also adopted a tiny little gray kitten, baby to the resident farm cat Lucy, named Beluga.

We’ve been living in Baltimore for the last year. And we’re about to move out.

I’m expecting to receive my MA in May.

My mom is taking me to Paris 2 days later (best mom ever).

And Stephen’s birthday was on the 4th.

Thus the Liege Waffles.

These waffles are not only beautiful. They are everything a waffle should be. Especially if you’ve ever been to Belgium, had a street waffle, and thus know exactly what a waffle should be. They’re dense and chewy but crispy and caramelized.

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Then they were topped off with cinnamon whipped coconut cream & blueberry maple syrup.
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ERMAHGERD. Incredible.
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MAKE THESE WAFFLES.

Liege Waffles

1/3 Cup Warmed Almond Milk (whole milk or water)

1/2 Tablespoon Yeast

1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

9 Tablespoons Melted & Cooled, Salted Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

2 Cups Flour (I used 1 Bread, 1 All Purpose)

2/3 Cup Pearl Sugar (I use Swedish)

Preheat waffle iron. Other recipes I’ve seen insist that a typical waffle iron is too hot for your classic Liege Waffle so I unplug it periodically while making them. Just keep an eye on the browning.

Dissolve brown sugar & yeast in lukewarm milk. Let stand 10 minutes. Vigorously beat two large eggs and vanilla into mixture. Add butter little by little, beating as you go. Gently beat in flour. Let rise for for about an hour or until doubled in size. Then mix in pearl sugar.

Form dough balls slightly smaller than a tennis ball and place on segment of the waffle iron. Mine makes two-segment waffles so I made two balls at a time. I know some make 4 and so forth. I don’t grease the pan – mine is non-stick and there’s TONS of butter in this dough so they shouldn’t stick. Unplug as needed to keep the waffle iron from overheating. Periodically check the waffles, cooking until deep golden brown.

The waffles are even crispier and caramelizedier if the dough is chilled first.

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk – chilled, separated cream only

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Whip cold, scraped off cream of the can of coconut cream until thick and fluffy. Fold in powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Blueberry Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Blueberries – frozen or fresh

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

In a small saucepan heat the blueberries over medium-low heat. Smash with a fork or potato masher until pulpy and juicy. Heat until hot and just about simmering. Add maple syrup.

Pour blueberry maple syrup atop waffles, add a giant dollop of cinnamon whipped coconut cream and NOSH.

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Espresso Chocolate Bran Muffins

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I was walking to the mailbox yesterday to post a birthday card. Through slush & ice. Down my mile-long driveway. Okay, it was an easy stroll. And on the way back I ran into my not-quite-elderly or else in really great shape & elderly neighbor. She engaged in small talk. Eventually she asked what I study & when I replied “Global Environmental Policy” she responded: “Is that like… Al Gore stuff?”

Yes, folks. It is indeed a bit like “Al Gore Stuff.”

Though, only a fraction of us study climate change. Some of us study energy, some conservation, some international institutions, some water, and those of us that are particularly cool study agriculture & food.

Speaking of which, this week we’re actually studying the EU decision making process on GMOs. Which shall serve as a transition to delicious muffins made with organic whole wheat flour. And probably GM wheat bran… but I wouldn’t know, because it’s not labeled!

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These muffins are a one bowl, three measuring cups (because I use a 1/4 & 1/2 cup for everything) , throw it together in a jiff kind of recipe.

As muffin recipes should be.

And they’re dairy-free, whole wheat, bran muffins. Hello, sorta healthy.

With CHOCOLATE in them. And ESPRESSO. Which probably explains my use of caps right there.

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And the most important part is that I now have espresso-laden, semi-healthy muffins to take to campus Wednesday & Thursday.

I usually forget to pack any food at all and survive off overpriced soy lattes & bagels sold on campus. And by the end of the day my stomach feels cramped & ready to implode/explode. And my journey begins at 6 (wake up) & ends around 10 (get home). But fear not this week! I have prepared with muffins, tabbouleh, hummus & pita! Oh me oh my!

Also, these muffins make the house smell glorious. In all their chocolatey, espresso, fresh-baked goodness.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins

Inspired by The Kitchy Kitchen
Makes 12 Standard Muffins

WET:
1/2 Cup Oil (i use canola)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Brewed Coffee (cold)
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
2 Tbsp Ground Espresso
1 Egg (i use ener-g)
2 Tsp Vanilla

DRY:
1 2/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 Cup Bran (I used half oat & half wheat)
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
3/4 – 1 Cup Chocolate Chips*

*I used dairy-free chocolate – half Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate Chips & half chopped Ibarro Mexican Chocolate. The Mexican chocolate is full of granulated sugar & adds a nice sugary crunch to the muffins.  Feel free to use as much chocolate, or little as you like – keeping in mind that it may affect the volume of the batter.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tray with muffin papers.

Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium/large bowl. Add all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
Combine thoroughly. Stir in chocolate Chips.
Spoon batter evenly into muffin papers. Should all be about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes or until muffins spring back to a light touch (or toothpick comes out clean method).

Now, NOSH.

With a cold glass or milk or hot cup of coffee.

Contains caffeine. Please, enjoy responsibly : )

All gone!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best. Ever. I could eat the whole pan. Or half. Since I did do that, already.

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Mom’s been making them since I was little.

Straight from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook she’s had forever. With it’s deep red cover  & worn looking pages.

My brother Fred & I would devour them. Because they’re a perfect comfort food treat.

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Full of oats. And peanut butter. And topped off with a hard layer of just enough chocolate.

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It’s easy to eat 1/2 a pan because they’re not too sweet, just sweet enough, and almost fool you into thinking they might be healthy.ish. And the flavors of peanut butter & chocolate flood your mouth as your teeth sink into the soft, chewy bars.

They’re a good choice for a sneaky breakfast treat.

This is the second time I’ve made them vegan and they’re perfect. They taste more or less exactly like the original recipe.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ener-g egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup almond or soy milk
1 cup AP flour
1 cup oats (i use quick oats)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 inch pan.

Beat shortening & peanut butter until well-creamed. Add sugar and continue beating until light & fluffy. Add egg, milk & vanilla and beat to incorporate into fluffy peanut buttery goodness.

Add flour, oats, baking soda & salt – slowly. Beat until well-mixed & smooth.

Spread mixture evenly in your greased pan. It may be a bit thick so spread carefully.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.

Spread chocolate chips across the surface while still hot. When the chocolate has softened/melted, after a few seconds, spread evenly.

Let cool & allow chocolate to harden before cutting into bars…

Before devouring in huge bites!

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