There is nothing like a thick, soft homemade waffle, and a waffle iron is not a bad appliance to have in the house. They are not only great for breakfast with syrup and butter, or with strawberries and whipped cream, but make a perfect dessert sundae! One of my children’s favorite ice cream places is a waffle sundae shop, and since I was making chicken and waffles for dinner I decided to make a few extra for a treat for the next day.
My son loved his treat, who wouldn’t?
I have made chocolate waffles in the past for ice cream sundaes, but I stuck with regular waffles this time. Especially because chicken doesn’t really go well with chocolate waffles. Here is a picture I had taken of the chocolate waffle and it looks so good that I think I need to make these again soon.
I have also made gingerbread waffles from a Stonewall Kitchen waffle mix which was quite good.
Ok, I am digressing and getting very hungry, let’s get back to the waffles I am currently blogging about.
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl beat the egg yolks. Add the milk, and then add egg milk mixture to dry ingredients.
In another small bowl beat the egg whites until foamy, and then add them to the other mixture.
Heat your waffle maker and cook waffles per the instructions. Mine cooked for about 3 minutes.
Technically you can make a chocolate bark by melting chocolate and throwing whatever you like in it. While you may really like the taste of anchovies and crushed Kit Kats, I am thinking the recipients of your holiday bark may prefer something a little more mainstream and festive. Even though I have made many a different bark over the years, this peppermint marble bark is my go to favorite.
I use Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Baker’s White Chocolate if I can find it. Most stores don’t seem to carry the white chocolate, and if not I prefer to use Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chips. This recipe has a really great taste and I recommend sticking with the semi-sweet chocolate, and sticking with the Baker’s brand. You will need 1 package of each.
Not only is this a great tasting and impressive looking bark, it allows you to get out some of your holiday frustrations. You will need a cup of crushed candy canes or peppermint starlight candies and the best way to crush them, is to smash them. I put a bunch in a plastic bag and have at them with a wooden mallet. Instant stress relief. And an instant mess if you use a thin plastic bag.
Once you are done annihilating your mints, line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Microwave the semi-sweet and white chocolates in separate bowls. Start with a minute, stir the chocolate, and continue in 30 second intervals until melted. Be careful with the white chocolate because it can burn easily.
Stir half of the crushed mints into each bowl of chocolate. Drop spoonfuls of each chocolate close to each other on the baking sheet and smooth the chocolate to the thickness you prefer. Once all the chocolate is laid out, use a knife to swirl the chocolates together to marbleize them.
Refrigerate the bark until firm, and then just break into pieces. Store in an air tight container.
It’s time to get dippin’, chocolate dippin’ that is! There is just something so good about the combination of salty and sweet that makes pretzels and chocolate the perfect match. I have been chocolate dipping pretzels at Christmas time for longer than I can remember. I know that doesn’t say much these days, but neighbors and friends have been receiving chocolate dipped treats from me for years and years. They are such and easy, impressive, and yummy treat to serve or give to others as a gift.
Some years I use small twists, large twists, small rods, long rods, or a combination. I have dipped them in milk chocolate and drizzled melted white chocolate on top, and vice versa. I have used sprinkles, jimmies, mini chocolate chips, Christmas tree sprinkles, crushed candy canes, and probably other toppings as well. There are so many ways to make these pretzels that you can just be creative and do whatever you wish.
If you can’t find real chocolate melting wafers, you can always find the bags of assorted flavors and colors of melting wafers at your local craft store. I find it is much easier to use these than it is to use chocolate chips or another kind of baking chocolate because they melt better. It also won’t harden as quickly giving you more time to work. If the chocolate in the bowl does start to harden, just pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and it will loosen up.
The tap, tap, tapping sound of the pretzel on the side of the bowl as you let the excess chocolate drip off becomes quite therapeutic, especially when you are on your 567th pretzel. Often times when you get a little too relaxed the pretzel will break which just means “seconds” for your family, which I can assure you they won’t mind.
Lay each pretzel down gently on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. I usually dip a few and then add the toppings. Make sure to add whatever topping you choose before the chocolate sets. Once I have a cookie sheet full, I just put them in the refrigerator for a little while.
They don’t need to be in there long before you can remove them and store them in an air tight container. My chocolate dipped goodies are usually the first item I make out of my holiday baking because they keep longer than cookies will.
On years when I’m feeling a little crazy, I also dip other items such as Oreos or graham crackers. I have also dipped large marshmallows and stuck them onto the tip of candy cane sticks. So many possible dippers!
Ho Ho Ho! It’s December, which means it’s time to start thinking about Holiday baking! I love to bake around the holidays, and it has been a tradition for years and years. I change things around some years, but I have my favorites and this is one of them. They are adorable, and so delicious! You need a round brownie, some cream cheese frosting, strawberries, and that’s it! The three flavors go so well together.
If you don’t have a small muffin pan, you could bake them in a rectangular pan and cut them into circles. Personally, this way is much easier and worth the money for the pan. When I try to cut anything into circles I always end up with hexagons, octagons, basically some kind of “gon” but not a circle. I must have been too busy chatting that day in Kindergarten.
My “go to” brownie recipe is the One Bowl Brownie recipe that comes inside the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate Box. It is one of the best that I have found, and it only uses one bowl. It’s a win win. You could use store bought brownies or a brownie mix, but this recipe is so easy that it really is worth making homemade. Here is the brownie recipe:
1 pkg. Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
Microwave the butter and chocolate together for 2 minutes until the butter is melted.
Stir well until the chocolate melts.
Stir in the sugar.
Stir in the eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Add the flour and combine well.
Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with fudgy crumbs.
If you are using a small muffin pan, spray the pan with cooking spray before adding the batter to the pan.
Once the brownies are done and cooled, you pipe some cream cheese frosting onto the tops to look like the fur trim on Santa’s hat. If you have a frosting bag, you can choose a fancier tip if you prefer. One of these days I will invest in a frosting bag, but until then I just use a sandwich bag with one edge cut off. It makes an absolute mess this way, and if you are like me you will be covered in frosting. However, I can definitely think of worse things to be covered in than cream cheese frosting.
I have shared my cream cheese frosting recipe before, but here it is again. I can pretty much guarantee you will not be upset that you might have to lick some of this frosting off of your hands.
Cream Cheese Frosting – Beat 1/2 cup softened butter with 8 oz. softened block cream cheese with electric mixer. Beat in about 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Add 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla and beat until creamy. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if not sweet enough.
Once the brownies are frosted, you cut the tops off of the strawberries and stick one on each brownie. Add a little bit of frosting on the tip to make the fur pom pom, and you are done.
One thing to be aware of, the red juice from the strawberries might run into the frosting the longer they are kept refrigerated. They look best if made soon before serving.
I can’t wait to make these this year, and I just might ask Santa for a frosting bag 🙂
I grew up in a very urban town where wild blueberries weren’t something I ever came across. Dandelions, sure, but not any type of wild berry. So when I realized there were blueberries and raspberries growing in our yard in Maine, I was basically beside myself with joy.
Every summer I will painstakingly bend over to pick every blueberry I possibly can. Then I will limp back to the house with my tiny crop which never yields enough to make a pie, but there are enough to make muffins. One day as I came back hunched over moaning in pain and covered in mosquito bites, my husband said “you know they sell blueberries at the store right?” Ha ha, yes I know that, but for me there is just some happiness associated with picking my own berries. However, I am putting a blueberry rake on my Christmas list because that happiness is starting to deplete with every year older I become.
Before I owned a “farm” I was never a big muffin baker. Every recipe I tried always seemed to be dry, or the edges were just too brown. Since my blueberry crop wasn’t large enough to make a pie, I decided to give muffins another shot and look for a good recipe. Well, here it is. They are moist, and almost seem too easy to make. I can see why they were named Too Die For Blueberry Muffins.
Sometimes when I have enough raspberries to pick, I have added them to the recipe as well. I have made these with no topping, with just some sugar sprinkled on top, or with a brown sugar crumb topping. Either way is just absolutely delicious!
I will admit I have also made them with blueberries from the store, and they are just as good 🙂