Chochaffelie (Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookie)

I have an [extreme] obsession with waffles. There is something about those airy rectangles that create such a pleasurable experience for my mouth. To me, texture is a huge part of the enjoyment of food, and there is something truly magical about those airy, repetitive rectangles that never fail to please my mouth. Maybe it’s the maximum surface area for browning. I love browning. Food that’s a lil burnt is totally up my ally…especially when it’s something sweet’n’carby.

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If you want to get all food science-y, (too bad if you don’t, because I’m finna) this is called the Maillard Reaction, which is the reaction between amino acids and their reducing sugars that gives foods that distinct brown color and flavor. This is what happens to your toast, cake, the cripsy parts of your potatoes, your roasted veggies (yes, vegetables are carbohydrates!), caramel making, and that gorgeous golden crust on all your breads.

Long story short, the Maillard Reaction = protein + carbohydrate + heat = brown.

Bottom line of story: Maillard = delicious. 

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Now back to waffles. With all that surface area for Maillard to go down, there’s lots of crispy browning. And then there’s the glorious crunchy edges that contrast oh so beautifully with the fluffy inside.

I really, truly, love waffles. Toaster waffles are a staple in my life. Any place I’d put bread, I will other times put toaster waffles. Yes, your pb+j just got better. As did your sandwich. Just buy the whole wheat kind and they aren’t too sweet for even your saltiest creation. Trust me on this one. You will thank me later.

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Beyond the freezer, there are homemade waffles. If you got a few extra minutes they are always worth making, even just for the fragrance that will waft through your house all day long after. I recently got a new waffle iron because my old one went MIA when my mom moved, and I have been spending some quality time making waffles for myself in batches, freezing some, and eating them all week long.

But why just make waffles in a waffle iron? I thought to myself. Why not cookies? And thus, the chocaffelie was born. Just rolls off the tounge, doesn’t it? No. No it does not. It does taste good though.

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I had to try this recipe a few times before I got it right. The first time I just tried to bake regular cookie dough in the waffle iron. It didn’t work so great. It tasted nice, but was all sticky and crumbly. So I hybrid some various aspects of the cookie and the waffle and ended up with this. I also realized that for best results, smaller chocolate pieces are needed to prevent them from sticking to/burning on the waffle iron. Thus, I recommend you chop your chocolate chips. This would also be a wildly appropriate place for mini chips. But you know. Work with whatcha got.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 egg, separated
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided in half
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, chopped (or 1 cup mini chips)

Directions:

1. Plug in your waffle iron and set it to a medium-high heat.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix.

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3. Separate egg into yolk and whites. Whip the whites up with an electric mixer. Add half of the granulated sugar (so about ⅛ cup or a few tablespoons) to encourage the stiff peaks to set. Set both aside.

if you look closely, i'm flipping a peace sign in that egg yolk reflection. i think i'm hilarious fyi.
if you look closely, i’m flipping a peace sign in that egg yolk reflection. i think i’m hilarious fyi.

4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, remaining white sugar, and all of the brown sugar together until nice and fluffy. This will take a minute or two. Next add the egg yolk  and vanilla and whip a little more until combine. Lick the whisk. Or at the very least, appreciate its beauty or try to prevent your dog from hopping up and stealing it from you.

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5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until combined.

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6. Fold in the chocolate chip pieces or mini chips. Finally, very gently fold in the egg whites.

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7. You can place a spoonful of batter in each of the four corners of the waffle iron, or place a big glob right in the center, depending on what kind of end product you want.

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8.  Close the iron and allow the cookie to bake for about 2 minutes, or until brown and crispy and beautiful.

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9. Using a fork or knife, gently remove from iron and set on cooling rack to cool.

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10. Eat. And/or post to instagram and prepare to be bombarded with texts demanding you share. It’s up to you.

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Homemade KitKats

My AIM screen name back in the day was kitkatkb494. That is just how much I love Kit-Kats. ALthough I have not logged on AIM for roughly 8 years, my love of kit kats has never faded. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped at a 24 hour Duane Reade on the way home from Bobst at like 2 in the morning to buy a King Sized Kit Kat on the way home from a long study session and proceeded to stress-eat the entire thing within an hour. That’s pretty gross of me. But stress does crazy thing to a human being.

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When I’m a little less stressed out, I like to make them myself. These are super duper easy. Using the sugar wafers is kind of like cheating. One day I’m gonna make the wafers by myself. But in the mean time, these are still great and crowd pleasing. Use a good quality chocolate for best results. 😉

This recipe was originally written as part of a DIY Candies piece written for NYU Spoon, and was also published on The Daily Meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 package vanilla sugar wafers
1 package semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Place parchment paper or aluminum foil onto a large plate or baking sheet, and place it next to your work space.

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2. Empty the chocolate chips into a large microwave safe bowl. Place in the microwave and microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring after each increment, until chocolate is melted. Be careful not to burn chocolate.

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3. Dip each wafer into the chocolate, using a knife to help coat each side of the wafer. Place each wafer on parchment paper-lined plate.

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4. Place plate of kit kats in the fridge or freezer for 30-60 minutes until chocolate has set. EAT. Or put them out at a party like I did where they will disappear very quickly.

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Homemade Take 5 with a Delicious Graham-y Twist

Do you know what I love? Candy. Always have, always will. I have longtime standing favorites, like the Kit-Kat, which I conquered in the kitchen here, but a more recent candy to hit the scene and secure a place in my heart is the oh-so-wonderful Take 5 Bar.

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In my humble opinion, these beauties are underrated. They are simple in principle (pretzel, caramel, peanut butter, peanuts, chocolate) but perfectly combine the salty-sweet-crunchy-chewy combo, which I consider to be synonymous with the ideal dessert. It’s like a mash up of the Salty Pimp and American Glob minus the soft serve. And y’all know ANYTHING that reminds me of Big Gay Ice Cream is the way to my <3.

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Any sweet treat I like to eat I like even more as a challenge to make in the kitchen. And hence, the homemade Take 5 Bar became this afternoon’s adventure after a lovely hour long stroll with Millie and her Uncle James. She also functioned as a sous-chef/major creeper in the process of making these babies (see below).

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I googled recipes and found a lot of Take-5-like layer bars, but those didn’t satisfy my desire to duplicate down to appearance. The only possible problem I came across while conceptualizing was how to avoid the pretzel topped with the goodies to stay together when I dipped em in chocolate. I decided I needed a base. And then I thought of graham crackers. I love graham crackers, so I decided that adding them to Take 5 Bars would only make them better. I was correct in this idea. Huge fan.

This recipe is not gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, #fitspro, or antioxident rich. It is, however, delicious. And as much as I am a typically healthy eater I stand by my belief that nourishing your mind and your taste buds is just as important as nourishing your body.

So here is my recipe for Take-5s ft. Graham Crackers. Make these. Eat them. All of them. Top them on vanilla soft serve for best results. *~*drool*~*

Ingredients:

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers (9-10 whole crackers)
  • 1 cup “Snaps” shapped pretzels
  • 1 cup caramel candies (use a nicer kind, like werther’s baking caramels)
  • about 1/3-1/2 cup peanut butter
  • about 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 18 oz chocolate chips (1 and a half bags)
  • sea salt (optional)

Directions:

1. Break graham crackers into quarters. Just follow those handy lines on the squares. I know you can do this. I believe in you.

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2. Unwrap caramel candies. I highly recommend you do not skip this step. Place said caramels in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds on high until *~*melty*~* <3

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3. Use a knife to spread gooey melty caramel onto each graham rectangle. This works best if you set up a nice parchment paper work tray on a baking sheet.

4. Press 2 pretzels on top of each graham rectangle.

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5.Take your peanut butter and spread it on top of the pretzel layer.

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6. Sprinkle 5-6 peanuts on each peanut-butter-covered rectangle.

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7. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes in 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval until melty and smooth.

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8. Use a spatula or knife to scoop chocolate on top of each bar and smother the crap out of it in with chocolatey goodness.  Sprinkle with sea salt if you are fancy. I am fancy. Not “so fancy,” though. Just the regular type.

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9.Place each on on parchment paper lined tray and freeze until chocolate is set.

10. Eat.

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Making Froyo Cakes + An Influx of Puppy Pics.

I got home a little over a week ago. Since then I’ve somehow ended up working back at Yo Mama, a local froyo shop doing a million different things. Like working in their new “Party Room.” And helping out in the back making froyo cakes and chocolate dipped rice krispies and pretzels and pizzelle cookies. When I’m working with the pastry stuff I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do it because it’s like getting paid to do my hobby. Hours whizz by and I barely look at the clock. When I’m scrubbing cookie dough off the floor or cleaning the bathrooms I feel slightly differently.

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i made dis!

Along with seeing how much work and planning goes into opening and running a food shop,this week I was lucky enough to learn the valuable life skill that is ice cream cake making. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love ice cream cake?

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There’s the ice cream layers.

And there’s the crust.

And there’s the fudge layer.

And that frozen frosting.

It’s just too good. Such a good combo of crunchy, gooey, and cold and creamy in every bite. It’s like, perfect. And as much as I love fine pastries and cakes, you better believe I go ape-shit when I see a DQ cake.

And now I know the process of how to make them. It’s not necessarily difficult, it just kinda takes a lot of steps. It’s time consuming. Not really a set-it-and-forget-it type thing. Kind of like croissants. Just a lot of steps. Anyways if you want an ice cream cake, I can do dat for ya. Please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

I also made really really really wonderful whole-wheat blueberry muffins this week. They were not-too-sweet. Perfect for breakfast. I almost have the recipe *perfected* and I think a key was apple sauce and greek yogurt. HOLY FLUFFY! Recipe soon.

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 I posted this pic to my Instagram (@katherinebaker4) and infatuation (#eeeeats) liked it. I felt momentarily cool. Then embarrassed for feeling cool and back-hashing the eeeeats thing. How lame.  All photos in this post were taken with my iPhone. I’ve yet to whip out my DSLR since being home. Not sure why. I think it’s still packed somewhere. I’ll find it. I have the day off today. I’m probably gonna do a lot of baking and cooking and blogging and puppy hanging. I’m pretty jazzed about this.

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Speaking of puppies, I had some good times with Millie this week. We went to a park with my mom (her grandma) and my family dog, Sasha. A good time was had by all. Sasha is nearly 14. She’s a sweetie-pie and melts my heart. I’m very lucky to have such great dogs in my life. Millie is exploring this whole new world that is nature. She still usually chooses to pee and poop on concrete over grass (a true city-pup for sure) but is really enjoying chasing birdies and butterflies and seeing trees and open grassy fields and whatnot. Such adventure! Many wonders!

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Millie and I also went to Panera to dine al-fresco. It was fun. Except some lady outside didn’t like her and had to give us a dirty look and move inside. That’s her problem though b/c Millie’s frickin’ awesome. I feel like you can learn a lot about people by how they treat animals. Very telling.

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I ended up working a lot this past week, and it broke my heart to leave lil nugget home alone so much. According to my mom this is how it feels to be a working parent. Lord help me. I worry myself sick about my pup (even when her grandma is watching her!), I’m not sure how I’ll handle real children. I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. In like, 5ever. Anyways, her grandma watched her yesterday when I worked a long shift. Apparently after I left, she howled and cried and peed on the floor in protest of my leaving. *guilt* Seems I’m working too much for her liking. She’s become quite a spoiled lady. Looks like we’ll be having a mommy-daughter day today. She’s currently curled up in my feet. Not a bad start to the day.

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Other than that this week I’ve just been talking to people and picking their brains about life as I try to figure out my own. Post-grad life is pretty awkward for most people. More on this later. For now, I need a nugget walk and maybe a trip to Alterra (or collectivo or w/e you call it). Happy Monday everyone!