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Sunday
Mar062011

Yeasted Waffles

yeasted waffles

I was never one who really enjoyed waffles. Whenever they were on the menu, I'd complain (loudly) and begrudgingly stomach one. I could stand them if need be, but I didn't really like them. They were always too thick, too chewy, too soggy, or too thin. They never were just the right combination of these characteristics. Perhaps this makes me a waffle snob.

I used to eat waffles covered with a thick spread of peanut butter and jelly. I quickly learned that waffles are not a substitute for bread. However, I'll hesitantly admit that I don't really mind toaster waffles that much (I know, I know). But seriously, who are they (and I) trying to kid? They are nothing like real waffles.

Perhaps I am not a waffle snob after all.

yeasted waffles

Lately, I've noticed yeasted waffles being touted as the "best waffle ever" throughout the internet. This makes me wonder—could it be true? Today I decided to put them to the test. If I couldn't like the "best waffle ever", then there is no hope that I could ever enjoy them.

Luckily for all of us, these really are the best waffles ever. I ate four. Yes, four. Call me converted.

I know the word "yeast" can scare off a few of you, but these are an absolute cinch to make and you couldn't mess them up unless you really, really tried. Scout's honor. Simply throw a few ingredients into a bowl, allow it to sit overnight, and in the morning you'll have perfect waffles.

Perfect waffles.

I just wanted to point that out again.

yeasted waffles

These yeasted waffles are really something special. The outside is crisp and crunchy while the inside stays moist and tender. They are not too thick or thin and never soggy (unless you drown them in too much syrup). Make these because they are delicious and easy. Make these because you've also been curious about the best waffle ever. Make these because you'll never look back.

Perfect waffles.

It needed to be said one more time.

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Friday
Mar042011

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

coconut cream cupcakes

Lately, I've been having a streak of recipe failures. Normally, I'm okay with a failed recipe or two (and even then once every blue moon). After I stop whining and complaining (kicking, screaming, crying), I find there's usually something to learn. Maybe I didn't have the right ratio of flour to fats. Maybe I substituted an ingredient I really shouldn't have. There are dozens of things that could have gone wrong and it's my job as the baker/detective to sort it out. I'm okay with solving baking crimes (well, it is a crime to see good food go to waste!). What I'm not okay with is a failed recipe where there was nothing to learn and I have no idea what went wrong.

That just makes me mad.

coconut cream cupcakes

In the past week, I've had four recipes go sour. Four. I didn't share my lemon mousse with the texture verging on cottage cheese. I chose not to show you my coffee poached pears with the nightmare coffee caramel sauce. I even tried steaming some vegetables with a little vinegar and only ended up with a home that reeked of Little House on the Prairie. It's been a bad week for my kitchen. It's been a blow to my culinary confidence. I'm almost nervous to try something new for fear it will end up in the trash (again).

But these coconut cream cupcakes? These broke that awful streak (thank goodness). I honestly can't think of a change I'd do to make these better. These are just perfect.

coconut cream cupcakes

These coconut cream cupcakes are reminiscent of a coconut cream pie. The cupcake is a traditional vanilla cupcake absolutely infused with coconut, including coconut milk and flaked coconut mixed throughout. If that isn't good enough, these cupcakes are then filled with a toasted coconut cream. Toasted coconut. They are finally topped with a vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. These are addictive and so delicious. If you love coconut, you need to make these.

I should have called them Coconut Dream Cupcakes.

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Wednesday
Mar022011

Cinnamon Sugar Toast

cinnamon sugar toast

There are few foods I grew up eating and this cinnamon sugar toast was one of them. My babysitter used to make it for me as an afternoon snack. On cold winter days, after the walk home from school, there were few snacks I looked forward to as much as this one. I have fond memories of sitting at the counter, enjoying this with a mug of hot cocoa. The toasty treat would bring life back into my pink nose and frozen limbs. Even the spicy cinnamon scent brought around a feeling of warmth and content.

This is a very easy snack to make and eat. It isn't fancy. It isn't pretentious. It doesn't try to pretend it is something it is not. This is simplicity at its finest.

cinnamon sugar toast

I always get a little confused with people who go out and buy the cinnamon sugar pre-mixed spice in the grocery store. Honestly, it is so simple, making it much, much cheaper. Plus, you can adjust the ratio of cinnamon to sugar yourself, making it personalized to your tastes.

A good rule of thumb is one teaspoon cinnamon for every tablespoon of sugar. You can make a small batch or a big batch, but if you have a bowl and a spoon—really, you could even use your finger (and then lick it clean)—then you can have your very own cinnamon sugar in less than a minute. No excuses, people. No excuses.

cinnamon sugar toast

This cinnamon sugar toast smells divine. We all know cinnamon and sugar are the best of friends, but when you sprinkle them on toast with a little butter? It's delectably simple. This is the perfect afternoon snack. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you could have this with brunch. There is really no wrong way to eat this toast. Any way you decide to serve this, you'll be glad you did.

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