I’ve been wanting a waffle maker for a while. Specifically, the Captain America shield one (I am trash). I was lucky enough to get some money for Christmas, and to find it super cheap in the post-Christmas sales, so lo and behold, I now own a pretty damn awesome waffle maker. The boy and I have gotten into the habit of me making waffles in the morning when he comes over here on the weekend, so expect to see hella waffle recipes from me in the near future, to say the least. 

These waffles in particular are pretty damn great. Just a touch of booze, a dash of eggnog spices, and altogether lovely. It takes a bit of trial and error to get just the right amount to get the nice shape you see above, but for those of you with this waffle maker: fill the star and the first ring or so. 

Eggnog Waffles
Makes 6-8 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t active dry yeast
  • 2 c flour
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 7 T butter, melted
  • 1 t vanilla extract (I substituted vanilla bean paste here bc I’d just run out of vanilla extract)
  • 2 T dark rum, brandy, or bourbon (optional, I used Kraken, personally)

Mix your milk and sugar and microwave until lukewarm (between a minute and a minute thirty seconds at this amount), then stir in your yeast, and set aside to let foam. 

Meanwhile, whisk together your flour, nutmeg, cloves, and sea salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the bowl, and add in the yolks of the three eggs, the melted butter, the vanilla, and your booze of choice if using, mixing until you have a smooth batter. 

Meanwhile, take your egg whites and use an electric mixer to beat them until you get stiff peaks, and then fold them into the batter. Let the batter stand 30 minutes. 

Heat your waffle maker according to the instructions, and then scoop the batter into the maker, cooking according to directions. And then, enjoy your wonderful breakfast (and if you have any leftovers, use them for breakfast for the week!).

Deb posted this recipe over on Smitten Kitchen right as I was starting to plan Christmas meals and such, and really, this was utterly perfect timing. My da has a waffle iron (I don’t yet but that may be changing), and the idea of her Gramercy Tavern gingerbread in waffle form is utterly amazing. (Only used buttermilk in these, but next time? Absolutely using stout.) Not really sure how accurate the output on this was, as I split the batter to make a less gingerbready version for some of my sisters. Regardless, this was the perfect way to wake up Christmas morning. 

Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour
  • .75 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • dash ground cloves
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • .5 t baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • .5 c (really, shitton of options here – I used buttermilk, apple cider, yogurt thinned with milk, and even stout beer)
  • .5 c molasses
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 T butter, melted

Whisk together your flour, spices, salt, and baking sugar and powder.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the molasses, dark brown and white sugar, egg, butter, and your additional wet ingredient of choice, until mixed together. (If the butter cools a bit and makes little white splotches in the batter, this is okay.) Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat your waffle iron to medium, and then use a rubber spatula to spoon the batter into the iron until the individual waffle molds are about ¾ths full. Be sure you have it greased, or these WILL stick. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions, maybe a minute or two more if the batter is particularly moist. 

To remove, open, let rest for about 30 seconds, and use a tong and spatula to lift the corners out and wiggle it gently out of the mold. Let cool a little further, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar (and syrup if you really want to, but they likely won’t need them). 

This uses up the last of the diced pumpkin I had on hand, and let me tell you, it is a pretty spectacular dish. The original recipe has a LOT of additional bits and baubles, and some more obscure ingredients, so the version I cooked has some significant changes. If I ever find some of those ingredients, I’ll probably try again, but for now, the version I have is pretty damn good.

The one more obscure ingredient I will recommend getting is harissa – a local farmer’s market stand that specializes in peppers and spicy stuff had their own homemade version, so that was pretty easy to find for me. In case you don’t have something equivalent where you are, Smitten Kitchen has a harissa recipe that I will probably try out at some point; otherwise, try a Whole Foods or an online spice store. 

Pumpkin Chicken Tagine

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (mine was probably closer to 2 lbs, I used chicken I had in the freezer, 2 large breasts)
  • 1 onion, diced (I used half of a large onion)
  • 1 T fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated 
  • .5 t ground tumeric
  • .5 t ground cinnamon
  • .5 t ground ginger
  • .5 t ground cloves
  • .5 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 4 c pumpkin (about 2 lbs), diced
  • 2 c apples (about 3-4 apples, 1 lb), cored, peeled, and diced
  • 1 T harissa
  • 1 T honey
  • sea salt and pepper
  • (also recommended for the main recipe is .25 c dried cranberries, saffron threads and preserved lemon, I substituted a few squeezes of lemon juice for the lemon and forewent the cranberries and saffron EDIT: will probably add the cranberries back in next time I try this)
  • (additional optional items for garnish: .25 c toasted sliced almonds, 2 T chopped cilantro, .25 c yogurt, .25 c pomegranate seeds)

Heat your oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the diced chicken, and brown lightly on all sides, and then remove and set aside. Add the diced onion and saute for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tumeric, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger, garlic, fresh ginger, and cayenne pepper, and saute until fragrant, about a minute. 

Add in all of your other ingredients (the pumpkin, apples, chicken, honey, harissa, salt and pepper, and chicken stock), give it a thorough stir so it all combines, and let it come to a boil, before reducing to a simmer.  Cover, and simmer for about twenty minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. 

And then, enjoy your fantastic spicy fall stew, ideally with some couscous on the side!

So, this? This right here? This may be one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. The bacon lattice on this means that the bacon grease cooks and drips down into the spiced baking apples, resulting in what is pretty much the perfect storm of savory and sweet. Like, if I was trying to get someone into bed, this is the pie I would make.  

I made this in my awesome friends’ kitchen in return for them putting me up for the better part of last week.  My friend had this to say about the pie: “I want to marry this pie and have its baby. I’d let you eat the baby.”  I’d say it went over pretty well.  😛

Brief note: I ended up wetting down the brown sugar spice mixture when I probably should’ve nuked the brown sugar, which led to a soggier crust than it should’ve. Good to know for the future.

Bacon Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
  • ¾ c packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • .5 t ground cardamom
  • .25 t ground cloves
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs peeled and cored apples, sliced thick
  • 8 to 12 slices thick-cut bacon (definitely go with farmer’s market bacon if you can)

Preheat your oven to 350, and set your unbaked pie shell on a flat, sturdy baking sheet and set aside.

In a bowl, rub together the brown sugar and spices with your fingers until properly blended.  Add the apples to the mix and toss to coat. Dump the bowl’s contents (all apple slices, any juices, and loose spiced sugar) into the pie shell. 

Lay the unsliced bacon on the top of the spiced apples, starting at the center, going vertically, and then weaving the horizontal ones in an over/under pattern to get a lovely lattice work going. Should be between four to six slices both horizontally and vertically.  Once they’ve been woven, trim the edges and pinch crust over the ends to seal the pie. 

Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake for an hour in the middle of the oven on the baking sheet. After an hour, take the foil off and continue baking for fifteen additional minutes, until the bacon is similar to the final pic. 

And then, enjoy the sexy sexy pie.