Breakfasts, Desserts

ninety five

Pizzelles (and pizzelle bowls)

Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies, and probably the prettiest thing you’ll eat for a very long while. The batter is super easy to prepare and while you’re essentially going through the same process as waffle making, creating pizzelles seems infinitely more cultured and professional. Don’t ask me why, this is just a known fact. For this recipe, you will need fancy-shmancy equipment- a pizzelle maker to be exact. I have this one! If you want to go halfway-homemade (we all do sometimes, don’t be ashamed!), this mix is really fantastic (and it comes in a cute bag, which I believe makes it an excellent hostess gift too), but if you want to reach for the stars and really impress somebody I’ve included a good recipe. And about a million pictures, ’cause I was having way too much fun.

Pizzelles (from foodnetwork.com)

– 1/3 cup sugar
– 2 large egg whites
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 4 tbsp. butter, melted
– 1/3 cup flour

Preheat the pizzelle iron according to the instructions on your machine. Whisk the sugar, egg whites, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and whisk just until blended.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter in the center of the iron. Close the iron and cook until deep golden (on my machine this took anywhere from 1-3 minutes, depending on how cool I let the iron get in between cooking times). Transfer the pizzelles to a cooling rack *scroll down past the first group of pictures for some extra fun*. Cool completely. Trim off any excess pizzelle along the edges if you so choose. Some great things to add before devouring pizzelles: ricotta and honey, jam, peanut/almond butter, cinnamon and sugar, plain yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup, freshly chopped fruit, cannoli cream. Always have fresh cappuccino nearby. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Ready for the bonus? Here’s how I made little pizzelle bowls, which served as incredible vessels for hazelnut gelato the following night: the moment the pizzelle comes off the iron, drape it over a small round surface (I used a little powdered sugar shaker, but any small jar would work) and press a slightly larger cup over the top. Voila! This did require quite a bit a trial and error, but honestly, having to eat all the scraps of failed pizzelle bowls was no problem in my book. Happy munching!

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Breakfasts, Desserts

eighty eight

Ginger Scones

Finding the right breakfast food is hard. In my brain, the perfect breakfast food is the homemade doughnut: crazy sweet and rich and covered in glaze, likely stuffed with fresh pastry cream. However, have you ever eaten four doughnuts in a row accidentally (and by accidentally I mean fully aware but sneakily)? You will be on the couch for roughly the next six hours a sugar coma. Not fun. So then, one might naturally look for the reverse option: the healthy breakfast of yogurt and fruit. Not a bad call at all! But if you’re watching other people smiling at down at their breakfast pastries you will probably start to cry into your Yoplait. I know this from experience. So I’ve found a potential solution: the scone. When made properly, they are light and flaky and go perfectly with coffee. The dough also takes less than half an hour to prepare! You will not be disappointed. I took one for the team and ate four in a row (for purely scientific reasons, of course) and did not feel the least bit lethargic. Okay, maybe after the sixth one I needed to rest. But cut me some slack.

Scones are usually made with dried fruit (like currants- gross, kill me) and sometimes fresh/frozen fruit, which I find delicious. But I found a recipe that suggested using crystalized ginger in place of fruit. For those of you that have never had it, crystalized ginger is basically just candied ginger, but it’s pretty spicy. I like chopping it in VERY tiny pieces and adding it to granola. It’s strong stuff. So I was nervous about it baking with it, but I went for it anyway. And it was AWESOME. For some reason, the post-baked ginger lost any unpleasantness and turned completely sweet and smokey, with just a little bite. This may be one of my new favorite recipes. Enjoy!

Scones (from the Williams Sonoma Baking Book)

– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1 tsp. for topping or use raw sugar for larger crystals)

– 1 tbsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 2 tsp. lemon zest

– 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

– 1/3 cup diced crystalized ginger

– 3/4 cup heavy cream (plus 2 tsp. for topping)

– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 7 or 8 times until large coarse crumbs begin to form. Add the ginger and pour in the cream. Pulse until just moistened.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface (I like to use Silpats because cleanup is super easy!) Press the dough together until it forms a ball. Pat into a round about 1/2 inch thick and 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut into 6 wedges and place 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.

Stir together the reserved sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the scones with the reserved cream and then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden, 13-17 minutes. When eaten warm, these scones have the tendency to convince the consumer to finish off all six scones. Listen to your instincts.

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Breakfasts

eighty six

Breakfast Granola Bowl

As I’ve mentioned before, breakfast foods are my favorite foods. Regardless of the time of day, I will always want breakfast. It’s just a thing. One of my new favorite breakfasts is a big fruit and granola bowl! It’s crunchy and sweet and has just a little spicy bite from the ginger. I very much recommend this to the standard cereal/oatmeal breakfast. It can easily be made beforehand (minus the fruit, obviously) and stored in a mason jar, ready to be grabbed for all breakfast-on-the-go needs!

Granola (serves 1)

– 1 cup granola (use whatever floats your boat!)

– 1/4 cup oats

– 3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

– 3 tbsp. dried coconut

– 3 tbsp. almonds

– 3 tbsp. chopped pecans

– 3 tbsp. hazelnuts

– 1/4 cup dried cherries and cranberries

– 2 tsp. chopped candied ginger

– 1/2 green apple, chopped

– other chopped fruit like bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc!

Combine all ingredients, then add yogurt or milk. Enjoy!

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