Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pleasing Pumpkin Waffles

FINALLY!  Two pumpkin recipes that WERE NOT epic fails! We just dined on sumptuous Pumpkin Waffles with whipped topping and REAL maple syrup.  AND...for later (or now, as the case may be) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  

I took the advice of one of my young friends, Nicole, and went with the failsafe recipe from Weight Watchers:  1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin + spice cake mix at 350 degrees for 20 minutes = cookies.  I like adding mini chocolate chips and walnuts to my cookie dough.  Now I am in autumnal heaven as the rain continues to fall, and our grey day settles over us like a comfortable blanket.

Nicole knew I needed to try something simple to build up my baker's sagging confidence.  (I almost wrote "sagging baker's confidence," but didn't like the implication of my skin heading south, which it is, but I didn't want THAT meaning at this particular time!)

Why did I need to buoy up my failing self-esteem in the kitchen?  Here, let me shed a little light on THAT depressing subject.  I had been chomping at the bit to fill our home with the heavenly scent of pumpkin mingled with cinnamon-y spices, and found some GREAT recipes!  

First I tried Pumpkin Pie Muffins.  Don't those sound DIVINE?  Yeah, well, they're not.  They are kind of gross.  Imagine a doughy unsweetened muffin with a dollop of baby food pumpkin purée on top.  Don't worry, I removed THAT pin from my Clean(er) Eating board on Pinterest. I would hate to lead anyone else down THAT disappointing pumpkin path.  The only way we salvaged those healthy little suckers was by loading them up with my homemade cream cheese frosting. Even with that, they were pathetic.  I've never had a dessert that tasted so much like cardboard.

THEN, oh, MY-lanta!  I tried the basic All-bran Muffin Recipe, to which I added pumpkin and spices.  Easy enough, yes? Well, my husband was there to witness THIS fiasco as it was unfolding. He watched me fill all of the muffin tins and mini loaf pans, and then he watched me dump everything back in the bowl so I could add the SWEETENER.  There was NO WAY we were going to have TWO unsweetened pumpkin treats in a row.  With that little omission fixed, I merrily popped the pans into the oven.

Imagine my horror as I pulled pathetic flat little muffins and loaves from the oven.  Guess what ELSE I'd forgotten to add to the batter?  Baking soda.  Such a minor little ingredient can make such a major difference.  Look.  Just take a look...

Don't tell my husband, but I ended up freezing them.  I decided that although they are not GOOD, they aren't BAD.  They're better than those nasty CLIF bars my husband snacks on.  I'm freezing them for a "rainy day."  There are moments when desperate times call for desperate measures.  I will be glad to have them on a day when there is no other snackage available.

After posting our experiences on Facebook, another one of my young friends asked for my waffle recipe.  Yeah, about that. I don't have a recipe.  I just know the gyst for making waffles, and followed my heart.  I assured her I would retrace my footsteps, so to speak, and figure out a recipe for her.  And here it is for you, Miss Courtney!

Pleasing Pumpkin Waffles

Wet ingredients FIRST (to allow the vinegar to "sour" the milk for a homemade buttermilk)
1 cup milk (any kind; we used almond)
1 tablespoon vinegar  (allow the first two items to sit for about 10 minutes while prepping other ingredients)
Then add 2 beaten eggs and 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add 1 c. of pumpkin to wet ingredients.

Put dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl
1 cup flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda 
dash of salt

Stir dry ingredients with a whisk to incorporate all of them together, then add wet ingredients to dry.  Stir together.  Cook in waffle maker.  Voilá!  

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