Paper and Ink Imaginings

just playing with paper and ink

Belgian Waffles

Beginning last week, when I go to the community college to pick up Offspring2 on Tues/Thurs afternoons, there has been a food truck selling waffles in the pickup lane.

waffle truck

Tuesday, Offspring2 purchased a Belgian waffle with vanilla ice cream. I was invited to share, but I have my annual physical coming up, I don’t need waffles coming up in my cholesterol test! I did taste a small piece of the edge of the waffle.

tuesday waffle

I have a waffle iron…I usually make buttermilk waffles, with either Aunt Jemima Pancake/Waffle Mix or Bisquick. Offspring2 was so enamored of the Belgian waffle, I needed to try it at home (much cheaper, too!). I found a bunch of recipes, and used this Classic Belgian Waffle recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I increased the sugar to 1/2 cup, and the baking powder to 1 tablespoon.

single waffle

The result was close to the bought waffle, but not exact. I know some of the difference is my smaller waffle iron. The recipe yielded 9 9×9 inch waffles (that is a dinner plate). Offspring2 and Offspring3 really enjoyed them. What we didn’t eat, I put into a Ziploc bag and popped into the freezer for another day.

belgian stack

Thursday, Offspring3 went with me to pick up Offspring2 from class. And paid for both of them to have waffles. Offspring3 chose chocolate ice cream.

waffle with chocolate

Offspring3 observed the making of the waffles, and  told me that the waffle batter was more dough than batter…I did see a recipe  (True Belgian Waffles recipe) that had an ingredient list that read more like a cookie recipe. I guess I will have to try that next! (after that pesky physical…)

Cinnamon Toasted Pecans

cinnamon pecans serving

YUM. Seriously addictive.

In Germany, you can buy Mandeln (burnt sugar almonds) at all of the Fests, Weihnachtmarkts or Chriskindl Markts (ok, that may not be true…at least all the ones I attended!). They are served warm, in a paper cone. When they cool, they are a bit hard to chew.

A few years ago, I was searching for calorie dense snacks for one of the offspring. I brought home some warm almonds from our local Ann’s House of Nuts Outlet store (since closed). They were really good. Got me thinking about Germany again.

I tried several different recipes (none of them EXACTLY Mandeln), this is the one I like best:

Cinnamon Toasted Almond recipe by Taste of Home

Sometimes I use pecans, sometimes I use almonds. If you use almonds, microwave your serving for about 10 seconds to soften them a little before eating. I always add more nuts than the recipe states (today was 5 cups), I don’t like to have extra egg white mixture. I also double the cinnamon (1 teaspoon), and add more Kosher salt. I put 1 teaspoon in the egg white mixture, but then I sprinkle 1 – 2 more teaspoons over the nuts before putting them into the oven.

cinnamon pecans before

cinnamon pecans after

Cornmeal Cookies

cornmeal cookies

Today is the last day of commuting with Offspring1 to a summer internship 30 miles away. And, it is the day before Offspring1 picks up the key to the off campus apartment that will be home for the next two semesters of college. As my dad would say, I am busier than a one armed paper hanger.  😉

I made these a few weeks ago, when a friend of Offspring1 was home visiting from a military assignment.

These are pretty much a basic shortbread cookie, but with the texture of cornmeal.

Cornmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg yolks, mixing well. Mix in the cornmeal. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. Mix in 2 cups of flour, blend well. If you need more flour, mix in 2 tablespoons at a time.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on cookie sheet. Flatten with flat bottom glass dipped in ice water.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 – 16 minutes, when lightly browned at edges. Remove from oven, let cool on cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes before removing to rack.

Reverse Tollhouse Cookies

reverse tollhouse 2

When Offspring1 moved home from college in the middle of May, I asked the loaded question: “what kind of cookies do you want?” The response was Reverse Tollhouse. At least that is what we call them in this house! I add cocoa to my favorite Tollhouse recipe, and then add chopped up white chocolate instead of semisweet morsels. I like Ghirardelli bars the best for this recipe.

ghirardelli bars

So, I add 1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa to my favorite Tollhouse recipe (Nestle’s Tollhouse Cookie Recipe), and then substitute 8 ounces (2 4-ounce bars, chopped) of white chocolate for the semisweet morsels.

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

chocolate mint chip cookies

Yeah. I went there.

I bought a bag of Nestle Limited Edition morsels before Christmas, totally intended to make these cookies to give away. But I cut down a bit on my baking, and just skipped these. So I made them now, and left them in the teacher’s lounge at the middle school.

nestle mint bag

I have also made these cookies using Mint M&Ms (I  liked the original regular shaped Mint M&Ms for cookies, but several years ago they were “redesigned” to be bigger, rounder than regular M&Ms. I don’t like the new bigger size in cookies – the candy is too spherical for cookies.), and chopped up Andes Mints

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (more or less, depending on humidity)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of chocolate mint candy or morsels

Cream together butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and baking soda. Add eggs, mix well.  Blend in cocoa. Add flour (I add 2 cups and mix…add 2 tbsp at a time after that trying to get the perfect cookie consistency) and mix well. Stir in mint morsels or candy.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 – 12 minutes.

If I am not planning to serve them all the day I bake them, I put the extras in the freezer, and take them out as I need them.



Can you just smell the cinnamon??

I made these the first time in Home Economics class in 7th grade. We made a lot of GOOD things that spring, I still use several of the recipes.


  • 1  cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • cinnamon & sugar mixture – 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (separate bowl)

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mix well. Stir in baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix in flour. Roll dough into balls that are 1 – 1 1/4 inch in diameter. Roll each ball through cinnamon & sugar mixture. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets in 400 degree F oven for 8 – 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Muffins

pumpkin muffin

I’ve had this recipe for over 20 years. Still love it. Got the original recipe from a co-worker, and modified it to be low fat. I actually think they taste better without the cup of oil.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 can (15 – 16 oz) canned pumpkin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp cloves
  • 3 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups water (just fill the pumpkin can with water after the pumpkin is removed)
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup nuts (I use pecans)

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in 350 degree (F) oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Yield: 24 – 28 muffins.

I do mix the pecans into the recipe, they do not normally sit on top like my photo. I scraped the mixing bowl and squeezed one more muffin out of the recipe, but there were no pecans in that scoopful of batter. So, I added a few on top.

The muffins freeze wonderfully.

Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake

Offspring3 and I made these for my dad’s birthday.

We used the Chocolatetown Special Cake Recipe (we made half the recipe, yield was 15 cupcakes…we used butter (not shortening) and cake flour (not regular flour)), and then topped it with Quick Chocolate Frosting. Both of these recipes are from a soft cover cookbook, Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook, which I bought from Current many years ago (copyright date is 1989).

Over the years, I have modified the recipe for the frosting. Here is my version:

Quick Chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 blocks (4 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (1 pound box)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk

In large bowl, melt baking chocolate and butter in the microwave, stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla. Blend in milk, beat to spreading consistency. (Add extra milk if necessary)

The frosting hardens (like fudge) quickly. Spread FAST. I usually add a little more milk and make it a little soft for spreading.


White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

macadamia cookies

These do not last too long around here. I usually only make them around the holidays, but I had all of the ingredients in the house today. AND Offspring1 is at the end of spring break, and I need to fulfill my motherhood contract, section 12, item 2.3 (a) Make sure the offspring eat well when home from college, trade school or military service!!   🙂

The recipe is from Nancy Baggett’s The International Cookie Cookbook. I have the first edition hardcover, copyright 1988. The recipe titled “Chunky Macadamia Nut – White Chocolate Cookies” is on page 28. (if, perhaps you have the book or find it at your local library)

I found Nancy Baggett online, her blog is Nancy Baggett’s Kitchen Lane , and she gave me permission to include her recipe here. Her latest cookie cookbook is titled Simply Sensational Cookies, and is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble .

Chunky Macadamia Nut – White Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose or unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces top quality white chocolate (chopped)
  • 7 ounces salted, whole macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease several baking sheets.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and solid shortening until lightened. Add brown and granulated sugars, and beat until fluffy and smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients. Add white chocolate and macadamia nuts, and stir until evenly distributed throughout.

Drop dough by large, rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 1/2 inches apart. Flatten tops of cookies slightly with the blade of a table knife or long-bladed spatula.

Place in center of the oven and bake for 8 – 9 minutes, or until tops are golden and edges are lightly browned. Reverse baking sheets from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Be very careful not to overbake. Remove baking sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 – 3 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes 35 – 40 2 3/4 inch cookies.

Notes: I do not grease the cookies sheets. These cookies are so full of chunks, I like them larger. I used my muffin scoop, and increased baking time to 12 – 14 minutes (every oven is different, watch carefully!). My yield was 28 cookies this time.

Again, thanks to Nancy Baggett for letting me share her recipe!

Have a great day!

Reese’s Mini Tollhouse Cookies

reese mini tollhouse

Offspring3 requested to make cookies for a friend’s birthday. The choice was between regular Tollhouse and Peanut Blossoms (peanut butter/Hershey Kiss). If I didn’t go to the store to buy the Hershey Kisses, the only option would be Tollhouse. Offspring3 did not seem inspired by that option.

While I was scrubbing the bathrooms, being irritated that Hershey Kisses never made it onto my Target list earlier in the week, I had an epiphany. What if I buy Reese’s Minis and we use them like chocolate chips? Would I put them in a chocolate cookie dough? Peanut butter cookie dough? Tollhouse cookie dough?

Not sure if Offspring3 would like my epiphany, I bought both Hershey Kisses and Reese’s Minis. Offspring3 GOT my epiphany, and chose to use the Reese’s Minis in Tollhouse cookie dough. We made them BIG cookies (used the muffin scoop, not the cookie scoop), the cookies are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

My favorite Tollhouse cookie recipe is the recipe off the Nestle’s Semisweet Morsels bag (which I have had memorized since I was about 10). We used about 12 ounces of Reese’s Minis (I found 8 ounce bags, we used 1 1/2 bags). Baked at 350 degrees F for 13 – 14 minutes. Our yield was 25 cookies.

The cookies turned out great – really tasty. I think I would like to try them in a peanut butter dough next. If the leftover Reese’s Minis last that long.