Lots of work for a Lazy Cook, but well worth it: Brownie Waffles

The Lazy Cook often likes to “discover” recipes in process. In other words, if it’s in the fridge and it seems like it will work, throw it in the mix.

However, there are some foods that are difficult to tinker with successfully; baked goods being the primary example. The ratios of leavening to flours to the components that allow the item to remain spongy, flaky, etc. are….. finely honed. But in some instances, not too delicate for judicious tinkering.

I will make cheesefakes (tofu cheesecakes: I’ll post that sometime in November and relate the “Pecan Pie CheeseFake” attempt) or cookies and bend the recipe rules, but on the whole, I get my baked goods from a box or a store. I have no patience for fallen cakes or “Baked Dizastas”.

Since our household tries to adhere to a gluten free / milk free regimen, I am especially leery of turning out a decent cake or brownie. Gluten (and to some degree Casein) is the substance that allows for spongy lightness; and in the Mister for eczema and bloating.

So I use (no, he’s not my sponsor – I wish) Bob’s Red Mill for my brownie making. I’ll try different producers for white cake, but Bob’s brownie mix has excellent flavor and moistness. In terms of texture, it’s a little dense and the mouth-feel is slightly gooey and very slightly grainy. But it is, bar none, the best gluten free brownie mix I have tried so far.

So one day, in the process of gathering up the tools and ingredients, I’m pondering on how tasty the brownies are going to be; and debating whether to add walnuts or pecans or dried cherries or Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, or hell, all of the above. Suddenly my brain starts transmitting a better idea.

Pull out the waffle maker…

What?

Pull Out The WAFFLE MAKER!!!

Oh, that’s what I thought you said. Why?

Browwwnieee Waaaaffullssss…

What’s with the wavery voice, chica?

Anyway, I stopped talking to myself and pulled out the waffle maker.  Sometimes it’s just better not to argue.

After prepping and mixing and starting the process, I quickly realized that the brownie batter was going to be much too thick for the waffle maker. I was going to end up with done on the outside, liquid on the inside, chunky puddles of mess. So I kept thinning it with water (instead of the coconut/rice milk mixture I used to make the batter) for several small tests.

The best result ended up being a surprisingly thin batter. (Really? You think I kept track of how much water?…haven’t you read any of my other posts?….Lazy Cook… “LAZY”. I have a Master’s Degree in Eyeballing it.) Density-wise it has the consistency of a thinnish yogurt, just barely pourable. This ends up meaning a large number of waffle brownies. Luckily they freeze exceptionally well. And they taste just as amazing when thawed and gently warmed. Better yet, the additional water and the thinness of the waffle work to remove the dense and gooey qualities that I don’t care for.

The other things I discovered: Duh! They don’t cook like waffle batter. There is a lot more sugar, so they want to stick. And while I’m not a huge fan of non-stick cooking surfaces (I won’t link you to the horror stories about the Teflon studies, Google as you will.) I am grateful when it comes to prepping these.

They require fairly constant tending as it is difficult to ascertain when they are “done”. Waffles get dark. Brownies are dark. Waffles have a certain structure when done. You can pick them up by an edge and they remain fairly horizontal. Brownie waffles are much more….relaxed.

Here’s where the chopstix come in. As they are done, (and trust me you’ll have plenty of taste testers to help you determine this) take a wooden chopstick and gently separate the waffle quarters along the raised ridge of the iron. You could use a knife if working with a cast-iron maker, but so far the lazy cook hasn’t had the luck of running across one of those in a thrift shop. This makes them easier to remove and creates a nice pre-made serving size.

And because they are made individually rather than in a pan, as a batch, it takes a while. This has an added bonus of filling up the space (I’ve made them at a “free concert” in the old county jail, which is now a music venue.) with the most amazing smell, which lingers very soft and full, for quite a while after they are all cooked.

Negatives: Lots of work.

Positives: Lots of waffle brownies. Nice smelling house.

Today, I’ve also pulled out the Pizzelle baker my Mother In-Law graciously sent down from Pittsburgh. If I’m correct in my assumptions, the batter will require a bit more water. (Edit: Having actually read the directions and recipes provided…quelle horror….it turns out that a thicker batter is preferred. And yes, they were fan-tabulous)

List of things to (seriously) add, individually or in combination to the brownie waffles: a little sesame oil, coconut milk, dried cherries, pecans, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, flax seed, rum, chocolate chips. After they are done, you can add most of the things listed above, plus cream cheese (or Tofutti’s Better than Cream Cheese), vanilla ice cream, caramel…you get the drift. Decadent.

If you want to make a party of it, divide the batter up and try various combinations of things in the different batches.

Enjoy.

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2 Comments

  1. Ross4Teflon said,

    September 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Hi – I’m glad that your Teflon pan helps cut down your prep time when making your waffles. Convenience is always a good thing! However, because there’s so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I’m not surprised that you are concerned. I’m a representative of DuPont though, and hope you’ll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at Teflon. This article highlights what they found — the bottom line is that you can use Teflon without worry.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/kitchen/cookware-bakeware-cutlery/nonstick-pans-6-07/overview/0607_pans_ov_1.htm

    I’d truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Ross.

    • September 15, 2009 at 12:34 am

      Hi, Ross,

      Thanks for the alternate view. For the most part, I’ll stick with (ha! I’m punny) my cast iron and save the Teflon for special items.

      Being of a skeptical bent, I always advise folks to read everything you can from both sides of the argument and then decide what works for you.

      I’ll offer that advice now.

      Best

      GGL


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