Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I've been organizing some photos from a recent trip to Bruges, Belgium. It's like a place taken from out of a storybook, so beautiful.  I think I was looking through the lens of my camera more than not.  Bruges is known as the “Venice of the North” for its medieval monuments, bridges and romantic scenery.  You can experience the city by taking a cruise through the canals, and discover secret gardens, picturesque bridges and wonderfully beautiful still lives.


Along the cobblestone streets in Bruges you can stop into anyone of the 49 chocolate boutiques (after all they are the world’s capital of chocolate) 

or indulge in delicious yeast-raised waffles anytime of day sold by street vendors.  Either plain, dipped in chocolate, topped with whipped cream or fruit they are a comfort I enjoyed if not once at least twice a day.

I think some waffles with a little chocolate might be just the ticket today.


Waffles with Chocolate 


On a cold winter night (or anytime), indulge in this decadent dessert—homemade waffles dipped into rich chocolate.

For the waffles:

3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar

For the chocolate:

1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. chocolate chips
2 to 3 Tbs. flavored liqueur, such as kirsch, amaretto or orange liqueur (optional)


To make the waffles, preheat a Belgian waffle maker on medium-high heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat an oven to 200°F. 

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla until blended. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth. 

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1 cup of the whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. 

Pour about 1/3 cup batter into each well of the waffle maker and close the lid. Cook the waffles until golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the waffles to a wire rack set on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Meanwhile, make the chocolate fondue: Using the cream, fondue chips and liqueur, prepare the fondue according to the package instructions. Keep warm in a fondue pot. 

Cut the waffles into quarters and serve with the chocolate fondue. Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

cookie swap

Homemade cookies.  Few gifts are as thoughtful or as delicious, and nothing is as much fun to create. 
The holidays are when we make those extra efforts-large and small to bring out the best.
When it comes to baking and entertaining we turn to traditional and favorite recipes, made with the very finest ingredients.  Pure and intense, fresh and flavorful, these key ingredients are what make our efforts a delicious success in the kitchen.
This recipe is a home run for chocolate lovers, only the best Double-Dutch Cocoa (such a Perngotti or Valrhona) plus the addition of espresso powder makes this cookie a rich indulgence. 

Join in with us on our holiday cookie swap.  Share your favorite family holiday cookie recipe, post a picture or a link so we can all enjoy something new and tasty!

So here it is, one of my favorite chocolate cookie recipes. Talk about in your face, these Double-Dark Chocolate Mocha Drops are spiked with espresso, and loaded with chips. Let’s go!

Double-Dark Mocha Drops

1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
2 cups chips: cappuccino, cinnamon, chocolate, or a mixture

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.
Combine the melted butter, sugars, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a mixing bowl.
Beat until the mixture is smooth.
Add the egg and vanilla, and again beat until thoroughly combined. The mixture will look a bit grainy; that's OK.  Beat in the cocoa. Add the flour, beating slowly to combine. Add the chips, mixing until they're well-distributed.
Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. A teaspoon scoop works very well here. If the dough begins to stick, simply dip the scoop in cold water. Space the cookies at least 1" apart.
Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; the cookies should seem barely done. If you attempt to pick an oven-hot cookie off the baking sheet, it'll fall apart.  Allow the cookies to cool right on the baking sheet.

makes about 4 dozen