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Monday, July 25, 2011

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Yes, I am obsessed with this
book...
I love cookies.  Who doesn't?  (If you don't, please don't respond, it was a rhetorical question...)  I believe that I've mentioned that one of my favorite childhood pastimes was looking through the landmark 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky (yes, that's how it was spelled, and my Aunt Laurie has made it clear that she prefers it that way...  Since she is the source of my annual Spritz cookie fix, I should just go along with her, but I can't...) Book.  And, in that book alone, one can find a world of cookie wonderment!

Spritz, Candy Cane, Merrymaker (a big thank you to my sister, the only person in the world who ever made these cookies for me...  no small feat as they are comprised of countless colors of sugar cookie dough, all cut into different shapes and put together in jolly patterns - even I haven't attempted these!), Hermits, Jumbles, Jumanas, Ethel's Sugar Cookies, Mary's Sugar Cookies... the list goes on to number over 300!  I had once thought that I'd make every single cookie in the book, sort of a la Julie and Julia, but, I lost my nerve.  I couldn't possibly make every cookie in the book.  Some of them were just not to my taste, or anyone else's that I know of.  Far too many date-based treats, or things with Wheaties in them.  Ugh.  But, if nothing else, the book is filled with the most wonderful mid-century pictures.

However, it is my mother who has made the penultimate contribution to my expanding waistline.  How?  By introducing our family to the Chocolate Waffle Cookie.  My friends, this is the top of the cookie heap.


The humble, yet
perfect, Chocolate
Waffle Cookie

The recipe was acquired from one of my mom's grade-school teachers and they have been her particular specialty ever since.  Frosted with bright green mint frosting, these cookies are simply top drawer in my opinion, and everyone else's.  The only thing better than the cookies (always slightly underdone, and best if eaten after they've been stored in a tightly closed cookie jar for a bit) is the dough.  I am not kidding you when I say that I could easily eat the entire bowl.  Rather like a thick brownie batter, Chocolate Waffle Cookie dough is the perfect marriage of butter, melted baking chocolate, flour, brown sugar and vanilla. 

Chocolate Waffle Cookies, along with my mother's small, crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies, are the essence of all that was good about my childhood.  They bring back happy memories as they were made for every fun and important event (frosting colored to match the holiday...  even orange or black at Halloween!).  If you could convince mom to make them just because, you were supremely blessed!

Now, I make them myself and, because I have all of the control in the kitchen, I can make them exactly as I like them - barely done!  But, they just aren't the same - even my wafflemaker is different. Mom has used the same wafflemaker since 1963 - the pink and white box that it came in still holds some of our family's most beloved Christmas ornaments, and I love to see it pulled out of the garage year after year, smelling of bayberry and pine.  I also don't have the right cookie jar.  Although we had one of those old jars in the shape of the terribly rotund monk, the real cookie jar was a very large, old Adam's Natural Peanut Butter jar with a bright yellow and red lid.  I hated that natural peanut butter (unstirred, oily, saltless, sugarless - the bane of every child's existence at one time or another) - my sister and I still laugh about it - but that jar has served our family well.  It's held thousands of batches of cookies and it's the jar that was always taken to the cemetery on Memorial Day, filled with water for the flowers to be placed on the graves.

Although I'll eat them anytime and anywhere (you can eat as many as you want, I've determined that the ones you eat standing up don't count,  the dough eaten while making them also can't really be considered "cookies"), I associate them with summer for some reason.  Maybe because they were at every summer holiday or picnic, and because mom always seemed to be more willing to make them during that season.  I especially think of Thursday nights, watching Mystery on PBS and eating Chocolate Waffle Cookies.

Chocolate Waffle Cookies are, perhaps, the Queen of the Cookie.  Fun to eat (one little square at a time), fun to make (you get to eat A LOT of dough sitting by that waffle iron), and the perfect gift to receive (are you reading this, mom?).  What are the Chocolate Waffle Cookies of your family?  We'd love to hear your own stories!

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