Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

These are gold standard waffles in our house. Fluffy and fabulous! I use a waffle iron that used to belong to my grandparents – with its cloth cord. I can’t give it up because I have never seen a modern waffle iron that produces waffles in the same shape. It’s perfect. ūüôā

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I incorporated whole wheat flour. I also bring the eggs to room temperature more rapidly by placing them in a bowl of warm water. The results are still wonderful using frozen wild blueberries when fresh are not available.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted unsalted butter (can substitute 1/2 applesauce)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Grease waffle iron with cooking oil spray, and heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour into dry mixture, and combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. (I use a hand mixer.) Gently fold whites into batter.
  5. Ladle about 1/3 cup batter onto each section of the waffle grid; spread batter almost to the edges.
  6. Close lid, and bake 3 to 5 minutes, until no steam emerges from waffle iron.
  7. Transfer cooked waffles to a cooling rack for 1-2 minutes, then separate into individual waffles.
  8. Place cooked waffles on a baking sheet or serving platter; place in an oven set to low heat, about 200 degrees, while using remaining batter. (I place mine in a warming drawer on medium.)
Cinnamon Sugar Variation:
  1. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.
  2. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp over the batter before closing the lid of the waffle iron.
It will bake with a sweet, crunchy topping.

Number Cookies

Before my daughter’s second birthday, my mom gave me alphabet and number cookie cutters. ¬†It started with pink “2” cookies and a new family tradition was born. ¬†I have made them annually ever since. ūüôā We put them in birthday party goodie bags, bring them into school to celebrate, and serve them at birthday parties. ¬†On my mom’s 75th birthday we served purple 75’s to her friends! Fun.

I use the sugar cookie and royal icing recipes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. ¬†I weigh the flour and the dough is always perfect. ¬†I cut out the shapes, stack them with a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper between each layer, cover, and refrigerate overnight. I also briefly freeze the cut shapes just before baking. ¬†The shape seems to stay more intact.

For the Sugar Cookies:

  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (21.25 oz or 1 lb 5.25 oz)
  • colored sanding sugar, or royal icing
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; mix on medium-high speed until combined.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour in two batches, mixing until just incorporated.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface.  Divide in half, a pat into flattened rectangles; wrap each in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. (I have also had success rolling the warm dough 1/4-inch thick between plastic wrap and parchment prior to placing it in the refrigerator.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, with racks in the upper and lower thirds.  Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface (or between layers of plastic wrap and/or parchment paper), roll out one rectangle of dough to approximately 1/4-inch thickness.
  7. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes.  Using a small offset spatula, transfer shapes to prepared sheets, placing about 2 inches apart.
  8. Chill in freezer or refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes (or overnight if in refrigerator).  Set scraps aside.  Repeat the process with remaining rectangle of dough.  Gather all the scraps, and roll out again.  Freeze for 15 minutes; cut out more shapes, and place on sheets.
  9. Decorate cookies with sanding sugar or sprinkles, if using, before baking.
  10. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden around the edges and slightly firm to the touch, about 9-12 minutes on convection.
  11. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate with royal icing, if using. (recipe below)
  12. Top icing with sanding sugar or sprinkles, if using.

Note: Cookies can be kept in an airtight container, layered between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper, at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Makes about 3 dozen.

For the Royal Icing:

  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 5 T meringue powder
  • liquid or gel-paste food coloring
  • sanding sugar or sprinkles, as desired
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, meringue powder, and a scant 1/2 cup water on low speed.  Beat until mixture is fluffy yet dense, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. To thin the icing for flooding (filling in areas with additional icing), stir in additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time.  Test the consistency by lifting a spoonful of icing and letting it drip back into the bowl; a ribbon should remain on the surface for 5 to 7 seconds.
  3. To tint icing, dip a toothpick or wooden skewer into food coloring, and gradually mix it in until the desired shade is reached.
  4. Decorate with sanding sugar or sprinkles before the icing has set, if desired.

Martha Stewart’s Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom loves carrot cake, so these were the perfect birthday treat for her this year. ¬†I added raisins instead of walnuts to please my kids, and opted not to top with additional coconut. I have also made the classic version with walnuts- of course. ūüėČ

We all thought they were great, very moist and tender. ¬†This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I modified the frosting recipe.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, separated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  3. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
  4. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt.
  5. Add flour; mix.
  6. Stir in carrots, walnuts (or raisins), and coconut.
  7. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 minutes (on convection) or up to 25 minutes in a standard oven.
  8. Let cool completely before frosting.
  9. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, salt, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 T vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  10. Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut, if desired.

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