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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Maximum Crunch

As I'm writing this entry, I'm enjoying a bowl of soggy Grape Nuts and a banana.  No, I didn't forget to eat my cereal while it was still crunchy.  I like my Grape Nuts (and all cereal)  soggy.  I pour on the milk and then let it sit for five or ten minutes -- marinating.  The cereal still has a just little, but not too much, crunch.  Cereal perfection.

Soggy cereal was almost the end of my relationship with Ted.  You see, Ted is a crunchy cereal guy.  I'm pretty sure that Ted would eat the cereal dry and follow it up with a glass of milk if it didn't look weird.  He likes 100% crunch-ability.

I do not.

But I digress.  Back before we were married, I once poured the milk on Ted's cereal before he was seated with his spoon poised to eat.  Honestly, I was just trying to be nice.  It's not like I had ever poured the milk on his cereal before (or since, for that matter).  I guess I just thought it would be a nice thing to do.  Obviously I was mistaken.

You would have thought I had suggested eating wallpaper paste for breakfast.  Well, in Ted's the-cereal-has-to-be-crunchy mind, I had in fact served him wallpaper paste for breakfast.  Needless to say, I have never again even removed the milk from the refrigerator lest the milk and his cereal comingle prematurely.

So, having established that cereal is a somewhat problematic breakfast food in my house, I'm passing along a recipe for the most delicious pumpkin waffles.  Ted made them for us on Sunday morning.  True to my soggy is better mentality, I let the syrup soak into the waffle before I ate it.  Ted, on the other hand, barely let the syrup touch the waffle before cutting into it, therefore insuring maximum crunch-ability.

Recipe:  Sugar-and-Spice Pumpkin Waffles 
Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts cookbook


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, chilled
1 & 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs


In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt together until combined.  Add the 5 tablespoons butter and pulse about 10 times, until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs with small pea-size pieces of butter.  Transfer to a large bowl.  (Or, alternatively, in a large bowl,  sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture just until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs with some small pea-size pieces of butter.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, and eggs.  Add to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined, but still a little lumpy.

If your waffle iron is not nonstick, lightly oil the grid.  Ladle some of the batter over the grid, close the lid, and cook until the waffle is golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

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