Childhood Classic Meets Sunday Morning Brunch: Peanut Butter & Jam Waffles

So I started working on a non-food post. I have been running a mile a minute lately, and it sort of hit me. And I wanted to talk about how we all sort of do it. But I mean it has been a delicious couple of weeks here at the Dignard house (who would have thought a new stove would prompt such genius) and it feels unfair that I keep posting photos on Instagram and not sharing the recipes. And these waffles man. So good.

Lately I have been all about comfort food with a twist – brownies loaded with protein and other healthy stuff, butternut squash mac n cheese, zoodles (not the delicious canned pasta of my childhood, zucchini noodle-fied with my new veggie spiralizer, but more on that later) with avocado cream sauce, and now these peanut butter and jam in waffle form.

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Yes. These are a thing. On Amazon. If you live in the United States they are both cheaper and there are more varieties (including cookie dough. I am working on my US Visa now.). I am annoyed that these only come in 22 packs when everywhere else operates with 12 or 24 packs, but still delish.

There is something so wonderfully comforting about a peanut butter and jam sandwich. As an adult I am now expected to be a little more sophisticated in my dining choices. So I find sneaky ways to be a child. Like putting sprinkles in everything (David’s Tea sells tea with sprinkles. I know all the tricks.). And these totally fantastic peanut butter and jelly sandwich coffee kcups I found on Amazon. And, of course, these waffles. I mean they required effort, that’s adult-y…right?

A lot of people find Belgian waffles to be a little intimidating, but these are incredibly easy. I promise. It is practically a requirement for any recipe I share. If I am not convinced my mom could make without me around, I don’t share. So yes, you must be able to whisk things without getting those things on the ceiling, but if you have any sort of coordination (which I don’t), you’ll be fine. I prefer to whisk by hand because it is so liquid-y at the beginning and I don’t have a strong desire to scrape peanut butter off the ceiling, but I have used mixers, it works too. The difference you will notice, which is something I enjoyed, is that by hand mixing, you will still have some small pockets of peanut butter in the batter. This translates to little nuggets of peanut butter and jam throughout the waffles. Yum much? The beaters would probably mix so thoroughly that those chunks would be gone. Just be careful when you’re mixing the flour in that those chunks are peanut butter not flour chunks. Lumpy waffles are not good waffles.

As an added bonus – waffles can be easily frozen and reheated later for a quick breakfast – just turn the waffle iron down a bit so the waffles are just slightly undercooked, separate them and freeze in baggies. When you are ready to eat them simply pop them in the freezer like an Eggo. I told you – I am lazy in the morning. And with some effort on the weekend when “morning” can start at noon, you can be lazy Monday morning too!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or more if you want it)
  • 2 cups milk (I used skim because that’s all we have, but buttermilk would also be amazing!)
  • 2 tbsp sugar (brown sugar works well too)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted (or oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup jam
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. If using a Cuisinart Breakfast Station (waffles on top omelettes/pancakes on the bottom!) set it to 3 1/2, 3 if you plan on making these and freezing them (which is what we usually do with half the waffles).
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine milk, peanut butter, sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Add in the eggs and beat in.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture, being careful to not over-mix. Fold in the peanuts and jam to get the swirl.
  5. Pour scoops into waffle iron and follow your iron’s instructions. IMG_20150308_102325

Enjoy! And remember…

men don't grow up

Sugar Free Protein Brownies (a.k.a. What Happens When I Get Desperate and Bake in the Ancient Stove)

Guys this kitchen is killing me.

When my boyfriend walked into this kitchen he promptly informed me “I’ve seen ghettos with nicer kitchens.”

We recently moved, and let’s just say a kitchen reno was top of the to do list. Except we’ve been here almost 2 months and still haven’t ordered anything other than the stove. Which my mother has called a gift for me, and even though I won’t get to take it with me, it really is a gift for me. She knows how I feel about our circa 1960’s stove.

At the same time, grad apps have been very busy/stressful. Which since it’s been too cold to run (I missed easing myself into the cold and now I am a lazy runner) means I really have been itching to bake.

Alas. My recently fool-proofed scone recipe (coming very soon!) was not match for this stove.

My Apple Skor Cheesecake tragically fell prey too. The delicious cookie crust topped with apples and a rich skor cheesecake layer never stood a chance.

At this point I was ready to throw in the spatula and resign myself to frigid winter runs. And then came along the Oh She Glows cookbook! Hallelujah for no-bake recipes.  The cookbook includes 2 recipes for Glo Bars, I took the Classic recipe (exclusive to the cookbook from what I can tell – but I am not vegan and am in love with it! Go buy it. I will wait.), since I couldn’t find brown rice syrup I used a combo of maple syrup (1/4c), agave syrup (2T), and water (1.5T) per the internet’s recommendations. I also have a serious hate on for coconut so I used 1/4 cup cashews and I didn’t read so I ended up adding a quarter cup of cranberries (instead of the 2T sesame seeds. Me and sesame seeds don’t get along either).
My grandparents even liked them! Like asked to take some home level liked them. They find most of what I eat strange (for the record they find a lot of the new food trends like avocado and sweet potatoes odd). So you know they’re good.

Glo Bars a la city villager

Glo Bars a la city villager

As delicious as they were though, they were almost too easy. I needed to bake. Actually bake. With my crappy oven and newly purchased healthy ingredients. (I love sweets, but I have been trying to find healthy but still yummy baked goods recipes).

I am incredibly lazy in the mornings. Which means that I usually sleep as late as possible. Which means that I end up rushing around trying to get out the door on the time. So breakfast lately have been a sea of protein shakes and apples. I am starting to get tired of having shakes every morning. I contemplated smoothies but they felt like the same thing. Fortunately my boyfriend branched into the culinary world, with protein bars (with the exact same motivations) and has been patiently perfecting them for months.

Aaraf's "protocol" for his protein brownies

Aaraf’s “protocol” for his protein brownies

I took his recipe and tweeked it to the flavour and consistency I wanted but man are these bars are delicious and nutritious. Dates, bananas, and maple syrup give moisture and sweetness without fat and sugar. Carob chips and dried banana chips add a sweet surprise! I used carob chips because it seemed to be the buzz word and they are lower in calories and higher in protein. This was my first time using them and It is definitely a unique taste, feel free to use chocolate chips if that is more your style, just be aware that it alters the protein and calorie content. At first I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them, but they have really grown on me! With peanut butter, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and protein powder, these are sure to keep you full all morning (29.5g of protein)! And I promise – they are beyond easy!IMG_20150222_155902

I used whey powder in these, which may surprise you because it is prone to making things dense and chewy but I promise you these bars are neither of those! The key is in your leavening agent – it is very important to use powder not soda. When cooking with dutch processed cocoa (such as the Fry’s cocoa used in this recipe), it is best to use powder, otherwise, use soda!

omnomnom protein. Chocolate-y cake-y delicious protein.

omnomnom protein. Chocolate-y cake-y delicious protein.

So hallelujah between the Glo Bars and these sweet treats – my mornings have been saved. (As an added bonus the new stove came in yesterday!!! It is beautiful.)

Please ignore my gross kitchen. It is pretty awful.

Please ignore my gross kitchen. It is pretty awful. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 scoops protein powder (I used chocolate flavoured whey)
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup cocao powder (Dutch press like Fry’s)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 dates (pitted, soak in water to rehydrate)
  • 2 large bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 1 c.)
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, all natural)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup carob chips
  • 1/4 cup banana chips, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the protein powder, oats, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Puree the dates and bananas together. Add peanut butter and maple syrup and blend until combined. Add milk and Greek yogurt and beat well. Add eggs and beat for a minute.
  4. Fold in chia seeds and then add the dry mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful to not over-mix. Gently fold in banana and carob chips.
  5. Pour mixture in a lined or lightly greased pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Banana Buttercream Frosting

Do I have you drooling yet?

Peanut Butter addicts rejoice. I have been on a baking binge and peanut butter has been the star of the show.
This binge began Tuesday night when I realized that my manager was closing on her Birthday. The only logical way I could see to make it better was to make her cupcakes. I usually try to pick a favourite flavour of the recipient (like these pecans & Praline Cupcakes I made for my grandfather last year. Or these peach Bellini cupcakes from my bestie’s birthday this December), but I realized I had forgotten to ask her her cupcake preferences before we left for the night. Fortunately the fact that peanut butter currently tops her pregnancy craving list made it a bit of a no-brainer.
Except I had no peanut butter in the house (I stopped buying it after I ate almost an entire jar without once eating it as part of a meal), so I stopped on the way home to pick up that and a few other small things. A perpetually poor decision maker, I ended up making two kinds of cupcakes because I couldn’t decide. So I rationed that if I just make 9-12 of each that was the same as making a full batch otherwise right?
Back me up on this logic please.

So the binge started with these PB&J cupcakes adapted from a recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything. Only change I made was adding about 1/3 cup milk to get a moister cupcakes, and I couldn’t find those cookies she put on top, so I just left it at a jam button.Peanut Butter and Jam CupcakesThe binge continued with these PB and Chocolate cupcakes from Bakerella, except I was too lazy/time constrained to make the cookies so I added peanut butter to the batter – adding about 2/3 of a cup. I also added about 2-3 tbsp more milk and 1/2 cup flour to balance out this addition.

Admittedly my frosting isn't nearly as pretty as hers, in my defense, I was rushing to get to work.

Admittedly my frosting isn’t nearly as pretty as hers, in my defense, I was rushing to get to work.

For both frostings I had to add more icing sugar than called for in the recipe to get the stiffness of frosting I prefer, but seriously, I was actually eating this out of the bag when I finished.
At this point I’m thinking, could this get any more delicious?!

Turns out that actually it can.
My dad’s birthday was also this week so when I found out we were doing a birthday thing for him while I was down I offered to make him cupcakes. When I told him about the cupcakes I made Caitlyn he said PB Chocolate sounded good, but of course I hated to make the exact same recipe so soon. So during the 5.5 hour drive to the village I pondered how I was to top them.
The answer – bananas.
And two kinds of decadent batters swirled together to create a heavenly cupcake. To top these moist mixtures – a rich peanut butter banana buttercream.
My mom swears that the simple butter cream frosting for the Pralines & Cream cupcakes of 2013 was better, but I stand by my judgement that the peanut butter banana buttercream I used this time is better. I am convinced that I can now die after eating this. In fact, I almost died on the spot.

Do I have you drooling yet?

Do I have you drooling yet?

Ingredients: 

Chocolate Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup

Peanut Butter Batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth light, but you can use any variety)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Frosting:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar (depending on how stiff you want it to be)
  • chocolate chips (for drizzle, optional)
Get this stuff together first.

Get this stuff together first.

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. For each batter, in 1 bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda/powder, and cocoa powder, where applicable).
  3. In a second set of bowls mix wet ingredients except eggs (sugar, butter/oil/peanut butter, vanilla, agave, milk) until fully incorporated. Once the liquid is smooth, add eggs and beat until just combined.
  4. Either make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined OR add dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture, again, mixing until just combined. Both batters will be fairly thick at this point.
  5. Spoon equal amounts of each batter into lined or sprayed muffin tins (24) so that cups are 3/4 full. Using a knife or a spatula, cut through the batter a few times to swirl the batters together.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then reduce the temperature to 375F and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

    They'll come out looking something like this. Starting them at 425 is what gives these cupcakes the nice puffy dome.

    They’ll come out looking something like this. Starting them at 425 is what gives these cupcakes the nice puffy dome.

For the Frosting:

  1. Mash the banana and mix with butter, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Slowly add icing sugar (1/2 cup-1 cup at a time) until desired stiffness is achieved (I used 5c).
  3. Add icing to a piping bag (or ziplock baggies work) fitted with a frosting tip of your choice and frost cooled cupcakes.
  4. If you are doing a chocolate drizzle  simply add chocolate to a glass bowl and melt in the microwave, then use a fork to drizzle over the cupcakes, I would stick to 30-45 second intervals to make sure you don’t scorch the chocolate.PBC frosted

That’s it. They are that easy. And they are worth the dishes that come from doing 2 batters for 1 cupcake. Trust me.