Some food, some drink.
Simple, Unique, and Darn Tasty: Pennsylvania Dutch Cinnamon Waffle Cookies with Maple Glaze.
Sometimes where cookies are concerned, it feels like it's all been done. So, when I found a recipe for a cookie that bakes in a waffle iron, I knew I had to try it. The original recipe for this Pennsylvania Dutch Cinnamon Waffle Cookie or "zimmet waffle" was pretty lean on description and accurate measurements, so I took it upon myself to reconstruct this relatively simple recipe so that the buttery, spicy goodness that is this cookie recipe might be properly shared. And, because it's seldom in my nature to leave well enough alone, I concocted a glaze using real maple syrup to compliment the fragrant, floral spiciness of the cinnamon. With a little trial and error, vague measurements and instructions from the original recipe were nailed down, resulting in a quick cookie recipe that comes together with only six basic ingredients (ok, well eight if you count the icing).
Wanna skip the read and watch something? Then tune in to this companion video recipe to see these cinnamon waffle cookies bake right up!
If you know me, then you know that I'm a bit of a gadget hound. My wife knows me, and that's why I got an Android tablet for my birthday last year. Right after I rooted and fixed what was broken, I went looking for stuff to fill it with. I don't mind paying for content, but you can bet I'm gonna give a good look at the free stuff first. Amazon's Kindle store had a few free cookbooks; so I downloaded as many of the gratis titles as I could find, and perused the pages.
While a bunch were average to forgettable, the one that I kept coming back to was Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. It's got the voice of a good community cookbook (which I can't get enough of); and given the name, you can bet that most of what's in it is devoid of canned soup and boxed cake mixes. While looking for Thanksgiving dessert inspiration (I went with the cheesecake instead), I chanced upon a recipe that uses a waffle iron to make cinnamon cookies. The ingredients were few, so I figured it's be a simple affair; but after I started to read a bit, I realized that there were missing measurements, and procedure was pretty vague. I've cooked Volga German recipes before; they pull the same kind of crap and it drives me crazy. I really can't stand to see a recipe with so much potential shoot itself in the foot; so I decided that this might be a good candidate for a transcription from a guy to whom measurements and documenting technique are important. While I was at it, I figured It couldn't hurt to dress these cookies up a bit with a simple, yet effective maple glaze.
Recipe: Jump to the detailed recipe. (or, keep reading for the gist of it) -
The Maple Glaze
In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed for three minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Add salt and cinnamon; then crank the mixer back to medium and add eggs one at a time as each integrates into the mix. Continue to beat on medium for another 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as necessary. Set the mixer to stir and spoon in the flour. The fiished batter should have the consistency of a sticky cookie dough. Fire up your waffle iron to 400F (around medium-high) and dish out measured tablespoon-sized portions (3/4 oz) into each division of the waffle iron. "Bake" for 2 minutes or until golden brown, and let cool and crisp up on a wire rack.
For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and salt until integrated and smooth. Dip the tops of each cookie in the glaze and return to the rack to let the glaze set.
- My waffle iron is an old workhorse. I've had it since college, and even then it was a hand-me-down. It's one of the few things that survived that stint of consumptive living in-tact, and for that I'm thankful as picking out a good waffle iron is worse than trying to choose your next pair of sunglasses. Accolades aside, the analog control really tells you nothing about the temperature inside. If you've got a fancy-schmnacy waffle iron with a proper incremented temperature dial, you'll want to set the heat to 400F. If your gear has a dial that's a bit more abstract, shoot for medium-high, or do what I did, and use your IR thermometer to really nail it down.
- The creaming step is is absolutely necessary, which is probably why they mention it specifically in the recipe as wrote while all the while neglecting to mention just how much flour is needed. Make sure that butter is room temperature, and make it easy on yourself and use that stand mixer.
- There are so few ingredients here that I think quality truly matters. Fresh butter and fresh ground cinnamon are going to make a huge difference in the taste of the finished cookie. And while I used salted butter anyway, that extra 1/4 tsp sure isn't gonna hurt.
- The original recipe says to add enough flour to make a "soft dough". I didn't grow up in a Pennsylvania Dutch household, so I have no idea what the hell that means. If I may be so bold as to bring the description into the 21st century, I'd say that you're shooting for something around the same consistency as a sticky chocolate chip cookie dough. Or, you could just ignore my attempt at metaphor and use your scale to avoid the torment of ambiguity altogether (you want 10oz of a.p. flour).
- Thru a bit of trial and error, I discovered that a measured Tablespoon or 3/4 oz of dough is just about the right amount for a perfectly-portioned cookie. Incidentally, this happens to be the same volume as what's held by a #50 disher.
- I did the math so as to make sure that there's just enough maple glaze to top these cookies. If you want 'em swimming in it, you better double what I've got listed here.
- When I first took my cookies off the iron, I couldn't help but notice that they were a bit spongy. That's ok. Carry-over cooking is in effect here. Steam is still escaping from the surface, and in a few minutes, that outer crust is gonna crisp up.
If you're looking for cookies you can get on the table post haste, look no further. Waffle irons heat up quickly; and as each batch cooks up in just a couple of minutes, the waffle iron should actually get you into some cookies quicker than your oven (badass convection models not withstanding). While there's no way I'd let my five-year old man the griddle, It did occur to me that this might be a good cookie recipe to turn older kids loose on, as the results are immediate and the use of a waffle iron seems like it might make it more personal to a kid (akin to using an Easy-Bake Oven).
After my first bite, I noticed that these actually have a lot in common with a donut muffin. As far as cookies go, there are a little dense like a cake donut, but the waffle-style of cooking breaks up the texture enough so that each bite is never too much. Later, in a minor epiphany, I realized that there are a bevy of one-trick-pony kitchen gadgets out there presently that look to recreate that very thing that my O.G. waffle iron does just fine (and maybe even better if you're a person who digs plenty of brown crispy edges). It's a safe bet that you probably haven't had too many cookies like this; the richness of the butter and the fragrant cinnamon come thru in each and every bite. And, while being totally optional, the maple glaze does add a nice finishing touch and also a bit of texture. I defy you to eat just one at a go; and if the taste doesn't hook you, your compulsion to break each cookie into cute bite-size sections before scarfing 'em down will.