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Waffle Iron Brownies

Waffle Iron Brownies
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What a day! I am so excited about this post. Waffle iron brownies, folks!! It’s an idea from a 1953 issue of Yankee and it’s fantastic. Really, I’m just so excited about my job right now.

I’m working with Aimee Seavey on a new Yankee cookbook with a “Lost and Vintage Recipes” theme. It’ll be out in October, but we’ll both be blogging about the process as we go. And in the early stages, I have the pleasure of going back through 75+ years of Yankee and pulling recipes that seem interesting and relevant and worthy of being updated for today’s cooks. How fun is that? The trick is figuring out which recipes have been forgotten for good reason. There are plenty of those. Tomato casseroles made with ground beef and too much cheese, a blueberry slump with dumplings as dense as rocks. Tastes change over time, as do standards for recipe writing and testing. In the past, recipes were sometimes seen as outlines rather than precise instructions.

So back to 1953. Here’s the bound issue from our archives, and the recipe.

 

I’m sure you can imagine the thrill of finding this little gem. Brownies in a wha-? A dessert that combines my love of chocolate and multitasking appliances? Sign me up!

The brownies appeared in a story called “Recipes from Old ‘Receipt’ Books” by Nancy Dixon and begins thusly:

One of the nicest things that happens to us in the Yankee Recipe Department is when we receive really and truly fascinating cook books that also serve a worthy cause. Our latest acquisition is Two Hundred Years of Lebanon Valley Cookery

The book—with a scrubbed white cover with an easy-to-handle blue spiral binding—is by The Ladies Guild Church of Our Savior (Episcopal) in Lebanon Springs, N.Y. and the cookery editor has rightfully starred some of the following as unusual, ancient and modern.

With that introduction, it was time get out the waffle iron and start cooking. Now, most waffle irons have a single heat setting, which ranges between about 330° and 390°.  I have a combined griddle/panini press/waffle iron, which I love for its space-saving efficiency. I set it for 375°.

The first step is to cream a stick of softened (salted) butter with 3/4 cup sugar.

I added 2 ounces of melted unsweetened chocolate, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. The batter began to look creamy.

In a separate bowl, I whisked together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. I added it to the wet ingredients.

And this is where I began to get a little nervous. The batter looked thick. Much thicker than any brownie recipe I’d ever seen.

I sprayed the iron with canola oil and dropped a heaping tablespoon of batter in the center of each of the four grids.

I closed the lid and waited 3 minutes. I opened the lid, and there they were. And they were…

AWFUL.

Leaden, dry, and with not nearly enough chocolate flavor, these brownie waffles were duds. But the idea was too good to give up. So back to the drawing board.

Comparing this formula with other traditional brownie recipes, I saw that I had used much less sugar and much more flour than most recipes. I decided to try it again with half the flour, another ounce of chocolate, and and extra 1/2 cup sugar.

Here’s what I got.

The extra chocolate and sugar were giving the brownies a richer, more fudgy texture, but clearly more flour was necessary to give the brownies enough structure to hold together. So I began adding flour a bit at a time and cooking up small batches until I got the right texture: one firm enough to hold together but still soft and chewy in the center.

And that’s how I got here. I love these brownies. The waffle iron gives them crispy ridges, but the inside remains rich and fudgy. They’re novel and fun and incredibly easy to make.

One important note: You need to let the brownies sit for a minute on the hot, opened iron before trying to remove them. Otherwise they’ll be too soft and likely to crumble.

Yankee’s Crisp-Chewy Waffle Iron Brownies Recipe Links
View and print the recipe for Yankee’s Crisp-Chewy Waffle Iron Brownies
Save Yankee’s Crisp-Chewy Waffle Iron Brownies to your Recipe Box

Now… I’d love to get your help, Yankee readers! I’ve only tested this recipe on my iron and temperatures and cooking times will vary here. If you try this recipe, will you please report back to let me know how it worked for you and how long the brownies took to cook? I’ll adjust the recipe accordingly. Thank you!

Amy Traverso

Author:

Amy Traverso

Biography:

Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
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12 Responses to Waffle Iron Brownies

  1. Julie Suratt March 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    LOVE this idea! Thanks, Amy. Do you think it would be more effective in a Belgian waffle maker than a traditional maker? I have the latter, and from your photos, it looks like you do too. Hoping it doesn’t matter.

    • Amy Traverso March 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

      Hi Julie! Hmmm…the Belgian waffle-maker has deeper grooves, but I think either type of iron will work.

      • hank March 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

        My guess is that with all that sugar, a nonstick (i.e. modern) waffle iron is essential?

        • Amy Traverso March 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

          Good thought, Hank. What about traditional Belgian waffle irons for gaufres de liege? Those are so sugary and yet they don’t seem to stick to the pan. But to be safe, a nonstick surface would give you some insurance.

  2. Lori Pedrick March 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Love this! Can’t wait to make them for Emmett and David. Now I know what to ask for for Mother’s Day. One of those fancy, space-saving gizmo’s you’ve got!

  3. Aimee Seavey March 9, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Amy, I am in love with this post!! The Yankee archives are a culinary treasure trove, and it’s so much fun combing through them and re-imagining some of the recipes for today. These waffle brownies look so fun — and tasty. :)

  4. Peter O'Donnell March 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    This was an enjoyable read. I will certainly try this recipe because it puts a whole new (yet old) twist on the brownie.

  5. Carol March 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    I’m in the process of putting these into the waffle iron! I used the chocolate I had on hand which was a little of Lindt and some dark Scharffen Berger, but I weighted it to be the correct ounces present in the recipe. I also used Cabot butter. The batter is thick and yummy raw! So, as soon as the iron is ready, I’m gonna do this and get back to you!!

    • Carol March 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Oh MY!!! These are DELICIOUS. They are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside and oh so chocolatey! You really do have to allow them the full 2 minutes to cool on the waffle iron before you remove them because they will fall apart as I can attest to because I as overly anxious. I love this recipe….what can I try next, Aimee?

  6. Paul March 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    My waffle maker just sits on the top shelf gathering dust (ok so I WANT to cook waffles more often but it doesn’t seem to happen except for our annual vacation to Maine!) I was just thinking about moving this appliance from my pantry to the basement. BUT you just put the brakes on that idea. I can’t WAIT to try this recipe. My favorite part of any brownie are the corner pieces – two crusty edges! Now there’ll be no fighting over the edges (which really it means I won’t have to hide them from the kids). Thanks for this Nouveau Vintage recipe!

  7. wildrunner@verizon.net February 13, 2014 at 1:20 am #

    brownies are my favs i will be making this one thank you.

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  1. Zucchini Pancakes - April 19, 2012

    [...] continue to plug away at recipes testing for this year’s Yankee Cookbook, whose theme is “lost and vintage” recipes. Today’s test was for a dish that I [...]

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