HAPPY WINTER! Apparently two people fell through the layer of ice into the almost frozen lake a few weeks ago in Evergreen, and there has been a lack of snow and sub freezing temperatures since. So we decided to postpone our trip we were suppose to take into the mountains this past Sunday until after the holidays. As amazing as ice skating on a huge frozen lake and climbing through mounds of snow between towering pines sounded to me on the first day of winter – the trade off was pretty swell. Making pancakes, shopping for wrapping paper, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas (for the 6th time) (is there a limit??) while wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas music in between, and ending the day curled up on the couch watching A Christmas Story with a hot cup of cocoa (totally burnt my tongue, impatient). All with my best bud that I’ve been gifted to live my life in cahoots with, making it quite a fantastic winter solstice.
So here I am oozing with thankfulness, and then as if I could handle any more, SNOW. Yesterday. On my run. TWICE. And then the storm hit hard for another hour or two, once I got home, making it the most magical second day of winter I could have hoped for! There I was running, and huge snowflakes were falling on my nose (I could see them!). I didn’t have to try to catch them on my tongue, they maneuvered their way into my mouth all on their lonesome, and tasted FANTASTIC. I never wanted it to end. The white magic swirling around giving me the most peaceful, fluffy snow hug I have ever received. I needed goggles to see through it at times. The strangest part? My body was nice and warm. I could still feel my fingers beneath my thin running gloves. And my phone I was holding didn’t get water damaged (lets be real, that was a miracle). It was a winter gift.
THESE PARFAITS. Breakfast? Dessert? Both? You decide, but I say both. I chose breakfast this past Saturday morning when I created, photographed, ate, and then freaked out over these berry-shortcake-remnicent jars of waffle goodness. These are made with the best ingredients and using no processed sugar. The sweetness of the berries mashed and cooked down with a little maple syrup is all you need. Pair that with the warmth of the molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in the waffle, plus the cool and creamy coconut whip, and you are in for a treat. If you’re still searching for a special breakfast (or dessert) for this special weekend I highly recommend making these! I see many variations of this recipe in my future (chocolate, banana, strawberry rhubarb, cinnamon peach, lemon cream, oh my goodness oh my goodness). MERRY CHRISTMAS – and I will see you back here on Saturday with a simple weekend recipe that is one of our favorites, plus this week’s links!
Tid-bits: The waffle alone is not very sweet because I know it is either going to get doused in maple syrup or topped with berries and whip – however, if you would like yours sweeter, add a drizzle maple syrup to the batter. For the berries I made both a blackberry mash (my favorite) and a cranberry mash (also terrific). Keep in mind tarter berries (such as cranberries and raspberries) will be less sweet unless you add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup when cooking. As for the coconut whip, I relied on the sweetness of the berries for this dish and left my whip unsweetened. However, you can drizzle a little maple syrup into the coconut cream when whipping if you prefer it sweetened. All three parts of this recipe can basically be altered to meet the level of sweetness you desire. Below is my idea of the perfect balance, but taste and alter as you go! Ps. I always get the best separation and greatest yield of coconut cream when using this brand.
Makes one large Belgium waffle, about one 12 ounce jar of berry mash, and enough whipped cream to keep you happy. Serves 4 very hungry, or 6 semi hungry persons.
6 tablespoons whole spelt flour
3 tablespoons oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup plain almond milk
2 teaspoons molasses
2 to 2 1/2 cups berries fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cans full fat coconut milk refrigerated
maple syrup optional
For the gingerbread waffle, whisk the dry ingredients together before adding the almond milk and molasses. Mix well and pour into your preheated waffle iron (I grease mine beforehand with coconut oil to prevent it from sticking). Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Once it has finished cooking, remove and let cool completely before tearing into bite size pieces.
For the berry mash, place the berries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the berries begin to break down and fall apart, mash with the back of a fork to squeeze out all the juices and break the berries down further. Bring to a simmer. If using cranberries or cherries, let simmer for only 4 minutes before transferring to a glass jar and placing in the freezer, uncovered, to set. If using blackberries or blueberries, let simmer for around ten minutes, whisking occasionally, before transferring to a glass jar and placing in the freezer to set. Once cooled, use to layer in parfaits right away or keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Use within one week.
For the coconut whip, refrigerate the two cans of full fall coconut milk overnight, or longer, to allow the cream to separate from the water. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment you wish to whip your cream with in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes before preparing. Drain the water from the coconut milk cans and scoop the cream into the chilled bowl. Whisk on high until fluffy, around 2 minutes (depends on how thick your cream is, it may take 4 minutes if runnier). Add a drizzle of maple syrup while mixing if you are choosing to sweeten the whip. Use right away or cover and refrigerate until ready. Use within one week.
Now get your jars, bowls, cups, mouths, etc, ready and start layering! I began with the waffle pieces, then added a few spoonfuls of berry mash, topped with whipped cream, and repeated. But you may layer however you choose. There is no wrong way to parfait (oooo super cheesy but I did it).