I’m not a fan of Hallmark holidays. You know—Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the like. I’ve always thought it better to just show the people you love how special they are every day. There’s something about Valentine’s Day that pulls at my heartstrings, though.
Perhaps it’s because my daughters adore this holiday filled with hearts, chocolate and love, and their excitement becomes infectious.
I decided what better way to feed their excitement this year, than getting the festivities started when they wake up, but what to make? Chocolate chip pancakes are fun, but they didn’t seem quite special enough. Chocolate chunk scones or muffins crossed my mind, but I make those pretty often too. I wanted to make them something fresh and new.
One morning the waffle maker sitting innocently on the kitchen counter caught my eye. As I started to gather some ingredients, I happened upon a jar of Ovaltine on the shelf. A few minutes later I was in the kitchen, tinkering around with a recipe for chocolate malted waffles.
The waffles have a delicate chocolate flavor, and aren’t overly sweet, plus they’re made with whole wheat pastry flour—I still want to make sure they get a healthy start to the day. For an extra special treat, you can serve them with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, but I know my girls will want theirs simply topped with maple syrup. While I intend to surprise the kids with them on Valentine’s Day, these waffles are sure to become a year-round treat.
Chocolate Malted Waffles
Makes 10 four-inch square waffles
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour (available in most larger supermarkets, usually in the organic aisle)
1/4 cup (28 grams) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (32 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons (27 grams) malt powder (I use Ovaltine)
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat your waffle iron.
2. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and malt powder to a deep bowl; whisk to combine.
3. Add the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla to a large measuring cup. Beat with a fork until well mixed.
4. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture. Use a fork to stir until the batter is combined, and there are no visible traces of flour. Spoon batter onto the preheated waffle iron (the amount you need depends on the type of waffle iron you’re using). Cook according to the manufacturer’s directions (general rule of thumb: waffles are ready when steam no longer streams out the sides of the waffle iron).
5. Transfer to a platter, and serve hot while you finishing cooking the remaining waffles. Leftover waffles can be cooled completely and stored in the freezer in a plastic ziptop bag. To heat frozen waffles, simply pop them into a toaster.
Mom and blogger Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen has been in the food industry for 15 years, first in the restaurant business, and finally as a food writer, now serving as Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine. Her forthcoming book , Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen, is available here.