A Culinary Tribute to Our Great French Friends

Waffles or Cookies?

~ by Catherine Mahrholz ~

As many TMJ readers may know, the French have long been trusted allies of the United States of America.  As for Italy…well, who doesn’t love Lasagna? And Pizza…origins Italy, of course. As for Belgium; well, they are close to France and I particularly love French country cooking and brunch, so of course, waffles come to mind.

During a special day last month, many people across the globe and in France even celebrated Bastille Day, an annual celebration dedicated to freedom and liberty.

The Statue of Liberty, a much-beloved symbol of liberty and freedom, so cherished here in America, was built at the same metal works foundry outside Paris as the Eiffel Tower. Both structures are iconic landmarks, visited by people from around the world. When we think of Paris, it is the Eiffel Tower that comes to mind for many. New York City, for me, brings to mind not just the Empire State Building, but also the lovely lady offshore; America’s Statue of Liberty.

So, when we see the Statue of Liberty we think of America and the Eiffel Tower brings to mind the beautiful and romantic city of Paris, France.

In keeping with the French tradition of sweet, flavorful and decadent dining and desserts, what follows is a recipe using what is known as a Belgian Waffle Iron, the kind used to “bake” cookies on top of the stove. It is traditionally round in shape, and so lends itself nicely to a large cookie without heating up the entire kitchen with one’s oven.

This cookie recipe was given to me.  A friend of mine, a gentleman who originally hails from Kansas, he has been a wonderful neighbor. He has always been so helpful and kind to all of us here in our rural subdivision, where he has made his home for many years.

These are very rich and sweet and when baked in a round Belgian Waffle Iron, think of them as a dessert waffle! You can top them with fresh strawberries and honey or peaches and blueberries. The nooks and crannies of the waffle cookie will hold a lot of deliciousness! They are soft at first, but in our dry Colorado air, they will “crisp” up quickly, giving them a delightful crunchiness! Mmmm.

No time to bake? Try an Italian version, much smaller and the ones I have tried are actually baked in Canada. Reko “Pizzelle” cookies, packaged and ready to go in a nice little case for just $3.99 are available at our own City Market, here in Woodland Park, Colorado.

French Cookies

These cookies are quite large! French “Cookies” are a rich and indulgent dessert or brunch entrée when topped with fresh fruit in season.  Add whipped cream or ice cream. The toppings are limited only by your imagination.

4 cups brown sugar
1 Lb. butter
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
4½ cups flour

  1. Combine all ingredients except the flour. Gradually work in the flour, a little at a time.  When ready to shape into cookies, the dough should not stick to your hands or the sides of the bowl.
  2. Heat Belgian Waffle Iron on the stove for 5 minutes or so. Coat the grids with a little butter.
  3. Shape a small handful of dough in your hands until it resembles a golf ball.
  4. Place the ball of dough in the pre-heated Belgian Waffle Iron.

Bake for about 2½ minutes each side, and then carefully remove from waffle iron to cool on a rack.

Cookies will be crispy, and then will soften over time. Share with friends and family. Bon Appetit!