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Readers and Writers Recipes: Chocolate Waffles

These brownie-like chocolate waffles are a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. All you need is confectionery sugar to sprinkle on the waffles before serving, but sometimes I put a scoop or 2 of ice cream on top of a chocolate waffle for an extra-special treat. Like last week’s Pepperoni Pizza Dip, Chocolate Waffles work well for a book club or readers’ group get-together, family party, or any other fun gathering.

Chocolate Waffles

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine (or butter if you prefer), softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

6 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup milk (I use skim)

1-1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

1- Cream margarine and sugar. Then, beat in eggs one at a time.

2- Stir in vanilla, vegetable oil, and cocoa.

3- Add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Then, add milk. Mix until well-blended.

4- Follow the directions on your waffle iron for cooking waffles. Serve hot or cold.

Notes:

1- Make sure your waffle iron is well-oiled or sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray (like Pam).

2- Watch closely. As soon as the waffles appear cooked, remove them. Remember, because they’re chocolate, it’s harder to tell if they’re burning.

3- The cinnamon is optional. Some people prefer the waffles without it.

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a guest post from author, JM Johansen.

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100 If you have friends (or children) with milk or egg allergies, this cake is a delicious and easy alternative to cakes loaded with eggs and dairy. It’s very chocolatey, so I usually use vanilla icing. If you decide to use chocolate icing – be prepared for a chocolate high! Like last week’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Eggless Milkless Dark Chocolate Cake works well for a book club or readers’ group get-together or any other fun gathering. And you don’t have to have an allergy to love this cake!

Eggless, Milkless Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa (unsweetened)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 stick margarine (1/2 cup) melted and slightly cooled

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons vinegar

2 cups cold water

Directions:

1-Preheat over to 375ºF.

2-Combine in large bowl: flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.

3-Add margarine, vanilla, vinegar, and cold water. Mix until well blended.

4-Pour batter into greased and floured pans. (See notes).

5-Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (See notes).

6-Cool, then frost as desired.

Notes:

1-This recipe makes a 2-layer cake using 9” diameter rounds or 8-9” square pans. Or you can make a sheet cake or bundt cake.

2-If you make a 2-layer cake or a sheet cake, 30 minutes baking time is usually enough. If you make a bundt cake, it might take slightly longer to bake. Check for doneness using either a cake tester or a toothpick to make sure the center of the cake isn’t still under-baked.

3-Remember, if you’re making this cake for someone with a milk allergy, use vegetable margarine and either soy or rice milk for making a “buttercream” icing with a box of powdered sugar.

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a guest post from author, Allison Merritt.

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Jaleta's CC Oatmeal Cookies The recipe for these delicious cookies comes from science fiction writer, Jaleta Clegg. These cookies are perfect for a book club or readers’ group get-together or for the kids when they get home from school. Like last week’s Oven Baked Chicken Bruschetta, Jaleta’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies get great reviews. And now, a few words from Jaleta and the recipe:

Have you ever put cooking scenes in your stories? I can’t stop myself. I love cooking and I don’t see that changing for people in the far future, when my stories tend to happen. Picture it: a starship flying through the cosmos, the crew gathered in the galley cooking dinner. I have a thing for RVs. I guess it shows in my books. Right now I’m channeling the Winnebago scenes from Space Balls and the kitchen scenes from Firefly.

I’ve got a main character that loves to cook. It’s her way to destress and connect. She loves playing with new spices and ingredients. Jasyn understands the role food plays in society. It not only nourishes our bodies but our souls.

I can picture Jasyn making a batch of these wonderful cookies in her tiny kitchen on her ship. I can also picture the other crew members – Dace and Clark – devouring them, just like my kids in my kitchen.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 t. salt

2 t. baking soda

1 t. vanilla

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. white flour

2 1/2 c. quick cooking oatmeal

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 c. dried cranberries (optional)

Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs, salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat until very light and fluffy. Add flour, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. Stir until well mixed. Set aside while the oven preheats. Or cover and refrigerate for several hours. (Letting the dough rest allows the oats to absorb moisture and makes the cookies softer.)

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Scoop cookie dough in one inch balls onto sheets. Bake for 9 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes before removing from the sheets. Makes 5 – 6 dozen cookies.”

biosmall Jaleta Clegg loves writing what she knows – science fiction and cooking with the occasional bit of silly horror thrown in for laughs. She loves concocting dishes with bizarre names such as Chilled Monkey Brains, Radioactive Dog Spit, and Snake Surprise. New spices and strange vegetables are common on her table. Her children have learned to taste before complaining. You never know what you might enjoy until you try it. Find recipes on her blog every Thursday: http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com and links to her writings at http://www.jaletac.com

Thanks again to Jaleta Clegg for sharing her recipe. Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a guest post from speculative writer, Jennifer Allis Provost.

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This fancy-looking and delicious bundt cake is easy to make, because it begins with a prepared cake mix. Chocolate-lovers and fans of “black-bottom cupcakes” will especially enjoy it. Like last week’s Over-Night Shrimp Dip, Easy Fudge Ribbon Cake works well for a book club or readers’ group get-together or any other fun gathering.

Easy Fudge Ribbon Cake

1) Preheat oven to 350° F.

2) Grease & flour a 10” bundt cake pan. (Or spray pan generously with a vegetable-based cooking spray)

3) Make cake.

For cake:

1 package chocolate cake mix (2 layer size).

Ingredients listed on back of box for preparation of the cake mix.

Directions: Make cake according to directions on package. Pour into a prepared bundt cake pan.

4) Make filling.

For filling:

1- 8-ounce package of creamed cheese, softened

2 Tablespoons softened margarine (or butter)

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1- 14-ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a small bowl, beat creamed cheese, margarine, and cornstarch until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the creamy mixture evenly on top of cake batter.

5) Bake for 50-55 minutes.

6) Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a rack.

7) Make glaze.

For glaze:

2 Tablespoons softened margarine (or butter)

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Cup confectionery sugar

2 Tablespoons boiling water

Directions: Mix ingredients together, then beat until smooth.

8) Place cake on serving plate and glaze, beginning at the top and letting the chocolate dribble down the sides. Serve.

Notes: Seriously, no one will imagine you used a boxed cake mix. I’ve had more requests for this cake recipe after I’ve served it than any other. – Vonnie

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a “dark” guest post from author Ripley Patton.

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vwc-b-cvr[1] My ghostly holiday eShort, Bells incorporates some of the Christmas traditions of my extended family. Gatherings of friends and family to share in a holiday meal is a tradition that I’ll be celebrating several times again this year. There are always too many of us to sit around one table, so we spread out across the house sitting where ever we can locate a chair or stool or nook by the window. We share memories, the latest news, dreams for the future, love, laughter, and sometimes, tears.

 When I was young, my father, Nathan Winslow,  meticulously put up a HO gauge train garden. He even got my grandfather, an accomplished oil painter, to realistically paint plaster mountains. His was a train garden of exactness and beauty. My husband’s family also put up a train garden. The George Crist family Christmas train garden was so exciting for my husband and his brothers when they were boys, that they’d ignore the gifts and rush for the trains.

My husband, Ernie, and I continued the train garden tradition. On Christmas morning, our kids would run to see the trains. When they became older, they’d help their dad throughout December fix up the train garden for their younger cousins to see when they came to visit. Last Christmas, Ernie and I were lucky enough to have our grandson with us at Christmastime. And little Nathaniel was inspired to crawl his first few feet trying to grab a miniature train that circled around under the Christmas tree.

Sleigh bells on door knobs, watermelon pickles, patched-together trees, and carols playing in the background are other traditions mentioned in Bells we continue in my family. Another Christmas tradition is baking cookies. I baked them with Granny and Mom. My kids baked them with me, and maybe my grandson will sprinkle some colored sugar on my cut-out cookies. (For ”Granny’s Sugar Cookies” recipe, see end of blog).

 I encourage each of you to celebrate the holidays with those you care about. Make good memories and establish family traditions, remembering you’re born into a one kind of family — but you can also build a family of dear friends. And especially at this time of year, treat others with a little more kindness and love. For as Aesop so wisely wrote in his tale of “The Lion & The Mouse” — No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Update: Bells can now be read in Owl Light, one of my books from Cold Moon Press.

Granny’s Sugar Cookies:

1) In a large bowl, cream together: 1/2 cup margarine and 1 cup granulated sugar. 2) Blend in: 1 large egg. 3) In a separate bowl, sift together: 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. 4) Next, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well. 5) Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust a pastry cloth with flour and roll dough out to 1/8″ thickness with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out holiday shapes with cookie cutters. Put cut-out shapes on a cookie sheet that’s been coated with a vegetable shortening spray (allowing room between cookies). Decorate with colored sugar. Bake in oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove cookies from oven when edges are lightly browned and using a spatula, scoop the cookies onto a rack to cool. Watch Granny’s Sugar Cookies carefully during baking, as they burn easily.

I usually double this recipe. Granny’s Sugar Cookies are a family favorite and disappear quickly! They also freeze well in sealed containers.

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