RECIPE // Aunt Emma’s Waffle Cookies

20 Before 21: Bake Family Recipes | pt. 2 Aunt Emma’s Waffle Cookies (read pt. 1 here)

I made the second item on #19 of my 20 Before 21 list (the first being Grandma’s shoofly pie). When I instagrammed it I mentioned how I should have added more healthy items to my list and less sugary things. Don’t get me wrong, my sweet tooth is alive and well but all this sugar really is not necessary, especially in the winter time when exercise is less than regular. I was asking my mom what to write about this recipe and my great Aunt Emma whom we inherited it from. I don’t remember Emma at all so it was hard to write about her. My mom laughed and told me the following story: Emma and the rest of my mom’s aunts would get together every week for a ‘weigh in’. At this weekly meeting they would all weigh themselves in a group effort to lose weight. The punishment for the one who lost the least amount of weight? They would have to treat the next week. And treat they did. It would include the sweetest of Amish desserts including giant sticky buns dripping in glaze, flaky pies that begged for a second slice, or bowls of pudding on top of fruit on top of cookie crumbs, topped with whipped cream. Everyone would laugh at them but they never seemed to get the irony of bringing sweets to your weight loss group. I have a feeling these ‘famous’ cookies showed up at snack time whenever Great Aunt Emma packed on a few too many pounds. That goes to show you that my sweet tooth is hereditary.

Waffle Cookies

These cookies are typically made in our household over the holidays but I didn’t get it done then since I was traveling overseas. Of course, they are delicious any time of the year. They’re very quick and easy to make, and also pretty fool proof which is great for someone like me. My cookies, unlike my Aunt Emma’s, tend to be more infamous than famous.

Aunt Emma’s Waffle Cookies

1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt

1 c, cream
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chocolate chips

Cookies: Combine ingredients and mix well. Pre-heat waffle iron on high. Drop cookie batter by tablespoon
onto hot waffle iron and bake for 2 minutes. Remove from iron and lay on counter top to cool.

Frosting: Combine ingredients in sauce pan. Heat on medium heat. Stir constantly until chocolate chips are melted and all ingredients are liquid. Remove from heat. Drizzle onto cool cookies. Add sprinkles if desired.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Communion in French

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Childs

On our flight home from India a month ago we had a layover in Paris. My boyfriend and I decided to get out and see the city for a few hours. It had always been a dream of mine to see Paris. The city always seemed so charming with its cobblestone streets full of history, art, French fashion, and of course food. Our layover gave us only enough time to see the Eiffel tower, walk along the Seine river, and stop at a café for a breakfast of cappuccinos and baguettes. It was in the early morning and we seemed to be the only people in the city who weren’t sleeping. The city was as charming and romantic as I imagined. We barely even noticed the rain and the freezing cold weather.


I wanted a souvenir but figured produce or bread wouldn’t travel well so I bought a cookbook called “The Little Paris Kitchen” by Rachel Khoo. Instead of taking home some French food I would attempt to make my own. After showing the cookbook to my friend Ruth the idea was born to get together and try some of the recipes because, you know, cooking is better with friends. My sister Sarah and Ruth’s roomie Corina joined the party.

For our menu we chose; Winter Salad with a Goat’s Cheese Mousse, Leeks in Vinaigrette with Poached egg and Bayonne Ham, Chicken Dumpling Soup, Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce, and Raspberry and Almond Tartlets.

We spent the entire evening preparing, photographing, and eating the food. I am convinced that a food is the best way to draw people together. Something about cooking with friends satisfies not only your stomach but also your soul. Even Jesus chose to make communion around bread and wine. There’s some sort of connection between fellowship and food. Or maybe I’m just a food nerd. That might be it.

*Photo credits to Corina

. . .

Recipe Notes


Winter Salad with a Goat’s Cheese Mousse
This salad was absolutely amazing. There is not a thing I would change about it. It sounds a little odd to make a mousse out of goat cheese but it complimented the veggies perfectly. This winter salad lives up to its name, it’s satisfying, warm, and comforting on a snowy winter night.


IMG_5141Leeks in Vinaigrette with Poached egg and Bayonne Ham
This recipe was interesting. I had never cooked with leeks before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The leeks we used seemed very woody and tough. While it was beautiful to look at it wasn’t my favorite dish. Perhaps with younger or fresher leeks it would be delicious. We also substituted prosciutto for the Bayonne Ham.


IMG_5142Chicken Dumpling Soup
I was a little disappointed in this too. The soup was good but not amazing. The dumpling had an odd texture. Which might had all been my imagination because all I could think about while I ate them was raw chicken in a blender. It’s the truth, I blended chicken breast yesterday.



IMG_5144Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce
This was amazing. The white wine sauce was perfectly creamy and tangy.





Raspberry and Almond Tartlets
After the Winter Salad these were my favorite. The dessert was simple to make and delicious, especially eaten straight out of the oven. But why wouldn’t they be, it’s basically butter, sugar, flour, almonds, and raspberries.

RECIPE // Shoo-Fly Pie

20 Before 21: Bake Family Recipes // Pt. 1 Shoo-Fly Pie

My Grandma was raised in an Amish home in Lancaster County, Pensylvania. Our family’s cultures and customs center around the Amish culture and a very large part of that is the food. The Amish tend to love their hearty and starchy comfort foods. A meal can consist of ham, cheesy scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, fresh homemade bread slathered in butter and church jelly (molasses and peanut butter), succotash (steamed lima beans and corn) also dripping in butter, and finished off with a big slice of homemade pie and ice cream.


The Amish are known to make pies. Go to an Amish baked goods stand at a farmers market and you will find endless rows of apple, pecan, pumpkin, strawberry, rhubarb, and many more pies. The most reminiscent for me is shoo-fly pie. As a kid there was nothing quite as exciting as the days when mom or grandma decided to make shoo-fly pie. We would peek into the oven excitedly as we waited for it to finish baking then waited in agony for it to finish cooling down. Once it was ready we would each take as large of a slice as we were allowed then pour milk over it before eating. The mixture of flaky crust, goey molasses center, and sweet floury crumb on top was always perfect. We would savor it, singing “Shoo fly, don’t bother me!” between messy bites.

The one item on my 20 Before 21 list is to bake three family recipes, shoo-fly pie, caramels, and waffle cookies. I started with shoo-fly pie. At my job we were having what we called a Pie Potluck, essentially a pie social, for Thanksgiving. The idea was that everyone would bring in a pie and we could each try a bit of everyone else’s pies. It was the perfect time to try out my grandma’s shoo-fly pie recipe. I have a faint memory of making a lemon meringue pie once but other than that I had never made a pie in my life, let alone a pie crust. I was feeling up to the challenge so on one snowy November day I gathered my recipes and ingredients and nervously started.

The crust of a pie is known the be the trickiest part so I read and reread the recipe then carefully followed: the butter must be cold, try not to touch it with your hands, put ice in your water to make it as cold as possible, don’t over flour, don’t under flour. I mixed it all together and rolled it out. The dough stuck to the rolling pin and the counter, I couldn’t lift it off very well and it ripped as I laid it over the pie plate. When it was all said and done I had a pitiful pie crust.

I was about ready to give up but my mom told me to add a little more flour to the next crust and try it again. I did so and within second the dough was perfect. I set it in the plate, pinched the edges and marveled at the beautiful crust I had made. By myself. From scratch.

Next up was the filling and crumbs. I mixed it all together and wondered if I had messed up when measuring. The molasses filling was runny. Would it set when I baked it? I really had no idea what it was supposed to look like. And my mom was no longer there to give me advice (side note, do you ever stop asking your mom what to do in sticky cooking situations? I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point.). I decided to trust the recipe and poured the water like filling into the crust, sprinkled the crumbs on top, and set in my preheated oven before impatiently waiting 55 minutes.

The timer rang and I open the oven doors to find to perfectly set beautiful pies waiting for me. Just like my 9 year old self, I waited in agony for it to cool before getting a big slice, dousing it in milk, and biting into the taste of childhood.


Wet Bottom Shoo-Fly Pie
From the kitchen of Mrs. Ben S. Stoltzfus

6 C. flour
2 C. brown sugar
1 C. shortening
1 t. baking soda

3 C. molasses (golden)
3 C. water (hot)
2 t. baking soda
1 C. brown sugar
6 eggs (beaten)

Crumbs: Combine all ingredients; mix well. Reserve 3 C. crumbs to mix with liquid.

Liquid: Combine molasses, water, soda, brown sugar, and eggs; add reserved crumbs; mix well. Pour into 5 or 6 unbaked pie shells. Top with remaining crumbs. Baking time: 55 min. Temp: 425 for 10 min. then 350.

For the crust I used this Perfect Pie Crust recipe.