A week later my mother called telling me about a mouse-sized growth in her throat, and that she was making an appointment to get it checked out. The biopsy was benign, and a five-hour surgery took place yesterday. Everything turned out well, but she has some recovery ahead of her.
As I sit in the hospital keeping vigil, these cookies remind me of her and of my own childhood. Every Christmas she would pull out the waffle iron as far back as I can remember, and make these magical cookies. Magical to me at least. To a little foodie, cookies in a waffle iron were something special, and much different than the Toll House Chocolate Chip ones she would make on other occasions.
These cookies provide me with visual reminders of our kitchen in our split-level orange home in College Place, Washington. There was a chocolate brown refrigerator that I often yanked open to peer inside for snacks when I was bored or hungry. Attached to the kitchen was the main dining area where Mom kept a bookcase stuffed full of her many cookbooks. I would pull them down, rummaging through 1960s and 1970s Better Homes and Gardens looking at the pictures even before I could read. Maybe this is where my passion for food and photography began now that I think about it.
In college I realized that I wanted to someday be good enough to copy historical images. I needed to understand the concepts of art as well as master the technical side of photography before I could even think of trying. I also realized that I would have to work differently with light, composition, and Photoshop to come close to producing the same qualities that certain films created. I wasn’t sure I could do this, but I did try.
Somehow, the top shot has the qualities of a dying Andy Warholesque time; ridged, uncomfortable, structured. Too shiny, and not screaming out that this is food. More art than not, it needs a macramé plant holder to accompany it. Or maybe a few random figurines! The bottom shot is a more modern look; warm, casual, unstructured, and much like you wouldn’t disrupt the scene if you snatched a cookie for yourself.
I remember my mother always used canned frosting. She loves canned frosting. I myself am not so fond of the stuff, unless it’s on these cookies, as the canned version somehow magically stays soft, probably from all the chemicals in it. Although, I have been known to make my own chocolate frosting to smear over the top.
My mom will get better, and I realize there are moments where she will need me, as I needed her when I was younger and will likely need her again. It’s all part of this pretty darn wonderful life, and I feel strong, protective, and brave enough to face forward.
Mom’s Chocolate Waffle Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 to 2 containers of canned chocolate frosting
1. Preheat Belgian waffle maker.
2. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Then beat in eggs until well incorporated. Mix in cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Then add the flour and mix until just combined.
3. With a standard (size 50) cookie scoop, scoop the dough and drop onto the hot waffle iron onto the sections. Cook 90 seconds per waffle. Carefully remove the hot waffle from the iron with a spatula to a cooling rack.
4. Once cooled, frost with chocolate frosting as desired. Or as I do, eat them sans frosting.
Recipe from Linda Komberec. Pictures by Laura Flowers.