Happy Saturday, all. Weekends are a time for the occasional sweet indulgence, even at breakfast time. I typically prefer savory meals to begin my day, but sometimes the allure of maple syrup-drizzled pancakes or waffles, scones, or cornbread is too powerful to resist. That sweet presence doesn't necessarily prevent me from tempering it with a salty side; regardless, the first-meal-of-the-day focus will lean toward saccharine if the mood dictates.
Waffles are amongst my favorite non-savory breakfast foods. I have long moved beyond the boxed biscuit-mixed incarnations--although the crispy, club soda-infused Heloise variation begs for a vegan remake--in favor of the equally simple, from-scratch cakes. While I tend to default to my adaptation of the Pumpkin Waffles from Vegan with a Vengeance when the waffle craving strikes, I wanted to try something ever-so-slightly different this time around. With just the perfect amount of pureed sweet potato in tow, I set about making a batch of Sweet Potato Ginger Waffles from 500 Vegan Recipes. For the sake of simplicity (not that the recipe seemed difficult, by any means), I omitted the ginger candied nuts and focused solely on the waffles themselves. The only other adjustments were to reduce the amounts of cinnamon and ginger in the batter and add vanilla extract. Admittedly, the resulting waffles were very similar to the Pumpkin Waffles, but I didn't mind. The lightest touch of maple syrup completed the breakfast scenario nicely.
Although I try to limit morning food extravagances to the odd, lazy Saturday or Sunday, sometimes breakfast treats make weekday appearances. A few days ago, I had a sudden, nostalgic urge to recreate a certain frosted toaster pastry I adored as a child. An incredibly picky eater, I had very specific dietary preferences, one of them being that if made to choose between sweets involving either chocolate or fruit, the former always won without question and in whatever form available. So it should come as no surprise that my toaster pastry of choice during childhood was of the cocoa-laden variety. As I grew older and my tastes developed, the fruity flavors finally appealed to me. But having already tried my hand at fruit-filled vegan toaster pies and realizing that I had never attempted a chocolate version, I opted for the latter, in all its chocolaty decadence.
The process seemed simple enough: make a chocolate pie crust, gooey chocolate filling, and chocolate icing. Those basic components to the toaster pies certainly raised questions about the prepackaged inspiration's intended consumption as a breakfast item, but curiosity urged me to persist toward achieving my goal of chocolate toaster pies. The haphazard creation came together rather easily. I used a sweetened, cocoa-infused adaptation of this low-fat pastry; filled it with a blend of melted dark chocolate, almond meal, sugar, crushed chocolate wafers, almond milk, and vanilla extract; baked and cooled the rectangular pockets; then topped them with a cocoa-laced glaze and pearl sugar. The toaster pies were sweet, rich, incredibly chocolaty handheld treats--not quite like the frosted toaster pastries of my youth, but rather like a more tender, fresher-tasting substitute. I don't fancy eating these for breakfast unless I really want a heavy chocolate jolt to begin the day (I still question the sugary breakfast marketing scheme). These are more appropriate as dessert items, and quick ones at that; the hard glaze actually allows for the pies to be reheated in the toaster for a decadent treat on the go--or breakfast, if you must.