Café con Leche Waffles

Can I tell you about one of my most favorite ingredients in the whole world?

It's instant coffee.

I seriously love this stuff so much. It's my go-to for adding amazing bold coffee flavor to cakes, cookies, frosting, ice cream, and even smoothies. Even just a tablespoon or so whisked into a recipe is enough to make it taste amazing.

And when combined with chocolate? Out. Of. This. World.

While you can, of course, brew yourself some coffee to use in your baking, I love using instant coffee granules because they dissolve instantly on contact, adding plenty of flavor without diluting the ingredients or changing the volume of liquids. It can also be used in marinades or as part of a rub on steaks or other cuts of meat before cooking, or shaken up with your favorite spirit for a fun cocktail.

As you might know, I've been working with Nestle and El Mejor Nido this spring to create a few fun and easy recipes using some of my favorite classic Nestle products. This month, I'm playing around with Nescafé Clásico to create the perfect Mother's Day recipe for the coffee-loving mamas in your life.

Inspired by my favorite way to drink my morning coffee, I added a few tablespoons of Nescafé granules to my go-to buttermilk waffles recipe, transforming them into the ultimate coffee-flavored waffles--aka Café con Leche waffles!

Rich and nutty coffee-flavored waffles are served topped with fresh and lightly sweetened whipped cream for that perfect balance of flavors. A few berries on the side and a generous drizzle of pure maple syrup, and mom will be one happy lady!

This easy coffee waffle batter comes together quickly--just whisk together the ingredients by hand (no mixer needed!) and then cook in your waffle maker according to your machine's instructions. The whole process takes only about 20 minutes, so you don't have to spend much time fussing in the kitchen before celebrating as a family.

Oh and as a tip? I like to make them in batches, keeping them on a rack while the rest cook so that the bottoms don't steam. (It's all about that crispy texture, after all!).

This recipe makes enough waffles for four, so if you have any leftovers, let them cool and then pop them into baggies to keep in the fridge or freezer. You can heat them up in a toaster for a super easy and delicious on-the-go breakfast the next day!

This post is sponsored by Nestlé and ElMejorNido.com. For more great recipes and ideas, visit ElMejorNido.com

Cafe con Leche Waffles Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons Nescafe (clasico) instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the whipped cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Berries and pure maple syrup, for serving


Directions
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
 
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, NESCAFE, vanilla, and melted butter until smooth.

Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, and stir just until evenly combined and no dry spots remain (you may have a few small lumps, but that’s OK!)

Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions, placing on a cooling rack between batches to avoid steaming.

While waffles cook, whip the heavy cream, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1/8th teaspoon kosher salt until stiff peaks form.

Serve hot topped with the freshly whipped cream, berries, and maple syrup.
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Avocado & Red Onion Salad

I do this really dumb thing every single time we order sushi. I think to myself that I'd like some kind of light and fresh salad to go with the sushi, so I go through the options and pick out an avocado salad.

I don't know why I do this. It's always overpriced--about $5 for what basically amounts to half of a mediocre avocado. And it always has some kind of weird too-sweet dressing on it.

I've even (stupidly. SO stupidly.) done this when I have a perfectly lovely and ripe avocado waiting in the kitchen. Like the act of getting up and slicing it is somehow more difficult than clicking a button on the Seamless homepage.

Ugh. I'll learn my lesson eventually, but I'm here today to tell you to do as I say, not as I do.

This is the avocado salad I'm really craving. And it takes minutes to make.

Less than that, even!

It's just beautiful ripe avocados layered with thinly sliced red onions, lime juice, olive oil, and a bit of salt.

That's it. So simple. So perfect. So easy.

No need to pay anyone else to make it for you.

This recipe originally appeared in my Puerto Rican Christmas Table eCookbook, but I decided to share it here because it's getting warmer and warmer days call for avocado salads all day long.


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Avocado & Red Onion Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients
4 ripe Hass avocados
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 large lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions
Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and cut in half again. Slide off the peel and slice lengthwise. Scatter avocado slices on a serving platter.

Top with sliced onions.

Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with additional lime wedges.
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Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Growing up, classic coconut macaroons were a favorite in our house. We called them besitos de coco (coconut kisses), and enjoyed the chewy treats as often as possible. I've made several versions of them over the years, but these Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies are definitely my new favorite.

With Easter just a few days away, I thought I'd share this simple recipe that you can whip up in less than half an hour. I've teamed up with Nestlé and ElMejorNido.com this Spring to share a few fun and easy recipes featuring some of their products that I've used for years. First up is La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk, which is a favorite of mine for things like making homemade dulce de leche and (my favorite!) Christmas coquito.

While some macaroon recipes call for separating eggs and baking at super low temperatures, this easy recipe uses the condensed milk as well as a whole egg (no separating!) to both sweeten and bind the ingredients in a single step. It's a trick I hadn't tried before, but now that I have, I'm totally hooked!

Like a cross between a chewy chocolate chip cookie and a flaky coconut macaroon, these Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies have a soft cookie-like base, and the equal-parts crunchy and chewy mound of coconut on top that one expects from a macaroon.

Honestly, they're kind of magical!

Fresh orange zest and a bit of cinnamon add wonderful flavor, while a generous handful of crunchy, raw cocoa nibs, give it that "chocolate chip" like flavor. (You can also use mini chocolate chips, if you prefer, though I love the crunch of the cocoa nibs.)

The trick to these cookies is to use both large flaky coconut chips, and ground dessicated coconut. When baked, the ground coconut creates the base, while the flaky chips mound up on top in a way that almost seems like magic.

(But it's not magic. It's baking science.)

This recipe makes about 20 or so cookies, depending on how big you scoop them, and they keep well for a few days so you can make them in advance. Also feel free to play around with the flavors! Substitute lemon or lime zest, add chopped nuts or dried fruit, or even drizzle a bit of chocolate on top after they're done baking!

They're so simple to make that you can make multiple variations and serve up a whole platter to your friends and family.




This post is sponsored by Nestlé and ElMejorNido.com. For more great recipes and ideas, visit ElMejorNido.com. 



Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Yields about 20 cookies

Ingredients
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (such as NESTLE LA LECHERA)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups ground desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup raw cocoa nibs
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, condensed milk, and vanilla extract.

Add the coconut, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt, and stir well to combine. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until cookies are slightly toasted around the edges, bottom, and on top. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely before serving.
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