While my son attends preschool, my daughter and I generally run errands. He’s only there for 2 hours anyway so we may as well stay out and make the most of it. Often, we find ourselves at TJ Maxx, which is conveniently located in the plaza next door to his preschool. How thoughtful of them! With the blog as an excuse, I wander the aisles of pots, pans, bakeware, dishes, and linens, visualizing potential shoots for future projects with the booty I’ve discovered. And with prices so low, it’s hard to not to walk away with something every time we stop by.
Case in point: while the little guy spent a bonus day at preschool this morning, my daughter and I walked away with a rectangular flan pan and a Chef’s Choice Waffle Cone Express. I don’t know how a waffle cone maker can be irregular–does it insist upon making triangles instead of the round shape depicted?–but this somehow was. That meant it was mine for the bargain price of $29.99, instead of the suggested retail value of $49.99. A steal! It’s all about what we’re saving after all, right?
I can’t say I’ve ever found myself in the pantry before suddenly struck by the thought: “Damn, if only I had a waffle cone maker! Then all would be right with the world.” But there it was, in the cart. I couldn’t resist. At least I put back that suede purse in exchange for it. (Which, by the way, was an even bigger steal… but we won’t talk about that right now. I’m still mourning its loss. Maybe I’ll be ready in a week to talk about it. Or maybe I’ll be standing between the racks, lost and forlorn, thinking: “Damn, if only I had a suede purse…”)
I have to say, now that I’ve tried it, that I can see this baby getting a lot of use around here. It came with 3 recipes to start with, but I’m already formulating some ideas for other uses, including some savory options. I can’t wait to experiment more! In the meantime, I made up a batch of the Elegant Wafer Cones and filled one some Ciao Bella Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet. YUM. I quite possibly could live solely off of this. Maybe I should have picked up the Petite Cone Express as well…
Elegant Wafer Cones
slightly adapted from the instruction booklet for the Chef’s Choice Waffle Cone Express, model 838
makes about 10
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup vanilla sugar
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your waffle cone maker to manufacturer’s directions. Adjust the color setting dial for the darkness level desired.
Beat the eggs and salt in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in the sugar until fully incorporated and the mixture has lightened slightly. Stir in the oil. Add the cake flour and stir slowly until all the flour is moistened. Beat an extra 15 seconds or so to incorporate fully and smooth out the lumps. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Spoon about 3 Tbsp (1/4 cup–or a large cookie scoop) of batter into the center or slightly above the center of the iron. Close the lid, lock the latch, and bake for 1 minute. Open to check color, cooking an additional 20-40 seconds if necessary (mine took about 90 seconds each for perfection).
Quickly remove from the iron onto a clean cloth towel. Use the towel to help lift and roll the waffle around the cone form, making sure you pinch the bottom to seal it. (I had a hard time pinching the bottom without breaking, but managed. You can also use small bowls that nest to make waffle bowls.) Hold the cone a few seconds to set its shape, then place on a wire rack or in an iced tea glass to cool.
You can use them immediately after the shape is set. If you want to save them for later use, you need to leave them out for a while to cool and dry completely. Then they can be packaged in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to a couple of weeks. What you fill them with is up to you!