With the Winter Holidays close at hand, many of us have to come up with ideas for special meals. One meal that I love to take extra care with is breakfast or brunch. There are so many things that can be created, but one of my favorite is waffles.
Today there are many kinds of waffle irons on the market. You can purchase just a plain waffle iron, Belgian Waffle Irons, Mickey Mouse Irons or a Rose Waffle Iron or even a Heart Waffle Iron. One batter can be used for all, but it is surely more fun and interesting to create different types of waffles. When shopping for a waffle iron, look for one with non-stick grids. Also, the waffle irons that do not have removable grids are much simpler to work with. My experience is that the removable grids are more trouble than they are worth.
In addition to breakfast or brunch, waffles can be made for lunch or even dinner. For dinner they can serve as a bread substitute and serve as a wonderful base for creamed dishes such as Turkey Ala King. Waffles even serve as good desserts with special sauces.
Although there are several different types of waffles known in Belgium, the one that we know here was originally the Brussles Waffles. The Belgian Waffle first became popular in the United States in 1964 during the New York World’s Fair. The Belgian Waffle has deep pockets and larger squares. Most any waffle batter can be used, but the original one was made from a yeast batter.
If you have never used a waffle iron and are going to purchase one or receive one as a gift, be sure that you read the instruction booklet that comes with it before trying to use it. In addition to instructions for use, the booklets that come with the irons usually also have a recipe or two included.
Plug the iron in before you start making the batter. This way, there will be enough time for the iron to get hot enough to use. Almost all waffle irons have an indicator light that will tell you when the iron is ready to use. There is even one or two that have a red light and a green light. The red light indicates that iron is not hot enough and the green light indicates that it is. Most irons however, only come with one light. When you put the batter in the iron, the light will sooner go off because the batter will tend to cool it down sometime; do not worry, that is normal.
Even when a waffle iron has nonstick grids, I like to take the precaution of lightly spraying the grids with a vegetable spray before cooking the first waffle of each batch. One the iron is heated and you have lightly sprayed the grids, pout on about one-half cup of batter for each section. This of course, depends on the size of the waffler and of each section. If for instance, you have the Mini-Mickey Waffle Iron, you will probably use only about one-fourth cup of batter for each section. If in doubt, it is always prudent to check you instruction booklet. Pour the batter only into the middle of each section and then close the lid. The pressure from the lid will help to spread out the batter. When the steaming almost stops, the waffle should be ready. This will take about two or two and a half minutes, depending on the type of waffle iron you are using.
To help you get started, you will find some recipes below. The first recipe is for a Basic Waffle which can be changed about at will to produce a waffle that is you own creation. I like to use Buttermilk in place of the regular milk and sour cream can also be used. Sugar and Vanilla can be added to the batter or even use spices such as cinnamon to jazz your waffles up a bit. Try the recipes below and then be adventurous and try your hand at creativity.
Basic Waffle Batter
2 cups Milk
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/3 cup melted Butter
Plug the Waffle Iron in and begin heating.
Separate the Egg Yolks from the Whites; be very careful not to get any Yolk into the Whites.
Place all the ingredients except the Egg Whites into Food Processor work bowl fitted with the chopping blade and Pulse until well moistened.
Beat the Egg Whites until stiff enough to hold a peak.
Gently fold the beat Whites into the batter.
Brush the waffle grids with Salad Oil or lightly spray with a Vegetable Spray.
Pour about cup of Batter into the center of each heated Waffle Grid.
Close the iron, bake until golden, about 2 – 1 minutes or until steaming stops.
Remove Waffle to a heated plate and keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
Yield: About 6 Waffles
1/4 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
2 cups Blueberries
2 Tbsps. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Combine the Butter, Sugar, Nutmeg and Blueberries in a medium size Saucepan.
Cook over low heat about 5 minutes.
Combine the Lemon Juice and Cornstarch; stir into the Blueberry mixture and continue to cook until thickened. Serve warm over Waffles, Pancakes or ice Cream.
1 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
3 Tbsps. Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup unsalted Butter
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cups Milk
Combine the Flour, Salt, Baking Powder and Cocoa; set.
Preheat Waffle Iron.
In a large Mixer Bowl, cream the Butter and Sugar; add the Eggs and Vanilla and mix well.
Stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the Milk; continue beating on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Bake on preheated Waffle Iron.
Serve for dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce.
Yield: 4-5 Waffles
Try these recipes as they are or add your own innovations. If you are using a new waffle iron for the first time be sure to read the direction booklet completely and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Remember that even though waffles are wonderful for breakfast and / or brunch they are also good for other meals and or as snacks.