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Expert Waffling

Waffles

Waffle Recipes

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It's easy to see what foods are America's favorites. Just stroll through the frozen food section of your supermarket and you will see pizza, pound cake, turkey dinners, garlic bread, and I could go on and on. Just pop 'em in the oven.

About 25 years ago, the frozen food industry determined to bypass the oven altogether and make the friendly little toaster the kitchen workhorse. Everybody has a toaster, and everybody knows how to use one. Being flat, waffles were a natural, so long as they were no larger than your average slice of bread.

Now, if you're in a hurry, frozen waffles are not bad at all. But if you have some time, say, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, treat yourself and your family to some "real" waffles - homemade and straight from the waffle iron.

You'll need a waffle maker, of course. (That's the preferred term these days.) And there is a wide selection on the market ranging in price from under $30 to $300, but we'll talk more about that later.

Basic Buttermilk Waffles

In addition to the luscious waffle recipes listed later on, it is important to have a good, solid basic waffle recipe. A hot buttermilk waffle, crispy and light, is not only delicious with butter and maple syrup, but strawberries and whipped cream, too. Also, a hot waffle provides a delectable base for a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge. You have both breakfast and dessert covered, which gives you all the more opportunity to use your waffle maker. It's great fun.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda, and set aside. In a second bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk, and stir in the melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened. Do not over-mix. The batter should be a little lumpy.

The instructions that come with your waffle maker will tell you how much batter to use. Some waffle makers come with a batter cup that is exactly the right size. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your waffle maker as to how long to cook it, usually between 2 and 4 minutes, or until steam stops escaping.

If your waffle maker is new, it won't take many waffles for you to get acquainted with it. Wow Them with Waffles

You may notice that the major difference between waffle and pancake recipes is the amount of oil or butter called for. The butter or oil is largely responsible for a waffle's light crispness, and it also ensures ease in removing it from the waffle maker.

Tips for Terrific Waffles

  • Waffle batter is like biscuit dough in that the less it is mixed, the lighter the end result will be. Use a light hand. Waffle batter containing yeast or stiffly beaten egg whites is an exception to this rule, since those ingredients account for the lightness.
  • Older is not better when it comes to waffle makers. The older waffle makers either lack a non-stick surface entirely, or the non-stick surface is not on a par with those available today. Therefore, they must be oiled with each use if you want to remove your waffle in one piece. At the same time, they must be carefully cleaned, a tedious job at best. If you are planning to haul out Grandma's waffle iron, rethink the situation and treat yourself to a new model.
  • When you begin shopping around for a waffle maker, you'll have to decide between regular and Belgian. It's a matter of personal preference but, personally, I love the body and crispy "tooth" of a Belgian waffle.
  • If you do have a new model, do not use spray-on oil or shortening on the surface. It is not necessary, and it will definitely gunk up your waffle maker.
  • Pour the batter into the center of the waffle maker and, if necessary, use a rubber spatula to spread it out. It is not necessary to spread the batter to the edges. Once you put the top down, the batter will be forced throughout the surface. It's no disaster if a little batter escapes over the side.
  • If you are making more than one waffle, close the waffle maker immediately after removing a waffle so the surfaces stay up to temperature.
  • Waffles will lose their crispness if placed or stacked on a solid surface. It's best to keep them on a wire rack before serving.
  • If you are making multiple waffles, keep the finished waffles in a 200F degree oven for up to 15 minutes - any longer and they will dry out. Place them in a single layer directly on the oven rack.
  • Waffles freeze very well. Cool them in a single layer on a wire rack, then place a sheet of waxed paper between each one and put them in a freezer bag. To reheat, place them in a single layer directly on the oven rack in a preheated 300F degree oven for 10 minutes.

Waffle Recipes

What follows are three luscious sweet and one savory waffle recipes.

Cinnamon Raisin Sour Cream Waffles with Cinnamon Maple Butter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the waffle maker.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the raisins. Add the milk, sour cream, melted butter vanilla and eggs, and mix just until moistened. Mixture should be a little lumpy.

Bake in preheated waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Makes 4 to 5 large waffles.

Cinnamon Maple Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
Combine butter, cinnamon and syrup in a small saucepan. Heat gently and stir until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Banana Nut Waffles with Banana Butter

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups diced, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup toasted, finely chopped pecans
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, nutmeg and ginger, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, warm the water, milk and butter to about 125F degrees (very warm to the touch, but far from scalding), stirring often. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the eggs, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or let stand at room temperature for at least one hour, until batter is light and bubbly.

When ready to cook, preheat the waffle maker.

Add the brown sugar, bananas and chopped pecans to the batter, and mix well.

Bake in preheated waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Makes 4 to 5 large waffles.

Banana Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons mashed banana
In a small bowl, mash together the softened butter with the banana.

Toasted Pecans: Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F degree oven until you begin to smell them, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the waffle iron.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sour cream, milk, egg yolks, butter and brown sugar. In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stirring well.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the waffle batter until incorporated.

Bake in preheated waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Makes 4 medium waffles.

Tex-Mex Waffles

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1-1/3 cups grated Longhorn or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1-2/3 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green chiles
Preheat the waffle maker.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add the milk, eggs, vegetable oil and chiles, and mix just until moistened. Mixture may be a little lumpy.

Bake in preheated waffle maker according to manufacturer&ls instructions. Makes 4 to 5 large waffles.

Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream and additional grated cheese.

As I mentioned earlier, you can pay a little or a lot for a waffle maker. Most new waffle makers, even the low-cost ones, produce pretty-good-to-excellent waffles. However, it is inevitable that the more you pay, the longer your waffle maker is likely to last. Do some careful shopping and, for excellent insight, read the customer reviews on amazon.com.

If you already own a perfectly good waffle maker, but it hasn't seen the light of day in a long time, get it out and dust it off. Homemade waffles are a treat!

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