To waffle, or not to waffle? That is the question…

It seems like “waffling” is all the rage these days. And by “waffling,” I mean putting things other than waffle batter in waffle irons to cook.

I often see things that folks waffle and it makes me think, “Why didn’t I think of that?! That makes perfect sense!”

Raw cookie dough, waffled… if you put balls of room temp cookie dough in the waffle iron that’s been set on the highest setting, you’ve got waffled cookies in about a minute and a half. Cinnamon roll dough, waffled. Ice them after you remove them from the waffle iron.

And it’s not just breakfast foods and snacks, you can create waffled foods for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can put pretty much any bread or pastry in your waffle iron and give it a good toast, in waffled fashion.

You can pour beaten eggs into the waffle iron and they’ll scramble in one piece, which is perfect for a breakfast sandwich. Even better, you can add chopped veggies and make it a hand-held omelet.

Any sandwich you’ve made can become a waffled panini by sticking it in the waffle iron, producing a crispy, melty, savory waffled-sandwich.

Bacon doesn’t waffle very nicely. It’s best to go with already-cooked bacon if you’re including it in you waffled meal. Some folks are even waffling macaroni and cheese, and it comes out crispy and chewy.

The other day, I enjoyed a flavorful version of Chicken & Waffles at a local eatery… hand-breaded chicken nuggets atop two buttermilk biscuits that sandwiched cheese and bacon and was then waffled. The cheese melted, with the little bits that escaped the biscuits turning crispy. The biscuits wafflized (is that a word?!), and served with a Dijon-maple syrup and another delectable dipping sauce, it was some good stuff.

Chicken and Waffles... buttermilk biscuits in a waffle iron.

Thank you, Tri La Bite for your Chicken and Waffle Nachos!!!

I grew up in the 1970s, when microwave cooking was all the rage. I might even have a couple of my mother’s microwave cookbooks packed away, just because they were hers, not because I used them.

At one point, my mom was excited because she got a new microwave before her old one died, and had two microwaves to use at once. One was for cooking, the other was for re-heating. My mother was generally a make-it-from-scratch cook, until she discovered she could do so much with her microwaves.

Convenience foods, like frozen waffles that were introduced in the 1950s, and pastries that you pop in the toaster that were introduced in the late 1960s, were a favorite breakfast dish for housewives and cook-it-yourselfer kids.

One of my favorite breakfasts as a child was a toasted frozen waffle with peanut butter smeared on it. I could make it myself, and felt empowered when I did. With such ease and convenience, suffice it to say, homemade waffles weren’t on our breakfast menu at home.

One of my favorite “special occasion” breakfasts as an adult is Belgian waffles. The first time I made them, my eyes were way bigger than my stomach and I made two for each of us. I ate about half of one, dripping with Vermont maple syrup, melted butter and homemade whipped cream. They’re more filling that the average waffle, as they are bigger, thicker and more dense than regular waffles. Belgian waffles have more ingredients than regular waffles, and require a Belgian waffle iron.

Two with butter and homemade whipped cream, and I could only eat part of one!

My first attempt at Belgian waffles… and I thought I could eat TWO?!
Puh-lease! I ate half of one!!!

There are books, blogs and websites devoted to creating non-waffle-batter foods in the waffle iron. It’s pretty inspiring. What will you waffle, besides waffles, the next time you break out the waffle iron?

Belgian Waffles

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1⁄2 cup melted butter

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Oil the waffle maker (I have coconut oil spray that works perfectly).

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

In separate bowl, separate egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form.

Mix together the egg yolks, milk, butter, and vanilla, and stir slightly.

Add to dry ingredients and mix well.

Fold in egg whites.

Cook in waffle iron on medium-high heat for around 5-10 minutes. The waffles will be soft when you remove them from the iron, but will crisp upon cooling.

Printed with the permission of the Alpine Avalanche




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