Gingerbread Waffles


Do you remember me telling you about my son, the little waffle monster?  Yeah, that title still stands.  This kid just plain loves waffles.  Since it is now officially the holiday season I’ve been craving gingerbread something fierce, and these seemed like a great way to please both mom and kiddo.  The recipe is not so different from a regular waffle batter, but the addition of fall spices and molasses lends that warm, spicy gingerbread flavor.  The smell of these cooking and the sound of The Nutcracker was a lovely way to welcome in the holiday season.


Not surprisingly, these were a big hit all around.  The full recipe made about 10 waffles in our waffle maker.  Normally I would halve such a recipe for our family, but lately whenever we make a batch of pancakes or waffles we go ahead and make the entire recipe and then freeze the leftovers.  It’s nice to be able to pull a single frozen waffle or pancake from the freezer whenever you want a quick breakfast a little more exciting than cereal, or when the child who already had a plate of scrambled eggs and fruit declares that he is still “horngry”.

Gingerbread Waffles
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Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
4 large eggs
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
3 tbsp. unsulfured molasses

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Whisk to blend.  In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, butter, milk, sour cream and molasses and whisk to blend well.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to combine until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.  Serve immediately.

Source
: Martha Stewart

Waffles of Insane Greatness

How’s that for a recipe name?  These are also apparently known around the blogosphere as WIG for short.  Whatever you decide to call them, I like to think of them as my favorite basic go-to morning-of waffle recipe.  These yeasted waffles still hold my place as number one because of the amazing flavor the yeast provides, but these are a very close second.  Perfect when my little guy is shouting, “Waffles!  Waffles!” and I did not prep the yeasted batter the night before.  This recipe does call for a short 30 minute wait time to let the batter sit before using, but that’s nothing a little distraction with books and toys can’t fix.

The flavor is just what you would want in a plain waffle and the texture is dreamy – slightly crisp on the outside, tender and airy on the inside.  My only beef with this recipe is that, at least in my waffle maker, it only yields five waffles – enough for feeding our little family certainly, but not enough extra to feed guests or freeze leftovers.  If you are feeding more than two adults and a hungry child, definitely double it!

Waffles of Insane Greatness
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Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. sugar
½ cup whole milk
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Whisk together to blend.  In another mixing bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain.  Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.  Serve immediately.

Yield: depends on the size/shape of your waffle iron

Source: Food Network via Orangette

Banana Pancakes

You know who I just love to pieces?  Jack Johnson.  Without a doubt, he is one of my top three favorite artists.  He makes up 8.5% of my iTunes library.  And in my top three favorite Jack Johnson songs, Banana Pancakes for sure!  My sweet Ben bought me tickets to see Jack Johnson in concert last month as an anniversary gift, and we had a truly wonderful time.  Perfect weather in an outdoor venue, mellow environment, and great people watching.  (Also, we had a fabulous sushi dinner before the concert – a truly perfect evening!)  If you are a fan and you have never seen him in concert, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, the day after the concert I just couldn’t resist making banana pancakes for breakfast.  Cliche?  Maybe, but also delicious.  I’ve got to give Jack credit because before hearing that song, I had never even heard of banana pancakes, let alone tasted them.  Now this recipe has been a favorite in our household for several years.  These are easy as can be and would be great for a fun weekend project with the kiddos.  Even though Andrew isn’t quite old enough to help yet, he definitely did his part in eating them.

Banana Pancakes
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Yield: about 8 pancakes
Ingredients:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Additional banana slices, for serving
Maple syrup, whipped cream, etc. for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 200˚ F.  Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl; set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk together to combine.  In a another bowl, combine the mashed banana, milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk to blend.  Add the melted butter and the banana mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix gently with a rubber spatula until just blended (the batter will be slightly lumpy).

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Grease lightly with butter.  Drop the batter in 1/3 cup portions onto the heated cooking surface.  Cook until a few bubbles form in the top surface and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Carefully flip the pancake over and cook on the remaining side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes more.  Transfer finished pancakes to a plate in the warm oven while you use the remaining batter, re-greasing the pan as needed.  Serve warm with maple syrup and sliced bananas as desired.

Source: Williams Sonoma

Yeasted Waffles

My son Andrew is a very smart little boy.  I know, I know, every parent thinks their kid is smart.  I’m no exception.  But I have lots of evidence to support this theory.  I won’t bore you with details of all the amazing things he already knows how to do.  I’ll just tell you this – he loves these waffles.  So much so that every morning since I first made them (weeks ago now), the first words he says in the morning are, “Waffles?  Okay, waffles!”  You see, he thinks that if he says, “Okay, ____!” then he has essentially gotten approval from us and will receive whatever he is asking for.  Smart, and maybe a little manipulative 😉

Not only does Andrew love these waffles, but so do Ben and I.  I’ve made some really wonderful waffles like chocolate, cinnamon apple and banana, but I had yet to find my go-to classic plain waffle recipe to be dressed up any way we want.  This is the one.  Thanks to the yeast, these waffles have an amazing depth of flavor that stands up to whatever you choose to top them with.  The texture is quite light and airy, but still sturdy enough to soak up syrup and blueberry sauce.  I suppose the only drawback is they do require enough advance planning that the batter be prepped the night before.  But I consider that a positive because when you wake up all you have to do is mix in a couple final ingredients, plug in the waffle maker and go.  Don’t worry though, I will soon be sharing a morning-of waffle that requires no planning ahead.  Since creating the waffle monster, it has become necessary to have both at my disposal!

Yeasted Waffles
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Ingredients:
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast (I use instant – either is fine)
2 cups whole milk, warmed
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. baking soda

Directions:
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  (If using active dry yeast, let stand to dissolve 5 minutes before proceeding.)  Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour to the bowl.  Whisk until well blended and smooth (you can also use an electric mixer.)  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.

When you are ready to make the waffles, preheat the waffle iron.  Preheat the oven to 200˚ F and place a plate in the oven.  Just before making the waffles, whisk the eggs and baking soda into the batter until smooth.  The batter will be very thin.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.  Transfer finished waffles to the warmed plate in the oven while you cook the rest of the batter.  Top as desired with butter, syrup, etc.

Yield: depends on the size/shape of your waffle iron (I make a half batch for our family of three)

Source: slightly adapted from Orangette, originally from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

Banana Bread Waffles

The first time I made yeasted waffles, the result was a huge disappointment.  I had such high hopes.  They looked beautiful and the texture was perfect, but I couldn’t even finish one – they just tasted way off.  I still haven’t figured out why they tasted so darn bad, but it made me a little wary of trying yeasted waffles again.  Finally I was inspired to give it another go when I saw this recipe.  The idea of banana bread waffles was just too much for me to resist.  Thankfully, this recipe was a complete success.  A perfectly textured waffle with all the flavors of banana bread, drizzled with maple syrup and topped with fresh bananas.  Mixing up the majority of ingredients in the batter the night before makes for low maintenance, tasty breakfast.  Make them this weekend!

Banana Bread Waffles
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Ingredients:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. warm milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1½ tsp. yeast
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground clove
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 whole bananas)
2 tbsp. sour cream or Greek yogurt

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, warm milk and vanilla extract.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices.   Whisk together to blend.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk just until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs until incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to make the waffles, remove the batter from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  It should be about doubled in size and there should be small bubbles on the surface.

Add the mashed bananas and sour cream or yogurt to the batter.  Whisk lightly to incorporate into the batter.  Cook in a preheated waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve as desired with maple syrup and banana slices.

Source: adapted from Honey & Jam, originally from Seven Spoons

Chocolate Waffles

While I usually eat very healthy breakfasts, every once in a while it’s fun to indulge.  That’s what these chocolate waffles are for.  They are so rich and chocolatey, I felt like I was eating chocolate cake for breakfast…which then reminded me of my favorite Bill Cosby routine.  “Eggs – eggs are in chocolate cake!  And milk!  Oh goody!  And wheat!  That’s nutrition!….Chocolate cake, coming up!”  This was running through my head over and over, and then I absolutely busted up laughing when Ben sat down at the table and started quoting the same routine.  These were a wonderful breakfast treat, and we only topped them with some whipped cream and strawberries because they don’t need anything more than that.  And I’m sure it’s no surprise that they were very popular with Andrew as well.

Chocolate Waffles
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Ingredients:
1½ cups (7 oz.) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (1¾ oz.) sugar
½ cup (1½ oz.) cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
3 large eggs, beaten
4 tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat the waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Preheat the oven to 200˚ F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Whisk to blend.  In another bowl combine the eggs, butter, vanilla and buttermilk.  Whisk to blend well.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Fill the waffle iron with batter and cook until the waffle is crisp and completely cooked.  Transfer finished waffles to the preheated oven and repeat until all the batter has been used.  Serve immediately with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Source: adapted from Alton Brown via Food Network

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes


It’s that time of year again when pumpkin spice anything sounds good to me.  Usually it’s some sort of pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bar or even pumpkin ice cream…but with pancakes, I can bring my addiction into breakfast time 🙂  These are a perfect fall breakfast and a great way to use up any half-cans of pumpkin leftover from your other baking endeavors.  Sprinkling the tops with cinnamon sugar and adding just a drizzle of syrup is all these need in the way of topping.  I bet they would also be great with some cinnamon whipped cream.  They would definitely be a big hit at a small brunch, but just keep in mind that you don’t want to spend too much time standing over the stove cooking instead of entertaining guests.

Just wait to see later this week what I did with my left over cinnamon-sugar.  Oh, it is goooood.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
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Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine.  (The batter may still have a few lumps – that is okay.)

Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Martha Stewart

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Though I like pancakes, I’m typically more of a waffle person.  However, after seeing Joy the Baker (lover of all things pancake) rave and rave and rave about these, I decided we needed to try them.  I have to say, they lived up to the hype.  Even better is how easy they were to make, which is essential for a leisurely weekend breakfast.  I used milk chocolate chips as she recommends, but I think they would be great with semi-sweet or dark chocolate as well.  I halved the recipe (full recipe listed below) and we got about 6 pancakes out of the batch.  Andrew also loved these, as you can see 🙂  I can just imagine that this will be a recipe our kids request often in future years.

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes
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Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½-¾ cup chocolate chips

Directions:
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.  Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix just until incorporated.  Add in the chocolate chips and stir just until combined.

Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Melt a thin pat of butter in the pan and spread it around.  Once the bottom of the pan has been covered, wipe the butter out gently with a paper towel so that only a very thin film remains.  Drop scoops of batter of your desired size (I use 1/3 cup) into the pan.  Cook the first side until bubbles form on the surface and begin to pop, and the bottom is golden brown.  Flip gently with a spatula and cook again until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.  Transfer the cooked pancakes to an oven-safe dish in the warmed oven and repeat the process with the remaining batter.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker

Honey Yogurt Waffles

honey-yogurt-waffles

After making the wonderful cinnamon waffles with caramelized apples a couple of weeks ago, I decided I really need to try to get better use out of the awesome waffle maker I got for Christmas.  Last weekend I gave this recipe a try mostly because the name sounded intriguing to me, and they were delicious!  This is particularly nice if you are searching for a healthier waffle recipe.  These have some whole wheat flour and oats rather than all white flour, and use honey as the only sweetener.  Also, I have found that just about everything I bake with yogurt turns out great.  They weren’t quite as crispy as some waffles I have had, but they definitely weren’t overly soft and the taste didn’t suffer.  They made the whole house smell good while they were cooking.  We ate these drizzled with honey and topped with fresh raspberries, and it was the perfect combo.  Enjoy!

Recipe Rewind: tried and true favorites I’ve made recently
Shrimp Lasagna Rolls 

Honey Yogurt Waffles
Ingredients:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Melt the butter; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, honey, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Gently fold in the melted butter.

Preheat and lightly grease a waffle iron.   Pour batter into the wells of the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is golden and set.  Place in an oven preheated to 200 degrees F to keep the finished waffles warm while you use the rest of the batter.  Serve with maple syrup or honey and top with fresh fruit.

Source: adapted from Williams Sonoma

Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelized Apples

I could tell just from the title, these were going to be GOOD.  Each month I am excited to get the newest Williams-Sonoma catalog, because it is full of both kitchen equipment for me to drool over as well as delicious sounding recipes.  Williams-Sonoma is one of my most trusted recipe sources.  I have made an unbelievable number of things from their website, cookbooks, etc. and have had only one or two that were less than superb.  So this month when the catalog came, I quickly folded down the pages of all the recipes I wanted to try and these waffles were right at the top of my list.  These were a delicious Valentine’s breakfast for us (we made a half batch).  I had no issues with the recipe and wouldn’t change anything for next time.  They may be slightly more involved than your usual waffle recipe, but are totally worth it in my opinion.  Can’t wait to have them again! 

Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelized Apples
Yield: 12 4-inch square waffles

Ingredients:
For the caramelized apples:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the waffles:
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
8 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
whipped cream, for serving

Directions: 
To make the caramelized apples, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter.  Add the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Mix until apples are evenly coated.  
Cook about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in vanilla.  Set aside.

To make the waffles, in a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Whisk the flour mixture into the yolk mixture until smooth.  In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.  Gently fold 1 cup egg whites into batter; carefully fold in remaining egg whites.

Preheat waffle maker on medium-high.  Pour 1/3 cup batter into each well of waffle maker; close the lid.  Cook 5-6 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve waffles with caramelized apples and whipped cream.   

Source: adapted from Williams-Sonoma Catalog, February 2009