Waffling for Mom

04 May Waffling for Mom

 When it comes to breakfast, most families I know prefer one or the other: pancakes or waffles. 
Personally, I am a tried-and-true forever faithful pancake girl, hav­ing grown up eating wonderful ones made from scratch, often offered with one of my mom’s homemade cinnamon or chokecherry syrups. Yum.
There’s something homey and wholesome about serving pan­cakes hot off the griddle for breakfast. So years ago after Mike and I had a family of our own and ran across the International House of Pancakes pancake recipe online, we cut it out and made it our breakfast standby.

Borrowing a tip from my mom, we dump everything in the blender, quickly mix up the batter, and before long, we’re having hot homemade pancakes. We’ve made them so many times the recipe clipping tacked to the kitchen bul­letin board is tattered and torn, but not to worry, by now both Mike and our older daughter Mackenzie know it by heart.

Truth be told, Mike makes a lot more pancakes than I do, so much so that when our daughter Madi­son was little, enjoying pancakes at my parents’ house one morning, she told my parents that “Dad is the cooker in our house.”

I’m guessing this is because when the girls were younger, and I was trying to find my abs again, I was dutifully prying myself out of bed for a pre-dawn Pilates class, leaving Mike at home to feed them breakfast. What a godsend the IHOP pancake recipe was. They’d make them two or three times a week, often throwing in a secret ingredient and having me guess what it was when I got home.

Thankfully, even though both girls are now in school and it’s too hectic to escape for an early bird workout, Mike still fills in as the breakfast cook. He does a great job. I sure appreciate the morn­ings I get out of bed and smell the griddle already heating up and hear the whir of the blender mix­ing up his signature pancake bat­ter.

But waffles? We just don’t make them much at our house. (OK, I haven’t made them in years.) My mom, on the other hand, loves get­ting out her Mickey Mouse waffle iron when the girls are over and whipping up a batch of waffles.

One morning when I went to pick up Madison, she met me at the

door raving about the waffles they’d just had for breakfast.
“Why don’t we ever have waf­fles?” Madison asked innocently. “Good question,” I said, “We should make some.”
“We have a waffle maker?”

Madison asked in astonishment.

“Actually, we have two waffle

makers, a heart-shaped one and a Belgian waffle maker,” I admitted. “We have TWO waffle mak­ers?!” Madison exclaimed in disbe­lief, and I knew my days were numbered. It was only a matter of time before I’d be back in the breakfast business, firing up the waffle makers at home.
We brought them out of hiding and got to work.
School was out for spring break and by golly, there would be waf­fles, starting with the Belgians. I love them, but let’s face it: those Belgian babies are high mainte­nance. You can’t just throw the ingredients in the blender, whir them up and pour them out a dozen at a time like you can with pancakes.

 

With Belgians you have to separate the eggs, beat the whites, whisk the yolks, fold it together and bake them two at a time. It was all coming back to me. This was exactly why we make pancakes, why we’re a “pancake family” most days.

Nevertheless, I separated those eggs. I beat the whites.

I whisked the yolks. I dutiful­ly folded. I baked them two at a time in the Belgian waf­fle maker. And the girls loved them, those Belgian beauties covered in a blanket of whipped cream and fresh berries.

But there must be an easier way, I thought to myself the next day, wiping off waffle maker number 2, a heart­shaped number I’d bought back in my college days.

If you can make pancake batter in the blender, why not waffle batter? And off I went, filling the blender pitcher with wet waffle ingredients first and then blending it all together. And it worked, yielding crisp flavorful heart­shaped waffles sweetened with dried cherries and an added crunch of slivered almonds, almost as effortless as their easy, breezy pals, our beloved pancakes.

Just in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday I give you my Special of the Day: Let there be Waffles: Buttermilk Bel­gian Waffles and Cherry Almond Waffles, perfect for a breakfast in bed for Mom.

Cherry Almond Waffles
CHERRY ALMOND WAFFLES

 

» 2 cups buttermilk
» 2 tbsp. melted butter, cooled
» 3 eggs
» 1 tsp. almond flavoring
» 3 tbsp. sugar
» ½ tsp. salt
» 1 tsp. baking powder
» ½ tsp. baking soda
» 1 cup almond flour (2Js)
» 1 cup flour
» ½ cup slivered almonds
» ¾ cup dried cherries
Add all ingredients to blender pitcher in order, except for the slivered almonds and dried cherries.
Mix on high until thorough­ly combined.
Heat waffle maker until hot.
Brush melted butter over surfaces of waffle maker.
Pour waffle batter over bottom of waffle maker, starting in middle and filling to about 1 inch of edge.
Sprinkle almonds and dried cherries over waffle batter and bake briefly, about 15 seconds.
Close waffle maker and bake until crisp.
The light on the waffle maker should go off when done.
Repeat, using up the rest of the batter.Serve hot with butter and cherry syrup. Serves six.You can keep baked waf­fles warm in a 200-degree oven until the rest are baked, if desired.


Buttermilk Belgian Waffles with Mixed Berries
 
BUTTERMILK BELGIAN WAFFLES WITH MIXED BERRIES

 

» 4 egg yolks
» 1¾ cups buttermilk
» 1 tsp. vanilla
» ½ cup butter, melted
» 1¾ cups flour
» 2 tsp. baking powder 
» 1½ tsp. baking soda
» ½ tsp. salt
» ½ cup sugar
» 4 egg whites
» Sweetened whipped cream
» Mixed fresh berries
Whisk egg yolks, butter­milk, butter and vanilla until well mixed.
Sift dry ingredients into yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.
Beat egg whites with elec­tric mixer until stiff.
Fold egg whites into yolk mixture just until combined.
Preheat Belgian waffle maker.
Brush insides of waffle maker with melted butter.
Spoon batter over bottom of waffle maker to cover.
Close lid and bake until light goes off, or about four minutes until golden crisp.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com.

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