Everybody's Gotta Love Waffles!

Lately I have been seeing or maybe noticing more waffles on restaurant menus. Could it be a craving for comfort that I am noticing them or is it just that there are truly more waffles out and about. I seem to be drawn to those crevices that will hold butter and syrup perfectly but can also be the bread to my turkey sandwich. Yes it’s true, fun ideas and flavours can occur when you use your waffle for more than what it is. 
For breakfast and quick waffle in the toaster works for many, but nothing beats the smell wafting in the kitchen of those fresh baked waffles. Making your own gives you the option to enjoy right away or freeze them for later during the busy weekday mornings. 
A favourite combination I enjoy in the morning is my waffle smeared with natural peanut butter and a hefty sprinkling of blueberries! Sweet and salt and all together very tasty.
What about trying out waffles for your bread? Yes, filling two thin waffles with turkey, lettuce, tomato and bacon with a touch of pesto would make for a filling lunch indeed. 
And for dinner, I think the classic chicken and waffles works especially if it has some gravy drizzled over top. I know it seems over the top but it certainly doesn’t have to be something for every night or everyone. 
Enjoying waffles on their own with a drizzle of syrup is always a perfect way to have that crisp exterior and fluffy interior come together. At a recent lunch trip to 39 Carden Street I enjoyed waffles served topped with bacon and fries and served up with creme anglaise, just a slight twist or addition to the syrup if you wanted, but I was happy simply dipping my waffle in it with small amounts. 
Whether it’s jam or whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on your waffle the joy is you can eat it as you want! I decided that a perfect weekend brunch would be eggs benedict but also wanted waffles, so the creation began and morphed into this recipe. The ideas are truly endless and this recipe can be for sweet or savoury waffles as it has little sugar in it. 

Waffles for everything

With inspiration from local restaurants you can create your own fun meals at home! Enjoy waffles for a weekend brunch or light dinner. Waffles can be the backdrop for so many tasty meals, give it a try.

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
3 eggs, separated
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted and cooled

In bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk and butter. Pour over flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

In clean bowl, beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold one quarter into batter; fold in remaining whites.

Heat waffle iron. For each waffle brush lightly with oil; pour in about ½ cup (125 mL) of the batter. Close lid and cook for about 4 minutes or until steam stops and waffle is crisp and golden. (This time and amount will vary depending on your waffle iron) 

Makes about 11 waffles (depending on waffle iron size).

Tips: Make-ahead: Stack waffles between waxed paper, wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

For a bit of crunch to the waffle whisk in 1/4 cup (60 mL) cornmeal with the flour.

For a sweet waffle add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of granulated sugar and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla to the recipe.

Avocado Salsa Waffle Eggs Benedict

Use the waffle to replace traditional English muffins and give it some zing with a fun salsa too.

2 tsp (10 mL) white vinegar
4 eggs
6 fresh made waffles (see recipe above)

Avocado Salsa:
1 avocado, diced
1 cup (250 mL) salsa 
1/3 cup (75 mL) shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese

Avocado Salsa: In a bowl, stir together avocado, salsa and cheese; set aside.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, bring about 4 inches (10 cm) of water to a boil; add vinegar. Reduce to a gentle simmer. Break an egg into a saucer. Holding the saucer just above the simmering water, gently slip egg into saucepan. Continue for remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggs

Top each waffle with some of the salsa. Using slotted spoon remove eggs and place on top.

Makes 6 servings.

I also like using my waffle iron for other fun things, you can use it like a panini press to make fun sandwiches but you can also whip up your favourite cookies in a new way!

Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

Taking other batters or doughs and adding them to your waffle maker will offer up some unique snacks or desserts. Try out these fun cookies and serve them up on their own or top them with ice cream for a new sundae idea! They are delicious warm with milk.

1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 bag (300 g) mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well combined. Beat in vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.

Using about 1/3 cup (75 mL) ice cream scoop place on preheated waffle iron. Close lid and let cook for a few minutes or until golden brown. Gently lift out of waffle iron using two forks and repeat with remaining dough.

Makes about 1 dozen waffle cookies (size and amount varies on waffle maker).

Tip: I tried making the waffle cookies with regular chocolate chips and it was a pretty gooey mess and adding more chocolate chips will do the same thing.

For a great step by step video watch my hands walk you through the recipe at legourmet.tv 


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