Breakfast any time of day is my favorite meal; I have an extensive list of family favorite recipes that are in constant rotation. My husband prefers waffles more than pancakes, and so do I, but up till this past year I had never made them for him. I’m pretty sure a waffle maker was on our wedding registry, but we didn’t get it, and since then I stuck to pancakes because we own a griddle.
I always planned on getting a waffle maker, every now and then I’d make a mental note to get one while I was out, but then I’d see the selection (and the price tags) and come home empty handed. While we were in Kiev this past summer, waiting for passports and visas for the kiddos, we often bought waffles from a little place just outside our apartment. Sometimes the waffle place would be out of waffles. It was all they sold, but somehow they ran out and only offered coffee. How!? how could they run out of waffles? Is it so hard to make? You whip up some batter and plop it on the thingy and then you are set, right? Wrong.
Soon after we came home, I was making pancakes and wishing they were waffles and decided then and there it was time to order a waffle maker – it has been a decision 7 years in the making afterall! I asked the facebook hive mind for recommendations, I read amazon reviews, I cringed at the cost, then I ordered this one on Amazon and waited for it to arrive. It never came. I checked the order. It had been cancelled due to not updating a piece of shipping information.
My grand plan had been to make a massive batch of waffles and freeze them while my mom was up visiting. I had lovely daydreams of kids waking up, tiptoeing to the kitchen, and toasting their own waffles all by themselves while I slept. But that window of mom-opportunity passed while waiting for the waffle maker and I had lost the momentum of spending a whooping $79.99 on a kitchen contraption. The ones in the $20 range had bad reviews, the ones in the $300 were, well, in the $300 range. We could be okay with pancakes for another 7 years right?
In the meantime the order from amazon that never arrived threw the entire household off our groove because it also had the diapers and wipes we needed. My husband dashed out for a quick Aldi run (oh Aldi I wish you weren’t 18 miles away!) and returned triumphant with diapers, wipes, flowers, chocolate, and yes, a waffle maker!!!
Sweet mustache, that man is a miracle maker.
Since that fateful day many months ago I’ve made waffles twice. Turns out waffle batter is more complicated than I thought and the recipe didn’t come as naturally as pancake batter. If you believe everything Alton Brown and Christopher Kimball have to say on the subject (which I do, those men know their stuff), then you’ll know a real waffle needs flour, buttermilk, unsalted butter which is melted and then cooled slightly, salt, eggs, seltzer water, re-hydrated dew from the leaves of the zucka-zucka plant, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground norlox horn for every 3 cups flour, and only the freshest baking powder around.
Now I’ve gotta say I do keep a well stocked kitchen, but Amazon doesn’t always have norlox in stock (I’m willing to have the whole horn and grind it myself in my mortar and pestle) and even when dried, it doesn’t keep very long in the pantry, at which point you have a disgusting pile of goop to clean out and man does that smell linger.
So I kept on making pancakes and wishing they were waffles until last night. Timm put Kitty and Della to bed and then tiptoed down the hallway while I was finishing up tidying the kitchen. He casually mentioned that the girls might ask for waffles in the morning because he had been telling his childhood memories. I checked the pantry; the shelves were bare of seltzter water, dew, and norlox. All was lost.
I did a quick google search and staunchly avoided the links for Mr. Brown and Mr. Kimball. Then this title caught my eye: Overnight Yeasted Waffles. I skimmed through the ingredients, I had everything it called for. The process was super simple and I had a double batched whipped up and resting on the counter in a matter of minutes.
The first words out of Della’s mouth this morning were “mom, you are the best!” awwwwwwe. The next words were “can we have waffles for breakfast.” Well played, little one. I told them mom, who really is the bestest thing ever, already had waffle batter waiting! It had doubled in size overnight and was a pleasant frothy consistency. I followed the directions to add the eggs and baking soda, then I veered from the path a little. Instead of leaving the waffles plain, I divided the batter in half and made one a savory batch with pine nuts and pesto swirled in. The other half I doctored with an entire bag of chocolate chips, the remnants of some butterscotch chips, about a quarter cup of chopped pecans, and a dash of almond extract.
We were out of maple syrup, so I served the waffles with whole milk vanilla yogurt and a blueberry compote I whipped up for the occasion. The sweet ones were a hit with the littles, but ooooooh the pesto ones blew my mind. Now I’m thinking of all the possibilities! Goat cheese and tapenade, roast red peppers and mozzarella, artichoke hearts and thyme, lavender and flaxseed, pecans and blue cheese.
The double batch made about 20 waffles. There are now two bags of chocolate chip waffles tucked into the freezer. The pesto waffles were scarfed ages ago. Looks like I will need to make another batch.
If you want to see the recipe, head on over to the Kitchn blog. It’s not my recipe and I haven’t asked permission to share it here. I will keep playing around with the recipe for a few weeks and when I have something that has settled into something distinctly Heath, I will share my own recipe, but for now the best I can do is share the resource and share the blog love.