Yummy Belgian Waffles

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Well hello there! It’s been awhile, I know. The last few months of 2016 flew and before I knew it, we were more than halfway thru February! There have been a lot of changes lately and still more to come. It’s all good and incredibly exciting, but that’s to share another day. 🙂

So…waffles. Not unlike any other toddler, my daughter is very fond of waffles. For a while, I was perfectly content with the Belgian waffles we found in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s. Then this past fall, I realized there were several ingredients I didn’t recognize! I started wondering, were these too processed?? What was I feeding her??

Of course my next thought was, I’ll just make them from scratch. Easy enough, right?? Not so much.

I never realized how many different recipes were out there! I’ve tried:

  1. Yeasted Belgian waffle recipes which were very light and crisp, but due to the yeast and minimal sugar, tasted almost bread-like.
  2. Non-yeasted waffle recipes which relied on baking powder or soda for the rise. These came out dense and deflated, despite the leavening.
  3. An authentic liege waffle recipe which was ridiculously amazing and spot-on to the waffles from the Wafels & Dinges food truck you find randomly throughout Manhattan. These waffles are in my opinion, the ultimate waffle (especially when smeared with specaloos). They are incredibly decadent and dessert-like, but definitely not something I’d want to feed my toddler a couple times a week. They’re so sweet, the sugar content almost destroyed my waffle maker! Was it worth it, though? Absolutely.

I was at a loss. Why was it so difficult to find a waffle recipe that worked for my family? I was about to give up entirely. Then, decided to do some research. I discovered the difference between what is known as the the “Belgian” waffles sold here in the United States vs an authentic “Belgian” waffle from Belgium. (If you’re interested, you can learn more about the different varieties here.) Then I wondered maybe what I was looking for wasn’t an authentic “Belgian” waffle recipe, but something that had been adapted, Americanized.

After more searching, I stumbled upon this recipe from The Kitchen Whisperer. Here’s what peaked my interest:

  1. Cornstarch. This was the first waffle recipe that I came across that required cornstarch and I wondered, why? The Kitchen Whisperer explains that it helps bind the ingredients and helps make a crispier exterior. Interesting.
  2. A 30 minute rest. Though all yeast-based waffle recipes required some sort of rest (typically over night), I had not seen a leavening-based waffle recipe that required it. I let my pancake batter rest for 15-30 minutes prior to cooking. Why had I never tried the same rest for waffles?? 
  3. Sugar. The recipes I had tried included only 1/4c of sugar, oftentimes less. This one had a range of 1/4-1/2c. Sounds promising.
  4. Vanilla. Most recipes called for 1/2tsp to 1tsp. This recipe required 1 AND 1/2 teaspoons. Vanilla seriously makes everything taste better. More of it has got to be a good thing, right?

The only changes I made:

  1. Buttermilk. I didn’t like that the recipe required buttermilk. I never have it and whenever I do purchase it for whatever random recipe, what’s left in the carton always, always goes to waste. So, I just used regular whole milk.
  2. Egg whites. Through a happy accident (I really need to work on my recipe reading skills), I ended up using two egg whites instead of one. I was about to start over and save the egg whites for the next day’s breakfast when my husband said, “What’s the worse thing that can happen? You end up with lighter waffles??” He’s so smart.

I ended up with the best home made waffles ever. Well at the very least, the best ones ever made in my kitchen. 🙂 They were so light and airy and perfectly browned and crisp. The first time I made these, I used 1/2c of sugar and though they were excellent, they were definitely on the sweeter side. The second time I made these, I dialed the sugar down to just a little under 1/2c and those were yum. I might consider dialing back a little more, closer to 1/3c and see what happens. It’s a small change, but considering waffles at my house are served with a light dusting of powdered sugar or smothered with butter and maple syrup, it’s a change I would expect to go unnoticed.

I would like to continue experimenting with these, perhaps substituting a small portion of the white flour with whole wheat flour or maybe using white whole wheat flour entirely. We shall see.

By the way, these do freeze well and come out best reheated in the toaster oven.

Yummy Belgian Waffles 

Adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperatureDocument2
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup sugar (I used a little less than 1/2c and hope to eventually get closer to 1/3 cup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
  2. Add the milk, butter, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and mix just until combined. Do not overmix as you do not want air in this. Some lumps are OK.
  3. In a bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gently fold in the egg whites until just combined. Don’t over mix! The egg whites will ensure your waffles are light and fluffy so, don’t over mix!
  5. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat a waffle iron.
  7. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles.
  8. Serve immediately or keep them in a 200 degree oven or toaster oven on “warm” mode until ready to serve.

Additional Notes

These freeze well and can easily be reheated in a toaster oven. To freeze, cool completely and store in an air-tight container. I like to place parchment paper between the waffles prior to freezing to avoid sticking. Otherwise, you can freeze them flat, then stack and store.

For your convenience, find a printable here. Enjoy! 🙂

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