Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Belgian Waffles

My family loves these waffles!  They are requested often.  I love them, too.  They rank right up there with the fancy round waffles they serve you at Denny's.  You know the ones all covered in strawberries and whipped cream?  My old boyfriend used to call it the "Army Ant Special" and he made fun of me for ordering a plate of sugar for breakfast.  Did I mention we broke up?

Anyway, I love these waffles, army ant style or otherwise.

Let me make something clear right from the beginning.  You need three bowls.  Its necessary.  Don't try to simplify for the sake of fewer dishes to clean.  Your waffles will suffer for it.  Make your peace now. 

Okay.  Ready? 

Let's start with the eggs.  You need four of them and you need to separate the whites from the yolks.  I suggest that you put the whites directly into the bowl of your stand mixer (if you have one) or another large bowl that you can use with a hand mixer.  You'll be beating these egg whites into soft peaks later. 

In a large bowl, from which you intend to pour your final waffle batter, deposit the egg yolks and sugar.
Give that a good stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add some vanilla and melted butter.  Mix again.
Add some milk and forget to take a picture.

In a medium sized bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder).  Forget to take a picture. 

Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.  Don't over mix it.  You can see a few bubbles and lumps in there.  You want that. 
Back to the egg whites.  Beat 'em. 
Then transfer them to the batter you just made.

Use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  Just spoon the batter from the bottom of the bowl up over the top of the egg whites, cutting down into the center of the whites. You'll move some of the egg whites down to the bottom of the bowl as you continue in this motion. 
Keep going...
Perfect.  A few large clumps is okay.  You don't want the batter to be too smooth, as that means its probably tough.

Now pour the batter onto your waffle iron. 

Please allow me a word about waffle irons.  The thing about waffle irons is that they vary widely in both form and function.  There are all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Mine makes square waffles.  Booooring.  Mine is also pretty old.  That means that it used to take 3-4 minutes to cook waffles, but now its more like 5-6.  Sometimes it takes me a good hour to cook all this batter.  Which means that my family eats at the table like civilized humans, and I eat standing up at the counter, next to my old, square, slow waffle iron.  I need a new waffle iron.  My point is this:  I don't know how long you need to cook your waffles because I don't own your waffle iron.   In fact, I own my waffle iron.  And my waffle iron is old, square, and slow.  The end.

Belgian Waffle Recipe

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups milk

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