Tag Archives: waffles

Applesauce Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

3 Dec

The time has come to talk about Christmas. If any of you were reading this site a year ago (and if you were, I thank you from the bottom of my flour and butter-coated heart), you’ll recall that I tend to get rather excited about the holiday season. Things get sparkly. Kids get wiggly with anticipation. Eating cookies every single day becomes commonplace. My landy, what’s not to love?

Last year’s holiday recipe fest was a huge amount of fun for me to put together (and not just because I got to eat allllllll that stuff I made while testing out recipes), so I have decided that I will continue the tradition this year. This means that, for the entire month of December, I will be sharing recipes and kitchen-y things that are closely tied to the holiday season. There will be recipes for festive meals both morning and evening based, recipes for treats galore, and perhaps a few kitchen-based gift ideas sprinkled about here and there. But it’s happening, my friends. Christmas is about to explode all over this site. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it.

The holiday feasting kicks off with these spectacular waffles I made as an accompaniment for the heavenly apple cider syrup I wrote about for Portland Farmers Market. Looking for a breakfast-y companion to highlight all the best elements of the cider syrup, I turned to a winter and fall-spiced, barely-sweetened waffle with crisp edges, airy pockets, and the gentle flavor of unsweetened applesauce. As a breakfast treat, I don’t know if it gets any cozier than this, with the warm spices of the waffles playing off of the deep apple tones of the syrup. On their own, the syrup and the waffles can each hold their own, but together they form an alliance of superb deliciousness that will make any morning shine just a bit brighter.

Last Year: Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps with Apple Pecan Stuffing and Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gravy–this dish is vegan, believe it or not, but universally adored by all.

Applesauce Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

The syrup will need to be made ahead of time, so plan accordingly.

1 or 2 quarts of unfiltered apple cider (the good and cloudy stuff that tastes like fresh apples, not the clear golden juice)

1/8 teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Heat at least 1 quart, preferably 2 quarts (if you want to end up with more than a scant cup of syrup) of fresh, unfiltered apple cider in a large pot over high heat. When the cider begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and allow the cider to boil constantly until it reduces by about 80% and becomes a thick, syrupy liquid. This process can take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on how much cider you are using and how high the heat under the pot. You’ll know the syrup is ready when a spatula scraped across the floor of the pot leaves a clear trail that remains open for a second or two before the syrup runs together again. At this point, you can whisk in a bit of cinnamon to taste (add as much cinnamon as you want, really), then either use the syrup immediately or pour it into a jar to cool.

When cooled, the syrup will become slightly gelatinous, due to the natural pectin content in the apples. The thicker you boil the syrup, the more firm the finished product will be when cooled. You can simply reheat the syrup in the microwave or on the stove top to return the syrup to its thick and syrupy state. Keep the syrup refrigerated when not in use.

Applesauce Waffles

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of allspice

2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 cup milk

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled just a bit

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, applesauce, and melted butter. In yet another bowl (sorry, but you do really need to use three separate bowls), whip the egg whites until they just form stiff peaks.

Gently stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring enough to just barely combine everything. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix. There should still be a few streaks of egg white visible, just to make sure you don’t overwork the batter.

Spoon waffle batter onto your preheated waffle iron, and cook according to waffle maker’s directions.

The number of waffles you end up with will depend on the size of your waffle maker. Serve with warm apple sider syrup.

Gingerbread Waffles

2 Feb

Last Christmas I was gifted a wonderfully dog-eared and loved copy of The Joy of Cooking from 1936.  The pages, delicate as pressed flowers, are filled with treasures from the previous owner—cooking notes written in delicate cursive script, tiny strips of newspaper recipes taped onto the margins, enormous fold-out newspaper articles on roasting a whole turkey or making the best sugar cookies, and, my favorite, specific care instructions for what were obviously very special cooking tools purchased by the cookbook’s owner (egg poacher, Household Institute sauce pans).

As an avid appreciator of old cookbooks, I am always eager to see what long-forgotten dishes I might be able to ogle and puzzle over while flipping through a collection of aging recipes.  You can imagine my delight upon receiving this cookbook, I am sure, but then imagine my shock at discovering how surprisingly tame its recipes happened to be.  There are no instructions on how to make roasted raccoon or squirrel stew, no vague recollections of having once made some biscuits that are then passed off as an actual recipe.  Sure, this book boasts some truly horrifying recipes for things like a dip made out of mayonnaise, chopped pecans, olives, and hard boiled eggs, but that’s not so much culturally interesting as it is just plain revolting.  For the most part, the recipes in this edition (the fourth edition of the legendary tome) are actually quite charming, and often times even tantalizing.  When idling flipping through the book after I had first opened it, the pages, as if by magic, opened straight away to the breakfast section and, front and center, there before me sat a recipe for gingerbread waffles that seemed to be calling out my name.  Sensing danger, I quickly closed the book, abruptly silencing the siren song of the waffles.

Why so hasty to retreat from the waffles?  Because, not so long ago, I stopped eating maple syrup (or, as spelled in the 1936 edition of The Joy of Cooking, sirup).  This act was not so much a calculated decision, but more of a realization that whenever I ate something that was drenched in syrup, there soon followed a nearly immediate need to lie down and take a nap.  While I can confess to liking naps as much as the next person, it is not always convenient to fall into a near coma shortly after the start of the day.  In an effort to keep myself from doing a Rip Van Winkle impersonation after every weekend breakfast, in lieu of maple syrup I began to top my waffles, french toast, or pancakes with yogurt, sometimes lemon yogurt if I am feeling frisky.  Though this trick of mine works exceptionally well with standard, buttery waffles, would the magic be lost on a waffle with a completely different flavor?  As luck would have it, no.  These gingerbread waffles, so warm and spicy, pair up wonderfully with lemon yogurt, so much so that it almost seems as though they were made to go together.  Syrup danger averted!

Even if I was still able to handle a nice long pour of maple syrup, I doubt I’d get the bottle near these waffles.  The dark spices might play well with the syrup, but when paired with a scoop of cool lemon yogurt, everything really seems to come together in a more interesting and contrasting way.  Also, because I am now apparently one of those people, I drastically reduced the sugar in these waffles, but you’d never be able to tell with their comforting scent of molasses and brown sugar.  These waffles are a treat of the best sort, the type to start your day off right, sans fear of extended napping (unless, of course, your plans for the day already include a generous nap allowance, in which case I salute you and also, can I come over?).

Gingerbread Waffles

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1936

As a former copyeditor, it behooves me to point out that I refer to this book as “The Joy of Cooking” here, but it other posts reference it as simply “Joy of Cooking.”  This is because, in later editions, the book drops the “The” from the title, and I would be betraying the persnickety editor in me if I chose to add “The” to the title on my own accord.  Is anyone actually reading this explanation?  Because I am slightly embarrassed (okay, not really, which is, itself, slightly embarrassing) to be writing it, though that has apparently not stopped me from actually forging on with it.

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground powdered ginger

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1/3 cup (roughly 5 ½ tablespoons) melted butter

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, molasses, milk, and melted butter, and beat until well combined.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir just to combine.  Add the egg whites to this mixture, gently folding until the whites are incorporated and the batter is light and airy.

Pour batter onto a greased, heated waffle iron and cook according to waffle iron’s instructions.  Makes 6-8 waffles, depending on how large your waffle iron is, and how much batter each waffle will necessitate.

Top with lemon yogurt.

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