Continuing with the theme of breakfast food, waffles are also another favorite. Whoever invented the waffle with its square "pockets" to hold syrup was a culinary genius. One thing that always struck me though - have you ever noticed when you order pancakes or waffles from a restaurant, that they invariably offer pancakes with other items like sausage, eggs, hash browns, etc but waffles are a standalone order and if you want anything with them, you have to order them separately? I've always wondered why. It's not like waffles are any less filling than pancakes or come in bigger sizes (although I guess some do). Sometimes the pancakes alone are a meal but they still come with protein choices. Waffles don't. Weird.
I love my waffle maker but don't use it that often. It's a pain to clean. Those same pockets that allow for syrupy goodness also means cleaning the waffle iron takes time and care. I have an awesome recipe for waffles but since this is about trying new recipes, I thought I'd give this one a shot, especially since I like the taste of browned butter. The nice thing about waffles is they freeze well and you can pop them into the microwave or toaster oven for a quick meal or snack when needed. Since I'm not in the office and don't have my coworkers to serve as taste testers anymore, I'm having to get creative about what I make and how to preserve it so I don't eat it all myself or else I can space out when I have it so I can still control my portions.
When it comes to waffles, I'm a purist. That means butter and syrup are fine with waffles but no fruit topping, no whipped cream, and no chocolate (yes, you read that correctly). I know the trend has been to use waffles as the base for other ingredients and elaborate concoctions but that's not for me. If anything, the only time I've had waffles with anything else is when I went to Park Place at the Cypress Hotel with my friends Bryan and Cheryl and tried the chicken and waffle sandwich where the waffles were the bread for the chicken. That was actually tasty but maybe because it was a savory item. Otherwise, I like my waffles plain, adorned only with syrup or butter.
I have to say I loved these waffles. Served warm directly from the waffle iron, they were delicious. In fact, I didn't even bother with butter or syrup since the waffles themselves had enough flavor and tasted so good - another calorie saver. The browned butter taste didn't come through as strongly as I would've thought but you can taste the "nuttiness" from it. If you cook them long enough, the waffles will be crisp on the outside but still soft inside. I don't like crispy waffles and prefer mine on the soft side. Portion control almost went out the window as I wanted to keep eating the whole batch. I don't know how I can stop at one brownie or cookie and walk away but could not stop eating these waffles until I was almost sick. Fortunately sanity kicked in before I had consumed more than 1 whole waffle (okay, maybe it was a whole and a quarter). I'm putting the rest in the freezer for future days but I suspect those days will come sooner rather than later. One batch made 4 whole waffles in my waffle maker.
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
Unsalted butter, for the waffle iron
1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat; continue cooking until the butter turns brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and the egg yolks. Whisk the wet ingredients together, gently working them into the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the browned butter and whisk until fully absorbed. (At this point, the batter will keep for several hours or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.)
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.