Make the Toppings Fun- Waffle toppings don’t have to be boring and I love to add variety to my toppings. You can offer something for everyone with a little sweet, a little fruity or nutty toppings.
- chocolate chips
- whipped cream
- vanilla icing
- jams and jellies
- peanut butter
CUSTOMIZE YOUR MEAL:
It's easy to flavor pancake and waffle batters with the tastes you love.
Additions to consider include crumbled crispy bacon, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate, peanut butter, and instant espresso powder. And when your favorite fruit or berry is out of season, frozen versions do just as well when thawed and thoroughly drained (watery fruit will thin batter).
Stir mashed banana, chopped nuts, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, grated apples, and the like into the batter so whatever you add flavors every bite.
Sprinkle sliced banana or berries (halved or whole, depending on size) directly onto the batter right after you've poured it onto the griddle or waffle iron so the fruit remains intact and evenly distributed.
When butter plays a starring role, opt for the best-quality sweet (not salted) butter you can find. Or make flavored butter. After mixing, roll in parchment paper to form a log. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Strawberry Butter: Cook 1/2 cup strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and liquid evaporates. Cool. Blend with 8 tablespoons softened butter.
- Vanilla Butter: Blend 8 tablespoons softened butter with 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, the seeds from half a vanilla bean, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Orange-Honey Butter: Blend 8 tablespoons softened butter with 1/2 cup honey, and 2 teaspoons orange zest.
Mixed Fruit Compote
To make: Cut 1 cup each frozen cherries and strawberries in half. Set half the fruit aside and cook remainder with 1 cup frozen raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar in saucepan over medium heat until fruit is very soft, about 7 minutes. Strain over a bowl, pressing out juices. Discard solids. Cook strained juice, reserved fruit, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest in saucepan over medium heat until thick, about 20 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
WAFFLE MAKING TIPS
After years of trial and error in waffle-making, these are my simple tips for waffle success:
Get a Great Waffle Iron- The first tip to great waffle success is to find a great waffle maker. Remember that a great waffle maker is not necessarily a bulk waffle maker. I made the mistake of asking for this Cuisinart 6 slice waffle maker that I thought would save me from standing over the waffle maker and enjoy some time with my family. Instead, we found the waffles that it created were teeny-tiny waffles and six of these teeny-tiny waffles barely fed one mouth and got cold before the syrup hit them. I am still a fan of a simple and inexpensive Belgain waffle maker.
Freeze the Leftovers- I try to always make a double batch of batter to insure that we can enjoy waffles all week long. As I make the extra waffles, I fan them out on my cooling racks until they are completely cool. Once they are cool, I slide them into a freezer bag, stacked on top of one another. If they are completely cool before freezing, they will just pop apart without the need for any wax paper to go in between.
Cut Those Waffles in Record Time- If you have several mouths to feed, cutting the waffles can be tedious work. My favorite and most overworked gadget in my kitchen drawer is the pizza cutter. Cut the waffles into waffle strips for dunking in the syrup on the side or cut into bite-sized pieces in record time.
Fresh Blueberry Pancake Syrup
1 pint (or two cups) fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Allow it to cook for 12-15 minutes and give the berries a little smash with your wooden spoon to break them up into the syrup. This syrup can be served warm over The Best Waffles Ever or you can serve the syrup cooled.