nosh friday: waffles of insane greatness
Here’s the skinny: I really love waffles. I mean, I love breakfast foods in general (this is well-documented), but there is something special about waffles. All those hollow nooks and crannies where butter and syrup commune and create something beautiful and delicious; the smell of the hot iron and the silky batter — waffles are a feast for the senses as well as for the tummy.
Last summer, I came across this recipe on Orangette and nearly cried. Waffles of Insane Greatness? The title alone could make a person swoon or at least be consumed by a healthy (and hungry) curiosity. INSANE greatness? Will these waffles be so delicious that you will be driven to syrupy madness?
Well, there was only one way to find out. And I am nothing if not courageous. I made and ate an entire batch of these waffles within 24 hours. And then I made them again the next day. And then I had to repent to the food gods for having eaten 10 waffles in one weekend. And then I ran around the block.
(Okay, that last part wasn’t true. But I did walk to the farmer’s market. Same difference.)
I’ve made these waffles countless times and I absolutely love them. The cornstarch helps give them a really crisp crust, while keeping the inside rather custard-y and luscious. I’ve found that the waffles turn out crisper and browner when my waffle iron is actually clean; the more grease that builds up, the less crisp the crust is. This hopefully will inspire me to clean my waffle iron sometime in the near future (when I picked it up at a garage sale for $5, it needed a really good scrub — and that day it was cleaned was the day that the waffles came out their best. I don’t think it’s a coincidence).
This waffle iron has traveled with me to several places, as my way of thanking people for allowing me to stay with them. Sometimes I travel with a cake pan, other times it’s a waffle iron. Basically, if I stay with you for more than a few hours, I will mostly likely show up with some kind of cooking instrument and offer to feed you. (Soooo…who wants a house guest?)
These waffles earned their outrageous moniker. So, go forth and eat thee some waffles.
(Please excuse the crappy photos. These have been on my laptop for nearly a year and were taken shortly after I got my DSLR and was still figuring out how to use it.)
Waffles of Insane Greatness
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
1 ½ tsp. sugar
½ cup whole milk (soymilk also works well)
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk well. Add the milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well, so that few (if any) lumps remain. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat a waffle iron. Follow your waffle maker’s instruction manual for this, but my guess is that you’ll want to heat it on whatever setting is approximately medium-high. My waffle maker has a heat dial that runs from 1 to 7, and I turned it to 5. There’s no need to grease the waffle maker (though I had to grease mine…Molly must have a better waffle-maker than mine).
Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp.