Bananas. I’m not sure I could do with out them. So you’ll understand my feelings when, right after returning home from the grocery store, I dropped my precious four bananas on the ground. The horror! Dropping any fruit is bad, but I feel like bananas take it the worst. The insides turn to banana pulp! Crazy! And the way I dropped them was such that more than half of each banana was horribly bruised by the impact. I tried opening one to eat but couldn’t do it without a spoon, and I was a little put off by the bruising. Feeling sad and defeated, I put them in the fruit basket and tried to forget about the whole incident.

About four days later, the bananas started to get spotty. I was worried; I didn’t want to throw them out but didn’t want to eat them as is. What was I to do? A little voice sounded inside my ear and said things like, “You bake things! Bake banana things! You paid for those bananas! Use them!” I usually eat bananas too quickly to allow them to ripen, which means I don’t get the chance to bake with them. Not this time! So all is not lost, in fact, my love for banana baked goods is found again, especially with these waffles. The banana flavor isn’t pronounced, but you know it’s there, and you’ll love how the banana is complimented by oatmeal, cinnamon, and raisins. I’m going to count the banana dropping as a blessing this morning (but I promise to be more careful next time). Happy bananas for breakfast! Happy Breakfast Tuesday!

Oatmeal Banana Raisin Waffles

(Recipe only slightly adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

Yields exactly 4 Belgian waffles or up to 12 regular waffles

Notes: Instead of using both all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, you can use one cup and two tablespoons all-purpose flour. If you decide to use quick cooking oats, you don’t need to soak the oats in liquid mixture before adding to dry ingredients. If you don’t have nondairy milk on hand and/or don’t require waffles to be vegan, substitute whatever milk you have on hand.

Ingredients:

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled, or old-fashioned, oats

1 very ripe banana, mashed well

1 ½ cups nondairy milk

3 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

¾ raisins

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together oats, banana, milk, syrup, and vegetable oil. Let mixture soak for 10 minutes while you preheat the waffle iron.

3. After ten minutes, pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until combined. A few lumps will remain. Fold in raisins, taking care not to over mix.

4. Waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions, greasing waffle iron between waffles.

If you would like to keep the waffles warm between taking them off the iron and serving, preheat the oven to 200 degrees while the oatmeal is soaking and keep waffles in the oven, on a baking sheet lined with foil, up to 30 minutes before serving. Waffles will keep, refrigerated, up to a week, and frozen up to a month.

For whatever reason, I like to pride myself in my waffle-making abilities (read: I feel super awesome when I use my waffle maker because it’s fun and makes pretty foodstuffs for me to eat). This pride makes it really difficult for me to deal when I make waffles and it fails. I can’t help thinking that it has something to do with my internal waffle-making intelligence, like my waffles didn’t turn out because I didn’t will them hard enough. Over all these months of making waffles, I didn’t once think that maybe it wasn’t me but was the machine that caused most of my waffle making-induced suffering. In general I try to shy away from blaming machines with the mentality that blaming a machine can’t really do anything to improve your finished product; all that’s left for you to do is research methods to change a recipe or try a different one altogether.

This morning I experienced a particularly annoying waffle-fail and, instead of taking my usual passive route of shrugging and assuming it’s either the recipe or me, I went straight to the computer, angry and hungry, to see if maybe it actually was the waffle maker. The past few times I’ve tried to make waffles have not turned out well – I took this as supporting evidence in my questioning as to whether or not the waffle-maker is to blame. After ten minutes of reading, folks, I came to the conclusion that it must be the machine. The heat is uneven and my waffles are splitting in half while almost burning (even when the heat is adjusted). It was a good lesson for me to learn though, that when using a kitchen appliance like this you have to take it into account – especially when the recipe seems pretty solid but your finished product is just a pile of waffle. 

The only waffle that ended up looking like a waffle and not a pile of waffle carnage.

Yogurt Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod, originally Honey Yogurt Waffles)

Yields 8 to 10 waffles in a Belgian waffle iron

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rolled oats (or old-fashioned)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 ¼ cups milk

¾ cup Greek yogurt, plain

1/3 cup maple syrup, maple syrup blend, or honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron on medium-high setting.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract, until smooth – there shouldn’t be any yogurt lumps.

4. Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined. Fold in melted butter until just combined.

5. Grease waffle iron and bake each waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions (until waffle is golden brown).

Serve immediately or freeze up to a month, heating up each waffle individually as needed. While baking waffles, if you want to keep them warm before serving, preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Store waffles in oven, on baking sheet, in between making each waffle and before serving.

This is the saddest Breakfast Tuesday ever. Was that a “Why, Colleen?” I heard, way in the back of the peanut gallery, behind the giggling and pointing? You may not have asked, but I will tell you. I completely and utterly butchered a recipe that I not only adore, by a cook/baker/food-mastermind that I admire, but have also made at least three times before with great success.

Why do these things happen? I’ll give you my reasoning, and then I’ll give you permission to look at me like I’m a crazy person. I had a case of extreme indecision this morning. Muffin recipes sounded amazing, but I just made muffins for last week’s Breakfast Tuesday. I wasn’t hungry enough to make pancakes, or motivated enough to make scones. I didn’t want chocolate and didn’t want fruit (I know, it surprised the living daylights out of me as well). My own acting like a cranky toddler without the benefit of being all cute and young and tiny made me a little frustrated. Why can’t I choose something amongst the vast store of recipes and ingredients at my disposal? Out of something that felt like a mixture between defeat and apathy, I decided to make a waffle that hasn’t let me down in the past. I knew I’d be satisfied with the results and knew that it’d be a great recipe to share with the people who read this blog, who deserve amazing, consistent recipes.

I might be wrong, but I feel like going into things with this attitude, that of total surrender and frustration, made my waffles turn out badly. You tend to make careless mistakes when you think things will just go according to plan without your having to be a part of it. For instance, you can’t just leave a waffle in the iron for minutes and minutes and minutes and assume that it won’t be burnt to a crisp because your waffles had never burnt to a crisp before.

I leave you with the recipe, which is awesome and a different take on a popular breakfast baked good, and the hope that your Tuesday morning breakfast was more successful than my own!

Raised Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Brunch)

Yields 6 Belgian style waffles

Ingredients:

2 cups warm milk (non-dairy for vegan waffles)

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

¼ granulated sugar

1/3 cup oil (I use canola, but any flavorless oil will work)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup warm water (not over 105 degrees F)

¾ teaspoon salt

Cooking spray for waffle iron

Method:

1. In a large glass, plastic, or ceramic mixing bowl, pour in milk and sprinkle yeast over milk. Let sit for 5 minutes in order for yeast to dissolve.

2. After 5 minutes stir in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir in flour until batter is relatively smooth, though a few lumps are okay. Add water to activate the yeast and stir just until incorporated.

For the third step, you can choose your own adventure!

(First option) 3. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let batter rise in a warm spot for an hour.

(Second option) 3. Uncovered, let batter rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place bowl in refrigerator to let batter sit overnight.

4. Preheat waffle iron to a higher setting than usual. These particular waffles are amazing with a more crispy exterior. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve waffles immediately, or freeze, up to a month, and toast as needed.

 

Yesterday, coconut bread with mango butter counteract with the rain and cold. Today, for Breakfast Tuesday, pumpkin waffles to “welcome” spring, along with a 60 degree day! Sounds a little backwards, but I’m totally digging it.

This is another recipe I’m considering in my hunt for a great, reliable waffle recipe that is both unique and easy enough to WANT to prepare on a lazy morning. I realize pumpkin is out of season but I love it. And lots of other people love it. Just because pumpkin is most prevalent in the fall doesn’t mean you can’t eat it all year! Right? The thing I love most about these waffles is that, as my roommate and fellow food enthusiast puts it, “they taste like pumpkin pie!”

Pumpkin Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes)

Yields 6 waffles in a Belgian waffle maker

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup light brown sugar, packed (1/3 cup if you plan on using syrup or sweet topping)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 cups milk

4 eggs, separated

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together pumpkin, milk, and yolks. Set aside.

4. Whip egg whites until medium stiff peaks form.

5. Stir flour mixture and butter into pumpkin mixture, stirring until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of the whites until incorporated. Gently fold in remaining whites, taking care not to over mix.

6. Cook waffles according to waffle maker’s instructions.

Serve waffles immediately. If you’ll eat them within two or three days, you can refrigerate them up to a week in an airtight container. Waffles also freeze well; lay them out on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour before moving them to an airtight container or plastic wrap. Freeze up to a month.

Truth be told, I’ve never separated my eggs while making waffles or pancakes. In fact, I’ve actively avoided the process by picking recipes that don’t require any egg white whipping. At first I assumed it was because I was lazy and didn’t feel like whipping egg whites in the morning (which would be ridiculous, because I’m fortunate enough to have a stand mixer that could do all the work for me), but remembered that I enjoy whipping cream by hand, so what’s the deal? After an embarrassing amount of time, I realized it was my fear of egg whites that paralyzed me into ignorance. Why are egg whites so darn intimidating?

I’m working my way towards conquering this irrational avoidance of whipped egg whites because they really do wonders for baked goods, making magical melt in your mouth textures and beautifully risen goods. This Breakfast Tuesday I’m helping my cause by making chocolate waffles, something I’ve wanted to do since my interest in baking came to light two-ish years ago. Whipping egg whites is kind of a process, yes, but relatively speaking it’s not as time consuming as you think, kind of fun, and the whites are really easy to work with once you get the hang of folding them into batter. That last step took me about a year to master. Don’t ask. I’m still in the dark as to why my brain blocked proper folding technique for so long.

Side note: You might see more waffle posts than normal in the next few weeks. I’m trying to find a fun waffle recipe, worthy of being put into a small collection of breakfast recipes. Periodically I put together recipes and make little booklets to give my friends/family/whoever wants one, and the next one has a breakfast theme. If you know any great waffle or pancake recipes, please share! I’m open to just about anything in terms of breakfast food.

Chocolate Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Waffleizer)

Yields 5 waffles in a Belgian waffle maker, using heaping ½ cups batter

Ingredients:

2 eggs, whites and yolks separated

1 ½ cup milk (recipe suggests whole, but I used a combination buttermilk and 1%, adding ½ teaspoon baking soda to neutralize some of the acid from the buttermilk)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 tablespoons brown sugar

 

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, baking powder, flour, cocoa powder and melted butter. Stir until almost smooth.

2. Preheat waffle iron.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add brown sugar and whip until stiff peaks form (again).

4. Gently fold egg white mixture into chocolate batter, until no egg white streaks remain.

5. Make waffles according to your waffle iron manufacturer’s instructions.

Waffles keep in fridge up to a week and freeze up to two months, both in airtight containers or wrapped in plastic wrap. To reheat, toast in oven around 400 degrees until brown and toasty, less than 10 minutes.

Breakfast Tuesdays: another bleak morning in beautiful Boston, and another breakfast adventure.

Last holiday season I received a garishly huge Belgian waffle iron and I have not been able to make an entire batch of perfect waffles yet. “Colleen against the machine” is a common phrase I repeat to myself, because machines and I… well… we have issues to work out. It’s a combination of factors, I know, and the main factors impeding my waffle iron victory are my impatience and my inability to read manuals of any kind.  Even after reading every single post from this blog, I’m still shaky.

You've got another thing coming if you think WE are going to waffle for you, Colleen! (This is me on my knees, begging, but to no avail. The batter refuses to waffle.)

Why do I keep trying? I LOVE waffles. Aside from the taste and visual aesthetics, waffles are wonderful to make and freeze, toasting in the oven as needed for breakfast on the go. Weekends at the toy store are very long and very busy, which makes a decent breakfast essential to my being a functioning human being for at least most of the day. It also helps to have frozen waffles in case of a friend-crashing emergency, to make sure they eat something before leaving your humble apartment.

Maybe some day I’ll conquer my fear of instruction manuals, or arrive at the same page as my waffle iron. Maybe. Until that time, though, I’ll make my less-than-perfect waffles and enjoy the heck out of them.

Also, I call these “healthy” because there is whole grain flour involved, but my health advice is dubious at best.

Sorta-Kinda Healthy Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Alton Brown, somewhere in the depths of the Food Network website)

Yields 6 or 7 waffles in a Belgian waffle iron

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used 1 cup graham flour. Yum.)

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar

3 eggs, whisked/beaten until light and foamy

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups buttermilk

(1 teaspoon vanilla and/or 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Spray or butter for the waffle iron

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a bowl large enough for all ingredients, beat whisked eggs and melted butter. Then add the buttermilk and stir to combine.

3. Add all dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine. A few lumps are okay, however, this isn’t pancake batter so there shouldn’t be too many huge lumps of unmixed flour. I learned the hard way that large lumps don’t cook into the rest of batter, but congeal and make your waffles spotty.

4. Allow the batter to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s specifications, making sure to grease the waffle iron between each waffle.

6. Serve immediately, or keep them warm in an oven at 175 to 200 degrees F, in a baking pan tented with foil.

I usually keep waffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, toasting as needed during the week. You could also keep them in an airtight container in the freezer if you don’t plan on using them within the week.