Growing up, Sunday afternoons would generally be marked by the sudden appearance of baked goods in the living room. Traditionally, steaming hot coffee would also come along – although, being really young, the appeal of coffee certainly escaped me.
The whole family – and quite often, some visitors – would sit down, share what was in front of them, and discuss the events of the week. Psychologists would call this a “process meeting” where you talk about anything and everything that affected you, discuss it with peers, and find closure and advice.
Invariably, my parents would work as a team and create the most amazing baked goods – cakes, pies, and so forth. As a kid, the tradition of afternoon coffee and cake would be elevated to the next level whenever my parents decided that they should make waffles instead of anything else.
Their waffles were always amazing and it wasn't until a few years later that I discovered why: My mom would insist on roughly two dozen eggs, plenty of sugar, roughly two pounds of butter, and a very “healthy” helping of fresh cream.
Why I certainly loved their version, the older me does have concerns about caloric intake and always wonders if I can come up with some variation that is, perhaps, not quite as decadent but, at the very least, equal in taste and texture. Thus, I set out and experimented over the years – bouncing my creations off the harshest critics anyone could imagine: My own family. Some waffles got the thumbs up, others received six thumbs down. The version that I present below has stood the test of time in our household – when anyone around here requests waffles, this is what they have in mind.
Admittedly, my aspirations to make waffles that weren't brimming with calories simply failed. Those that were arguably healthier could never quite compare to the version presented here. In the end, we all decided that we really, really wanted to like the waffles we ate. If we chose to indulge, it better be something really good and not just "okay." And that's what these waffles are: Great!
What's even better about this recipe is that you can make it your own. You see, some people like really sweet waffles, others would rather eat waffles that are not quite so sugary. You can vary the amount of sugar you use and it won't negatively affect the waffles at all. Please note that these are NOT Belgian Waffles and hence, they are really better suitable for a regular waffle maker with smaller indentations.
You can eat these waffles with just a little sugar (even confectioner's sugar) sprinkled on top, or you can go all out an make the cream and cherries recipe given below.
10 Tbs. softened unsalted butter.
½ cup honey.
½ to 1 cup of sugar – depending on your taste (I use 1 cup).
Splash of vanilla extract.
A pinch of salt.
2 cups all-purpose flour.
½ Tbs. baking powder.
1 cup whole milk.
½ cup of confectioner's sugar.
1 can of cherries (such as Oregon Dark Sweet Cherries).
1 Tbs. unsalted butter.
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour.
1 cup heavy whipping cream.
3 Tbs. sugar.
Let's get started:
Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a cake/beater attachment.
Turn mixer to low speed.
As the mixer is working on the butter, add the honey.
Now add the eggs and the pinch of salt.
As the ingredients mix, add the sugar (start with ½ cup) and the vanilla extract.
Gradually turn mixer to high.
Mix for two or three minutes until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Depending on the temperature of the butter, this might not always happen. If it doesn't don't despair, you will be okay as long as everything is well mixed.
Turn the mixer off and remove the bowl so that you have easy access to it.
Since you obviously needed to measure two cups of flour, you should have them in a measuring cup or perhaps a work bowl. Add the baking powder to the flour and stir it with a spoon a few times.
Now, take the flour/baking powder and sift it into the bowl of the stand mixer.
Put the bowl back on the mixer and turn to the lowest setting possible so that the flour doesn't get flung out of the bowl.
Gradually and slowly add the milk. As the flour get mixed in with the other ingredients, you can turn the mixer to a higher setting.
Let mix for two minutes, turn off, and taste the batter.
If the batter is not sweet enough for you, turn the mixer back on and add the rest of the sugar – or as much as appeals to you.
Make sure you let the batter mix for another minute or so to give the sugar a chance to dissolve.
Preheat your waffle maker.
Add batter according to directions of waffle maker manufacturer so that batter doesn't spill out.
Bake until golden brown.
Remove from waffle maker and sift some confectioner's sugar on top.
Now top the waffles with the cream and cherries described below and serve immediately so that the waffles don't get soggy.
Put a medium pot on the stove.
Add 1 Tbs. of butter and let melt.
Add 1 Tbs. of flour and mix until well integrated.
Add the can of cherries with juices.
Stir so that the butter/flour mixture can dissolve.
Add the sugar.
Let heat through.
The cherry's juice will quickly start to thicken. When it does, turn off the heat – your cherries are done.
Beat the cream and sugar together until stiff. I have a small immersion mixer that has a special “whipped cream” attachment in the form of a small plastic disk – it produced perfectly whipped cream in just a few seconds...