I bought myself a treat a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted one for a while and finally saw one I liked at Walmart- a waffle iron. There have been lesser substitutes: such as the one I bought from the dollar store that turned out to be a waffle STICK maker (so yes I could have read the box more thoroughly but it still technically made them). It took about 10 minutes to cook 4 little sticks. I only used it a couple of times because who wants to wait that long? I make mine in batches so that I can freeze them and take them out for the week. At that rate a full batch would have taken several hours. Ah, no. I think I ended up gifting that one out.
I’ve gotten one I like (the plates are removable for easy cleaning) and as my co-workers can attest, have been using it a lot! It makes these nice little squares that fit easily into a toaster so I make up a batch, refrigerate them and have been bringing them to work. They freeze easily as well.
The recipe was too easy and comes included in the handy little instruction booklet. I made stuffed waffles last week, inspired by a decadent stuffed French toast visit to IHOP on the way to Atlanta once. Plan ahead and take the cream cheese out long enough for it to come to room temperature before you start. Here is the recipe I used for the filling:
1 bar cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
6-8 large strawberries, sliced/diced
8 oz. tub of whipped topping
Mix the first three ingredients, and then fold in the whipped topping. I mixed the filling the night before and stored it in the refrigerator so the flavors would have time to meld overnight. Easy peasy and so delicious.
Today I took two and made a breakfast sandwich: I spread blackberry jelly on the bottom “slice” then added a one-egg omelet. You can top them with any kind of ingredients that strike your fancy: go fruity with bananas, berries, mango or strawberries. Keep it hearty with bacon, sausage or fried chicken or sausage gravy. You can top it with another slice or eat it like an open faced sandwich. So many variations and such a small stomach but one thing is certain: there is a lot to choose from. Another idea might be to cook a regular waffle and before taking it out add sandwich ingredients on one side. Cheddar cheese, sliced ham, tomatoes, etc. Leave on the cooker until the cheese melts then fold over to form a sandwich. Serve on a plate with pickles, chips or lettuce if you like.
A stroll through Pinterest showed me that you can “waffle” lots of stuff! I saw (and will have to try) how someone used a package of cinnamon rolls from the store. They put one pre-sectioned slice of dough on each square and cooked them, then spread the included frosting on top before serving. Looks good enough to eat! The handy thing about this is that you can fix them then put them in a baggie and store in the fridge or freezer then take out only what you need. I could make them on the weekend then take out 2 each morning for breakfast without wasting any. The little dimples really hold that bit of frosting well.
Another recipe shows mac ‘n cheese waffles. You put (prepared) mac ‘n cheese in that sweet little cooker and out pop these crispy, cheesy squares of comfort that would be great along with say, tomato slices or some pickles.
Tater tot, sweet or shoestring potatoes cook up nicely and you can mix them with other ingredients or top them after cooking. You can even use brownie or cake mixes. Serve with ice cream and cherry or strawberry pie filling. Try some peach or pear slices cooked in it (always use cooking spray with your waffle maker) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a touch of maple syrup for dessert one night. See if you don’t get a request for more.
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your pantry. Grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, blueberry muffin mix, gosh you can even waffle bacon. B-A-C-O-N.
I’ve made myself hungry. How about crab cakes, eggs, or banana bread mix. Use biscuits with pizza toppings, chocolate chip cookies, French toast, mashed potato grilled cheese- so, so many examples of golden waffle goodness. Try it soon and email your creations to us. South Georgia Today would LOVE to hear your wins and your fails.
Waffle Mix (about 4 Cups of batter)
2 cups plain flour (if using self-rising omit the salt and baking powder)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just mixed. Batter should be lumpy (overmixing makes them come out tough). Follow the instructions on your waffle iron as to how much batter to pour each time and how long to cook them.