A few weeks ago, I had a go at waffles. It had been over a year since I’d made them, so I dusted off the old waffle iron we got for our wedding almost four years ago, fiddled with a few recipe ideas, and got to work. I poured the batter in, did about three minutes on one side, three minutes on the other, opened it up in search of the freshest, crispest, golden beauty…. and saw clunks of batter separated and stuck in the crevices of the iron. Waffles can be jerks. I don’t know how the Belgians mastered them.
Despite that epic failure, the need for a crisp and fluffy syrup-soaked cakey concoction simply cannot be quelled when that craving hits. The boy and I decided one Saturday morning that they’d be the perfect carb-load before gardening, so I started the journey of trying to redeem myself and the villainous waffle iron.
To bring some semblance of health and balance to the morning, I wanted to incorporate hearty oats into the batter – and lots o’honey, because it has become my spirit food. The recipe I found and adapted uses fluffy egg whites to give the finished waffle product a soft and airy texture – almost like a super light quick bread. The oats incorporated beautifully into the batter, almost disappearing into the texture, but still very profound in that sweet and earthy oat flavor.
Through trial and error with the first batch, I realized these little beauties cook in a hurry – or maybe my jerk waffle iron conducts extraordinary heat… Less than two minutes on each side and they were done – golden, fluffy, and perfect. The best part? They are so naturally sweet and tender without any toppings that the first one simply must be eaten while standing and cooking the rest. With two 100-pound furry children standing at your feet in search of scraps.
I wish I could say that along with my affinity for wholesome oats and the natural sweetness of honey, I simply drizzled my breakfast in just a dab of syrup, but no. We went all out. A healthy smear of butter, topped with a heavy-handed pour of full-fat maple syrup. Buuuuut a dollop of Greek yogurt and a handful of toasted pecans proved to be a game changer, both in flavor and texture. It was so satiating and satisfying – I don’t think we’ll ever eat waffles without them again at home.
This recipe makes a heap of waffles – about six or eight, depending on how hefty you make them. Since our stomachs can confidently handle only one without needing to take a nap, we wrapped each waffle in plastic wrap and froze them. FYI, just a quick jaunt in the microwave makes for an easy and perfect breakfast with hardly any effort… makes me question my childhood Eggo choices.
- 2½ cups flour
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2½ cups buttermilk
- 2 heaping tablespoons honey
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- For the topping:
- Greek yogurt
- Maple syrup
- Prepare your waffle iron. In a large bowl mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Let cool for a few minutes. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks together. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and whisk, then add the melted butter while whisk. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and vanilla extract. Use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium high speed until medium peaks form. Pour half into the batter and fold together until combined, then do the same with the rest.
- Spray the inside of the waffle iron with a small amount of baking spray to prevent sticking. Pour in about ¾ cup to 1 cup of batter and spread gently. Close and cook about 2 minutes or less on each side. You may need to decrease or increase the time dependent on your waffle iron. When done, remove with tongs and set aside, and repeat the process until out of batter.
- To serve, toast your desired amount of pecans in the oven or on the stovetop - I used about ¼ cup per waffle serving. Spread each waffle with a thin layer of quality butter, then top with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with the pecans, whole or chopped, then drizzle with your favorite maple syrup.