I've stolen my neighbors waffle iron. Okay, it's not as bad as it sounds. Let me explain myself. They're out of town. For two weeks. And we're taking care of their house and watching their dog. Well, the dog is at our house and we like to refer to it as a "dog party" but really it's just a pack of wolves that have taken over our house. So I'm making up for the extra dirt and insanity by making waffles. Lots of waffles.
My neighbor and very good friend, Anne, is a master waffle maker. For some reason, even though I follow her tried and true recipe, they are never the same when I make them at our house. Perhaps it's the fact that, at her house, there are children joyously jumping up and down for WAFFLES! Perhaps it's the delicious sausages that she serves with the waffles. Maybe it's the early morning weekend luxury of getting a phone call while you are still in bed wondering what to do about breakfast and having it all done for you (except dragging ourselves out of bed and up the street).
Nevertheless, I have a cookbook called Waffles, written by Dorie Greenspan. But I've yet to use it. So I figured...now is my chance!
After making Anne's recipe, which was great but not as good as her magic touch, I decided to try some new recipes. My first attempt were the Blueberry-Yogurt Waffles. Unfortunately it's a bit difficult to get the tiny Maine blueberries that Dorie seems to have used in the recipe, so mine were fairly large. And yes, you are meant to stir them into the batter. I had my doubts, with images of oozing berry juice supergluing my tender little waffle to the iron. Sure enough, I did have to pry them away from the iron, and they weren't so pretty, but damn were they good. I think they are now my new favorite waffle (sorry Anne).
After much scrubbing and cursing and vowing never to make the blueberry waffle recipe again (unless I use my own waffle iron), I tried another recipe: Cottage Cheese Waffles with Peach Compote. Well, that's not really the name of the recipe, it's actually Creamy Cottage Cheese Waffles which are served with a Peach-Honey Pour. But my peaches demanded a bit of slow simmering with a sprinkle of brown sugar. I again had my doubts about cottage cheese in a waffle, but Dorie assured me that the texture became meltingly smooth once the waffles had cooked to a crisp. Sure enough, they were spectacular, once I pried them from the waffle iron.
For my third and final act, I decided to make simple buttermilk waffles. Even with the impressive variety of waffles in the Waffles cookbook--from Zucchini-Cheddar Waffles to Basil-Parmesan Waffle Chips to Tiramisu Waffles--there were very few basic waffle recipes. I would have preferred 3 or 4 different basic batters to some of Dorie's more outlandish creations, like Creamed Spinach and Rice Waffles with Scallops or Curried Waffle Club Sandwiches.
So, left to my own devices (there was no buttermilk waffle recipe in the book), I made up my own recipe. Drizzled with warm maple syrup and a scattering of tart blackberries, these ended up being one of my new favorites. I might even have to get Anne to make them!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the waffle iron. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla. Quickly stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until combined, then stir in the melted butter. Cook in your waffle iron (each waffle iron is different, so you might need to experiment with the amount to add and the length of time it takes to cook each waffle). Serve with warm maple syrup and fresh berries. Yum!