Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Winning Waffles

Recently my mom fulfilled a dream of hers and bought a heavy-duty, double-sided, flipping Belgian waffle maker.  You know the kind they have at hotels? She had always thought they were not only so cool and fun, but really useful in allowing you to make waffles in double-time! And she was right.  It is really useful and fun! In order to inaugurate this new waffle maker she decided to dig back into her Better Homes and Gardens classic cookbook, the one with the red-checked cover (which she bought in the early '60's),  to find a waffle recipe.  She found "Oh Boy!" Waffles and Oh Boy is right! They were the best waffles I have ever had.  Now, truth be told, if it’s buttery, crispy, syrupy and warm, I’ll probably love it, but THESE were like none I had ever had! So crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside (almost like a popover).
side view of this amazing waffle


I started thinking about THE BEST RECIPE cookbook, which I mentioned last week with the Kabob marinade.  Their French toast is the very best French toast I have ever made in my kitchen. It’s the closest to Pancake Pantry (which to me is the standard of great French toast).  So, I decided, in the spirit of Bobby Flay from Food Network, that a Waffle Throw-Down was in order.  (If you are not familiar with the throw-down – in this TV show, Mr. Flay, an excellent chef, challenges a different chef each time to compete for the best meal.  Typically he challenges himself to create a meal that is superior to that of the opposing chef.  He usually chooses the signature dish of the chef.  Gutsy, I know!  And then they have tasters who vote to determine who “won the throw-down”.


So, as I thought of BEST RECIPE and their claim that, through extensive recipe trials, they had landed on the perfect recipe, and yet I had tasted the Oh Boy! Waffle, which I would award with the title of the perfect waffle, I felt a throw-down was in order. So, mom brought over the waffle iron and we had ourselves a throw-down:  BEST RECIPE vs. Oh Boy!  And by all accounts Oh Boy! won.  Our judges managed to scarf both down, but the flavor and texture of the Oh Boy! made it the winner.

beating the egg whites for the BEST RECIPE waffles





Here’s the feedback from the judges. (By the way, the judges were a diverse group ranging from age 3 to 69, both male and female, and with varying standards).  They determined that the BEST RECIPE is a good, really good, classic waffle, with good flavor and a nice texture, though pretty dense.  The Oh Boy! has this amazing crunchy exterior – that you want when you are about to pour syrup all over it, yet the inside is mysteriously silky.  How the exterior is so firm and the inside so fluffy, I don’t understand.
Another deciding factor was the preparation.  The BEST RECIPE requires stifly-beaten egg whites to be folded into the batter.  This was tricky, time- consuming and added to our pile of dirty dishes.  It also calls for buttermilk and the Oh Boy! calls for milk (which is typically more on-hand in most kitchens).  The Oh Boy! recipe is simply a "stir the dry; "stir the wet; and gently combine" recipe.

You’ve got to try them. 
thin, lumpy and perfect

Oh Boy!


2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt

2 beaten eggs
2 1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. salad oil (canola, vegetable oil)


Preheat waffle iron.  Stir together dry ingredients. Combine remaining ingredients and add just before baking, stirring only until moistened and fully incorporated.  Batter will be thin. (Lumps are okay).  Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.  Bake in preheated waffle iron.
Makes 8 to10 waffles.

A couple of tips:
+While you are making your waffles, have your oven preheated to 250 degrees with a cookie sheet on the rack.  As you remove the waffles from the waffle iron, transfer them to the cookie sheet to stay warm.  (It really does a good job of keeping them warm until your whole batch is ready to serve).

+It makes about 8 waffles.  When we made them for my family of 5, we had a couple leftover.  We froze them flat in ziplock bags to pull out like Eggo Waffles another day.  They were great warmed in the toaster oven.
our favorite syrup!


8 comments:

  1. My mom loves those hotel waffle makers! Love that you had a waffle throwdown.

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  2. Every time I read your blog, I totally want to go make whatever you have shared. Yum! We are having a breakfast party in a few weeks and this would be a fun addition! What brand waffle maker did your mom buy? I don't know where to start when it comes to shopping for one. Thanks! :)

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  3. I meant to include that in the post! The waffle maker is a Waring. She bought it at Sam's wholesale club for a much better deal than other places she searched. Thanks for reading! Let me know how the breakfast party goes. Oh, and another favorite of mine for a breakfast party is the make-your-own-parfait with the homemade granola (posted last summer, yogurt and fruit.

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  4. Julie! yummy. I will try these for sure! I am so into waffles lately. Just one thought~ after all that work, I cant believe that you don't use pure maple syrup. I am kinda shocked that log cabin is your favorite!

    Trader Joes has a really good pure maple/agave nectar syrup. I think we should have a taste-off with syrups now that you've got the prize winning waffle recipe!

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  5. Well, we are just going to have to try these waffles this weekend, but Julie, we have to send you some more REAL maple syrup from Vermont!!! I am pretty sure it is impossible to find a bottle that big of the "other stuff"! haha.

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  6. I know, Karin, it's offensive to say our family's favorite is Log Cabin...especially to a New Englander! I do like the real stuff and you DID send me some...for those awesome pecan muffins. It's my family who likes the maple-y flavor of the not-pure-stuff! Let me know how you like the waffles (with your vermont maple syrup)!

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  7. We made these last night after your recommendation. SO AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your love of food and your talent for creating it! :)

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