I know that for many others in our part of the world, fall is coming to a close, orange and brown are no longer the colors du jour, and pumpkin is becoming passé; however, I just can’t help it. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving made its appearance a week earlier than usual, but I’m not quite ready to give up pumpkin just yet.
In fact, right next to me sits a deliciously hot cup of pumpkin-spiced coffee. Of course, by the time I finish this post that coffee will probably be not-so-deliciously lukewarm, but that is neither here nor there.
We eat waffles of the Eggo kind almost every day, which means that on a bi-weekly basis, I find myself in the frozen food section of Walmart, sighing over the price of a big box of waffles that aren’t particularly delicious, but make for a quick, easy breakfast at 6:15 in the morning on a weekday before everyone parts ways for the day. And every time I stand in that spot, I think to myself, “We used to have a waffle iron. But we never really used it. But I could make waffles. But, would I?”
About a month ago, I came across a recipe for pumpkin waffles and I just couldn’t get them out of my head. I wanted these waffles. Eggo’s Pumpkin Spice waffles showed up on the shelves shortly thereafter, and while they sort of scratched the itch, I just couldn’t get that recipe out of my head. Just one problem: no waffle iron. Fast forward to Black Friday where, driven by an uncharacteristic desire to join the masses, I found myself in Kohl’s with my son staring at a very, very, very cheap waffle iron: twenty bucks plus a ten dollar rebate, and that piece of plastic and metal would only cost a mere ten dollars in the end. I found myself saying, “Why not?”
That night, we read the instructions, I mixed up a batch of batter from a recipe I found online, and we held our breaths while fully expecting the ten dollar small appliance to do not much of anything at all.
Were we ever surprised.
Not being waffle connoisseurs (but I’m pretty sure you already figured that out), I can only tell you that we really enjoyed them. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and had just enough pumpkin to make me happy, but not enough to put off the more pumpkin ambivalent members of the house. We enjoyed these waffles so much, I made them again last night. Of course, this time, I added nutmeg and forgot the melted butter. The end result being that they turned out even better than before.
Pumpkin Spice Waffles
Adapted from Pumpkin Waffles Gourmet (2000) on Epicurious‘ site.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup solid packed pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
6 tbsp. butter, melted (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren’t old—especially the baking powder. If they are, you won’t get the lift / rise / whatever it is that makes the batter light, airy, and thick. Thin batter does not make for yummy waffles.
In another large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, buttermilk, and pumpkin. The first batch I made, I used homemade puree; the second was made with canned pumpkin. I couldn’t tell the difference. The original recipe called for melted butter, which I used the first time—and it turned out fine—but I forgot it the second time and the waffles turned out even better.
Carefully, so you don’t end up with all of your flour on the counter, fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. I probably broke all of the waffle making rules, but I whisked mine until there were no lumps.
Allow the batter to rest for thirty minutes.
While the batter is resting, pre-heat your waffle iron and your oven (250 degrees F for the oven); when you’re ready, cook the waffles according the waffle iron’s manufacturers’ instructions.
The original recipe’s instructions suggested 2 cups of batter per waffle for our sized iron. We discovered through trial and error (read: loads of precious pumpkin batter oozing out the sides of the iron) that our waffle iron takes something more along the lines of ¾ cup of this particular batter instead of 2 cups.
Please excuse the blurry process shots. It was dark, and I don’t generally get very artistic while I’m cooking, ’cause, you know, I’m impatient and…well…cooking.
In order to keep the waffles warm and to crisp up the exteriors a bit more, place the cooked waffles on a sheet pan in the heated oven. Don’t stack them on top of each other, though (like I did) because the waffles on the bottom get a little bit mushy—not very yummy at all. Those are the ones I froze.
To reheat them I just pop them in the toaster on the frozen setting. Works for me, but you might want to experiment a little.
As far as toppings—the first batch we ate with whipped cream and skillet apples. Last night’s batch was served with butter, toasted pecans, and maple syrup.
Yield: 8 Belgian-style 6-inch waffles