While kids may go to bed on Christmas Eve dreaming of presents, the grownups in my family are thinking about gingerbread waffles—our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. And if you don’t have a waffle iron, you can make them as pancakes. Once the presents have been opened, these spicy warm waffles are the perfect treat for Christmas morning. I like to serve them with brandied cherries for the grownups, maple syrup, poached pears or quince, and if I’m making them as pancakes (just use a little less milk), lemon curd is a great topping. Merry Christmas, indeed.
Gingerbread Waffles (or Pancakes)
Makes 24 waffles.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup milk (3/4 cup for pancakes)
Vegetable oil for brushing griddle
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together water, coffee, eggs, butter, and lemon juice. While stirring steadily, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Let stand 15 minutes (batter will thicken). Thin to desired consistency by adding milk and stirring.
Brush waffle iron with oil and prepare waffles according to manufacturer's instructions. Keep waffles warm in a 250° oven until ready to serve.
You can make the waffles ahead of time and reheat them in the toaster. They also freeze well. As a time-saver, you can prepare the batter the night before and keep it in the fridge, though you may need to add a little more milk to thin it in the morning.
Tea & Cookies
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(Images: Tara Austen Weaver of Tea & Cookies)