The boyfriend adores waffles. They come second only to pancakes in his favorite food department. So when I bought a waffle iron a couple of years ago, it was a sure sign that I was in the relationship to win it. But purchasing the device was the easy part. It was finding the perfect recipe to accompany it that was so hard.
So the search began. I pored over cookbooks, food blogs, and magazines, all in search of a great waffle. And you know what? I found it. And I'm going to share it with you here. But first, I should probably tell you what it is I look for in the classic breakfast treat.
First of all, it doesn't contain yeast. I honestly don't decide what breakfast is going to be until I'm making it, so planning it out the night before usually doesn't work for me. (Unless I'm entertaining, and then it's breakfast casserole all the way.) In regards to texture, it's got to be crisp and crunchy, yet still soft in the middle. Flabby waffles are such a disappointment! Lastly, I've got to have a filling. I usually prefer chopped pecans, but I'll throw in chocolate chips if I'm feeling crazy.
So after many failed attempts, we finally found it. I started trying obscure recipes from even more obscure websites and eventually stumbled upon this one. It's been modified a bit over the years, and we've strayed a few times (don't even try to attempt the copycat version of the Waffle House pecan waffle. It's not worth your time. Just go to Waffle House), but we just keep coming back to this one. Yes, it takes a bit more time and an extra bowl to whip the egg white, but I promise it's well worth the effort.
I have a sneaky feeling that this will become your favorite waffle recipe, too. Try it and let me know what you think.
Crunchy Pecan Waffles
Serves 2 to 4
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat waffle iron according to desired setting (I use the highest setting on mine, which is 6). Preheat oven to 200°.
Sift together all-purpose flour, corn starch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, milk, oil, egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract until well combined.
Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue beating until it is thick and glossy, with stiff peaks.
Pour the milk mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the egg whites until no visible egg is remaining. Pour batter into the waffle iron and sprinkle generously with chopped pecans. Cook according to manufacturers instructions.
Keep cooked waffles in the warm oven (not stacked, as this causes them to get soggy) until ready to eat. Sprinkle the waffles with any remaining pecans and serve with fresh berries, butter, and maple syrup.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)