Last year we hosted family at our house on Christmas Day — all with a brand new baby. After a few moments of minor stress and lots of pacing, I've decided that the only way to have an easy, effortless day that I can truly enjoy is to do much of the food preparation in advance. So I started playing around with interesting, festive waffle recipes and landed on this incredibly tasty, fragrant eggnog waffle dressed up for the occasion with spiced whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
Now, I know what you're thinking: How are these going to be easy and effortless on Christmas morning with a new baby? While waffles are rarely difficult to make in general, they do take time to mix up the batter and cook off individually, so I love to do the batter the night before. That way, I'm simply putting a scoop of batter into the machine in the morning while working on my first cup of coffee.
Make Double and Freeze
My trick with these waffles, too, is that I often make a double batch and freeze a bag of them. This way, having fresh, homemade waffles is as simple as pulling them out of the freezer and popping them in the toaster. But for Christmas morning, we'll bake them off fresh because they make the house smell like warmly spiced eggnog and maple syrup — and who wouldn't want to wake up to that?
For the waffles, I've used eggnog instead of the more typical buttermilk, amped up the warm spice profile, and worked in some whole-grain flour and a dash of vanilla. I have a bit of a heavy hand with nutmeg in the recipe, as that really helps reinforce the eggnog aroma and flavor. And that spiced whipped cream? It's only slightly sweet, really. If you like a sweeter whipped cream, go ahead and add an additional tablespoon of sugar to your batch.
Whether you are hosting family over the holidays this year or not, I think this waffle recipe may just weasel its way into your breakfast repertoire this winter. It certainly has for us.
Eggnog Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream
For the waffles:
2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
2 cups eggnog
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
For the spiced whipped cream (optional):
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Make the waffles: Preheat your waffle machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Heat the oven to 225°F and place a large baking sheet in the oven to warm.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in a large bowl; set aside.
Whisk the eggnog, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until frothy. Slowly stir in the butter. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture until a thick batter forms. (At this point, if making the batter ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to cook off, stir the batter well before proceeding with the recipe.)
Using the right amount of batter for each waffle takes a little practice and depends on what kind of machine you're using. For round, Belgian-style waffles, fill with about 3/4 cup of batter. For smaller, square waffles, fill with a heaping 1/3 cup.
Gently cook until golden-brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven in a single layer to stay warm until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Make the spiced whipped cream: Whip the cream and vanilla by hand in a medium bowl or in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sugar and spices. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
Top the waffles with the spiced whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Alternatively, top with a little butter and sprinkle of cinnamon or a splash of maple syrup.
- Make ahead: The batter can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 1 day ahead.
- Freezing waffles: Leftover waffles? Want to stock up for later? If you make a big batch on the weekend, let them cool completely on a cooling wrack, wrap them in plastic wrap individually, and freeze them in a big freezer bag. Then they can be popped right into the toaster to be warmed and eaten anytime the desire for homemade waffles should strike.