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perfect cornmeal waffles

January 27th, 2010 | 25 Comments »

Winter weekends sure can be a mixed blessing. You’ve got an entire day spread out in front of  you with endless possibilities; time on your hands and hours to make just the way you want, and yet, if you’re like those of us in Minnesota, you often wake on those long days to crackling cold air and sunshine thats full of promise but delivers nothing in warmth.

Those are the days that just require waffles.

There’s something about a crisp and aromatic waffle that deems it a culinary perfection for a chilly winter morning. A morning that you know needs to lead to a productive day. A morning where the coffee pot seems to be endlessly working, where your pajamas are often more desirable than a pair of blue jeans, mornings such as one that finds you casually sipping your brew, and noticing that the bright sunshine has highlighted your neglect of the vacuum cleaner, the dustmop and a Swiffer cloth or two.

I’m sure others can relate, right?

I grew up with Sunday morning waffles. It was eagerly anticipated to come down the stairs to the pungent scent of the percolator on the stove as it bubbled away, competing with the creaky old waffle iron, hissing emphatically, cranking out perfect rectangles of golden hued delectable treats. I do love pancakes, especially ones that stray off the beaten track of breakfast food; pancakes with shredded apples and yogurt in them, bananas and pecans in a whole wheat pancake, chocolate chip flecked ovals cooked to soft perfection and then topped with summer cherry sauce. Pancakes even spread with peanut butter and eaten out of hand. Oh, do we know about pancakes in this house, yes we do. But waffles, why there is really no other means needed to enjoy them other than good butter and syrup, because the waffle, in all it’s dented glory is the perfect palate to top with a few slices of cold butter and then drizzle warm maple syrup over to run through tunnels, cubes and edges to dress them in sweet buttery delight. Those edges crunch, the syrup absorbs and the bites come together in the mouth, a marriage to linger over, knife and fork in hand, coffee to the side. I’ll eat pancakes for dinner, and often we do, but waffles are strictly breakfast, and best on the weekends when their sturdy personality buoys you up for the long day ahead.

And who wouldn’t love the crunchy and wholesome addition of some cornmeal to the waffle?

I’ve made cornmeal studded pancakes before, and really, they’re pretty good and all, but there’s something about the added crunch of cornmeal on batter placed in the waffle iron that just sort of gets me right there. I don’t know how to describe it any more than that. And when I came across the recipe for these crunchy beauties on Kristin’s lovely blog, somehow I knew I would adore them like a treasured memory so I put together a double batch. People, I made waffles for hours, it seems. Hours. Did I care? Oh no, not at all. You see, after I made the first one and dressed it appropriately, I consumed it with gusto. My tummy, loving the introduction of it, politely asked for another. And I complied. The batter seemed endless, but I stockpiled waffles for the next few days and two packs to go into the freezer. We are happily away in waffle ecstasy. Don’t bother to look for us, ok? We’ll be fine, really and I will come back when they’re gone and do it all over again.

Oh yeah, and after I ate that delicious breakfast, it spurred me on to clean my house from top to bottom and boy, did it look nice in the dazzling but cold winter sunshine then. All thanks to a perfect little cornmeal waffle.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles
(from Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Recipes, slightly adapted from Gourmet magazine)

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stoneground
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional oil for brushing waffle iron

Into a large bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Repeat sifting 2 more times.

In another large bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk just until combined.

Preheat a waffle iron and preheat oven to 200 °F.

Brush waffle iron lightly with additional oil. Spoon batter into waffle iron, using 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch-square standard waffle and spreading batter evenly, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in middle of oven. Make more waffles with remaining batter in same manner, brushing waffle iron with more oil before adding each batch.

Serve waffles with syrup.

25 Responses to “perfect cornmeal waffles”

  1. Hmm Flavorsome! ;-). Thank you for the share

  2. Those waffles look so good I’m tempted to buy a new waffle iron.

    I highlighted your Date and Nut loaf on this weeks Saturday Blog Showcase. I’ll be making it often. Thank you.

  3. elizabethsciencemom says:

    Can’t wait to try making these!

  4. I have never tried cornmeal waffles! Sounds great! Love your blog by the way. Will have to come back soon.

  5. Sophie says:

    Your waffles look extremely tasty!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,…pure lovelyness!

    You have a COOL foodblog!

  6. Simply Life says:

    Oh those waffles look delicious!

  7. Koek! says:

    Ooooh delicious…

  8. Spiele says:

    I love cornmeal waffles so much this recipe looks delicious

  9. trevor says:

    Be glad you don’t live closer to me; I would surely be over for waffles right now.

  10. I’d eat any breakfast that would encourage me to clean!!! Handy-dandy new waffle maker needs to be used!!! ~Chris Ann

  11. Nice page! I’m glad I found this.

  12. Mmhh yummy, looks very nice taste. I’d love to write down the recipes. Thanks

  13. Amedy says:

    Yummy good looking waffles I’m going to try this recipe

  14. Suzie says:

    They look fantastic – a lot better than the Vegemite toast I was contemplating this morning!

  15. Louise says:

    What a heartfelt tribute to waffles. I enjoyed reading your post as I sip on my morning “perked” coffee. (the only way I truly enjoy coffee:)

    I have such a time when attempting waffles. Up until this very moment, I was giving up. I’m inspired to give them another try. I’ll save this link for when I’m feeling brave and cold because, waffles on a cold blistering morning kindle such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing, Kate:)

  16. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kate Selner, Kate Selner. Kate Selner said: <<New on the Blog>> Perfect for weekends- Cornmeal Waffles. http://bit.ly/a3SLEY [...]

  17. I love waffles, but never thought of putting cornmeal in them. Great idea. I will have to try it. With warm maple syrup…..hmm, now I have the Saturday morning breakfast.
    Nice blog! I found you through Kate at Serendipity….
    Pam

  18. lo says:

    Oh, dear. The last time I made up a batch of whole grain cornmeal waffles (also adapted from that Gourmet recipe), we ate them with leftover fried chicken and mushroom cream gravy… SO GOOD. Bet they’re just as phenomenal with maple syrup.

    Funny how you remember waffles for Sunday breakfast. My memories are of Saturday pancakes… dad made them for us, and only for breakfast. So, we have a tendency to do waffles for dinner. Funny how that works!

  19. I love cornmeal in my pancakes and would love love to try these but I don’t have a waffle iron! Wahhhh! Would it work for an aebleskiver pan? 8-)

  20. kat says:

    I’ll make these if they’ll give me the energy to clean my house!

  21. Doniree says:

    I have this thing about maple syrup and weekends. I wake up craving it, it’s almost Pavlovian at this point. Saturday morning? Crave pancakes/waffles. And I always love new approaches to it :)

  22. My son loves, loves, loves cornmeal. In fact, I make cornmeal muffins when I need him to sit through a meal :). So I need to make these (he loves waffles, too, but I’d feel a little silly serving that at a dinner where we had guests).

  23. Aubrey says:

    I love cornmeal pancakes, so I’ll definitely have to try the waffles. I’m very particular, though, and strongly believe that cornmeal pancakes should only ever be eaten with jam. Preferably homemade jam. I always try to talk my husband out of putting syrup on his when I make them…. syrup just feels wrong.

  24. Sally says:

    ok I VOW to try these on Sat… you have my mouth watering

  25. Kara says:

    Okay, you’ve got me now. I saw these on Kristin’s blog and thought they looked good but with your glowing recommendation (and the added incentive about being inspired to clean your house), these will have to be made. We love breakfast for dinner (especially of the waffle and pancake variety) so I think some of these crispy waffles will be ours very soon!