My mother-in-law makes the best waffles. They’re incredibly light and crispy on the outside, yet still rich and tender on inside. And, even though I’ve learned the secret recipe (which actually comes from an out-of-print Knudsen Dairy Cookbook called, funnily enough, Cooking for Compliments), these are especially nice when someone is kind enough to make them for you. So I recommend making these for someone you love.
Oh, and if you don’t have a waffle iron, it may be time to get on that. (We have—and love—this VillaWare waffle maker.)
The first thing you’ll notice about the recipe is that is calls for a generous serving of butter. There are a few tricks to making these the best waffles ever, but I think that stick of butter goes a long way toward making them crisp. Butter is actually an expensive ingredient. Restaurants skimp and that’s one reason you find yourself with sad, doughy or cakey specimens.
The substitution of cake flour for all-purpose is also a special trick that will help you to steer clear of those descriptions—it makes for very tender waffles.
You can cheat on just about all of the other steps (e.g. substitute yogurt thinned with milk for buttermilk, skip the separated eggs, forgo sifting, and even use all-purpose flour instead of cake), and you’ll still get wonderful results. But I promise you that the extra time you take to get it perfect will indeed earn you those compliments.
Makes roughly ten five-inch-square waffles (I usually double the recipe and freeze the extra for reheating in the toaster.) My mother-in-law suggests making the batter the night before, as the batter is even better the next day and you can sleep-in a little longer. Batter can be refrigerated for use within a few days.
½ cup (1 stick) of butter
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1. Preheat waffle maker. Melt butter.
2. Sift and measure flour; sift again with remaining dry ingredients. (A note on measuring dry ingredients: once you’ve sifted the flour, don’t shake or pack it but rather use the back of a knife to level off the cup.)
3. Separate eggs. Whip whites until stiff but not dry.
4. In large bowl, beat egg yolks. Mix in buttermilk. Add dash of vanilla.
5. Add dry ingredients and blend well. Blend in melted butter.
6. Fold egg whites into finished batter. Don’t overmix.
7. Bake according to waffle maker instructions.
You can add blueberries or other ingredients into the mix. I suggest adding blueberries by hand just before you close the iron. (Mixing them in is likely to color your batter.)
Enjoy! Their crispy grooves are the perfect vehicles for real maple syrup.
Recipe adapted from Cooking for Compliments.