Gingerbread Waffles — The Weekender

By: Marisa McClellan
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I grew up in a waffle-loving household. At least one Saturday morning a month, my sister and I would convince our dad to stir up a batch of batter and pull out his curvy, chrome waffle iron (circa 1955).

He’d serve up the waffles as they came off the machine and it was up to us to add the butter and maple syrup (though my mother would watch our syrup application carefully to avoid over consumption). Often, my dad would make a double batch so that there’d be waffles for the freezer and weekday morning breakfasts.

These days, I make waffles on the same loose, monthly schedule that I know from growing up, always making some to eat and a few for the freezer. I used to be devoted to a vintage waffle iron that was much like the one I grew up with, but then, four years ago, someone gave me a modern one. It has nonstick plates and a timer that chimes gently when your waffle is finished cooking. It is heaven.

Though I threw over my father’s preferred waffle iron, as an adult, I’ve continued to use his healthy, whole-grain batter recipe. However, much like my shifting waffle-maker preferences, I’ve discovered a new batter recipe that’s stolen my heart (sorry, Dad). It’s the Gingerbread Waffle recipe from Rachael Ray. The waffles it makes are tender, so flavorful and perfect for The Weekender.

Before you fire up your waffle iron, here are a few things you should know.

  • Make the batter at least half an hour before you want to cook to allow the ingredients to fully integrate.
  • Preheat your iron thoroughly before adding batter.
  • Rachael recommends greasing the waffle iron with melted butter prior to cooking. I’ve found that a neutral vegetable oil works better on waffle irons than butter. And, if you have a nonstick iron, no greasing is required.
  • Remember that the first waffle off the iron is never as beautiful as the ones that come after. However homely, it will still be delicious.
  • Because these waffles are sweetened with brown sugar and molasses, they don’t need to be served with maple syrup. Good salted butter is all they need to achieve perfection.

Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars . Her first cookbook, also called Food in Jars, will be published by Running Press in Spring 2012.

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