Who doesn’t love a waffle, more importantly, a savory waffle? I created this recipe during some late-night thinking, as I do with most recipes that I make. I thought about two things that my wife loves: waffles and a little spicy mac and cheese, so I wondered, "Why not smash them together?" Happy wife, happy life, as they say. These waffles will satisfy at all hours of the day for your partner, friend, family member or even if you're on your own -- but a warning: You'll want to eat more than one!
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon fat into a heatproof container (save for another use) and wipe the skillet clean with paper towels.
Melt the butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until tan in color, about 1 minute. Add the milk and bring up to a simmer, whisking every couple of minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the three cheeses in batches, whisking after each addition, until melted. Remove from the heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente, then drain. Transfer to a large bowl, add 3/4 of the cheese sauce and 3/4 of the cooked bacon and stir to combine. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet, spread it to the edges and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve the remaining cheese sauce for serving.
Preheat your waffle iron to medium high. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and add enough mac and cheese to cover most of the iron. Press down hard to squeeze the waffle iron shut (don’t worry if some mac and cheese falls out). Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, reheat the reserved cheese sauce over low heat. Plate the waffle with a side of cheese sauce and garnish with some of the remaining bacon. Repeat with the remaining mac and cheese.
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