Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The "Royal Treatment" Buttermilk Waffles and Buttermilk Syrup

Last week I sang the praises of my wonderful waffle iron, but of course a waffle iron isn't any good without a great waffle recipe to go with it! When I was a kid, our weekday breakfasts were typically just cold cereal and toast, so having a hot breakfast on anything but a special occasion really was the royal treatment. Mom was a great cook and a loving mother, but she was also good at keeping her sanity, and especially during the years when some of us breakfasted at 5 am and others at 7, hot breakfast for the lot was just out of the question. On our leisurely Saturdays, however, we would often have something nicer, but Sunday dinners were an especially popular night to have a big "breakfast-for-dinner." Waffles were the usual favorite, and are still a big hit with my kids, too. This recipe for Buttermilk Waffles is regularly requested for birthday breakfasts and makes a great holiday morning treat, but that doesn't mean we save them for special occasions only. Every day should be royal! Top them off with Aunt Lynette's luscious Buttermilk Syrup recipe included below and you'll really feel like royalty.

Buttermilk Waffles 
Servings: 6
This recipe has an unusually thick though fluffy batter, making the waffles soft but substantial with a rich buttery flavor. The original recipe came from, but it has been through many tweaks since then getting it just the way we love it!

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
6 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
Start by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Remove from heat a little before it melts completely and allow to finish melting off the heat and cool slightly. Separate the egg whites into a beater bowl and the yolks into a smaller mixing bowl. Beat the whites until stiff. Meanwhile, sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the milk and buttermilk to the egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add milk & yolk mixture to dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Stir in melted butter. Batter will be quite thick. Very gently fold in beaten egg whites, until only small pockets of egg white are still visible. Spoon batter onto heated waffle iron and bake acording to iron instructions. (For mine, I use a medium-low setting for 4 minutes). Best when served straight off the iron, but you can also keep warm on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200° or less.  Serve with maple syrup, fruit, yogurt, whip cream, peanut butter... and/or this awesome syrup:

Buttermilk Syrup
Makes: about 2 cups
When we were on tour with Les Miserables, we spent a lovely week with my husband's Aunt Lynette and Uncle Matt during our stop near their hometown in Arizona. Lynette served us this amazing syrup with french toast, but we love to have it on anything that you can put syrup on. The recipe seemed simple enough, but it took me a little experimenting to figure out all the tricks behind getting it just right. Here I include my notes so hopefully your first time will be better than mine ;)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add buttermilk, corn syrup, sugar, and butter to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and allow to boil for no more than one minute (if you over boil, the milk solids will clump). Remove completely from heat and whisk together briskly to break up the milk solids. Whisk in baking soda and vanilla. It will foam up a lot (which is the best part). If you have any leftovers, store them in the fridge. 

The best way to revitalize the leftover syrup for serving again is to rewarm it in a pot, but not to a boil. When heated sufficiently, whisk in about 1/8 tsp baking powder per cup. The baking soda you added the first time you made it reacted with the acid in the buttermilk, so adding soda again won't yield the same results as the chemical reaction is spent. Baking powder, on the other hand, is baking soda with acidic cream of tartar mixed in. Baking soda can react on its own because it carries the acid with it, therefore creating that lovely foam.


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