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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Waffles

I love waffles, but I really don't love dragging the waffle iron out on a regular basis. Fortunately, I can get away with getting my waffle iron out once every couple of months and still enjoy waffles on a regular basis. Waffles are the perfect candidate for convenience freezing. Making your own freezer waffles allows you to have the convenience of the store-bought version without the nasty taste (sorry if you actually like them; I personally think they are a travesty).

When I do get around to making waffles, I simply make a big batch and then freeze all the left overs. Whenever I want a quick and easy breakfast (or snack, for that matter), I just pull out the toaster. Three minutes later, I am enjoying delicious, homemade waffles.

Just as a heads up... I don't know if you were aware, but traditional waffles are not waistline friendly, to put it mildly. The first time I looked at the nutritional profile of the waffle recipe I use (from Better Homes and Gardens), I was shocked. No, I was aghast. A single serving of waffles claimed over 700 calories!! I couldn't believe it. I was so disappointed and sad thinking that I might have to relegate waffles to the "only for special occasions" category.

I decided to fight back, though. After realizing that the majority of the calories must come from the cup of cooking oil, I wondered if all that oil was really necessary. Good news! It's not. I cut the oil down by half and still enjoy the results immensely and I'm sure that you will, too. Because there is so much milk in this recipe, it also makes a difference what type of milk you use. If you are watching your calories, you can use lowfat or even skim milk.

One of my biggest pet peeves with waffles is when they don't make complete waffles. Who wants three-quarters of a waffle? And then the syrup or honey always falls through the cracks. That's just no good at all.

It takes some figuring since you don't want the opposite problem of too much overflowing, but eventually you can figure out just the right amount of batter needed for your waffle iron. I also find it helps to not simply pour the batter into a big puddle in the middle of the iron. I pour mine in an "X" pattern and slightly smooth it before closing the lid. I still get a little overflow, but I prefer that to the incomplete waffle. You may not have this pet peeve, and - in that case - ignore this last paragraph of silliness.

After cooking the waffles, I let them cool on a rack. On the left in this picture, you can see the most recent, still intact waffle cooling. On the right of the rack are the stacks of already cooled waffles. After they are fully cooled (important if you don't want a bunch of condensation in your packaging), I place them in a bread bag. I can fit 12 to 13 per bag. I suck the excess air out and close them with a twist-tie.

This recipe makes about three bags worth. That's including the eating of 2-3 waffles on the day they're made. I just can't help myself! If you're going to go to the trouble of making waffles, you might as well enjoy some fresh.

A word of caution, place the bags into the freezer right away. If you leave them on the counter too long, they start to soften and smoosh, leaving you with an unsightly leaning tower of waffles.

When you are ready to use the frozen waffles, simply place them into the toaster still frozen. Just keep an eye on them! They reheat and crisp up very quickly.

Waffles
Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Yield: about 3 dozen single waffles

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Do not over mix or your waffles will be tough. The batter will still be slightly lumpy.

Heat a waffle iron. Spray the surface with a little cooking spray. Cook the waffles in batches, cooling on a rack as they are finished. When the waffles are completely cooled, place in bread bags by the dozen. Suck out the excess air and close with twist-ties. Freeze immediately.

When ready to use, place frozen waffles directly into the toaster until they are lightly golden.

7 comments:

  1. Where do you find the bread bags? I love your method of stacking them inside the bags that way - so much neater and more roomy than the regular zip-top bags I have been using. I have always frozen my leftovers, but for some reason it never occurred to me to make a huge batch specifically for freezing. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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  2. I know what you mean about using the zip-tops for waffles; they're not so good. But I've found that most grocery stores carry the twist-tie bags. In my experience, they usually are on the very top or very bottom shelf, kind of out of the way. I guess they are not as popular as zip-tops, but I use them for all kinds of things! Glad puts out a version, but its dimensions are not my faavorite. I like the Presto brand food & bread twist-tie bags, but I get them at the commisary and am not sure I've seent them anywhere else. If you see them, though, they're the best I've found so far. Their dimension is 10 in x 14 in. Hope this helps!

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  3. This is so awesome! I have been looking for a lighter waffle recipe (and I would have never thought to freeze them!).

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  4. Thank you so much Tara :) I will be on the lookout for them.

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  5. Wow great waffles! Thanks for the tips. i'll try out my new waffle maker.

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  6. Help! My waffles are delicious (thank you for the recipe!) but they're not perfectly formed by the iron like yours. :( I tried adding more batter to see if that helped, but that just comes out the sides and I still have flat waffles. Any suggestions?

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  7. Hi Kris, Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier! I'm not entirely sure I know what you mean by "flat waffles." Do you mean that the waffles are not rising and puffing up in the oven? If that's the case, then I would check to be sure your baking powder isn't expired. Even if you bought it recently, it's always good to check. I once bought a tin of baking powder that had already expired! Boy was I irritated! If this is not what you meant, then I'll need a more detailed description to try and understand the problem. If you want to email me a picture, that might help too! Again, sorry for the late reply!

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