Give Dad a Sweet Treat—S’Morish Waffles

For as long as I can recall, my Dad has made waffles or pancakes for our Sunday family breakfast. Doesn’t matter one bit that I grew up and moved into my own home more years ago than I’m willing to admit.  Whenever I see waffles, I think of my dad (and talk him into making some every time we’re together!).  So when I saw this unique spin on our family favorite in Dawn Yanagiharra’s cookbook, “Waffles:  Sweet, Savory, Simple,” I had to share.  Make these waffles for your pop (or in memory of him) and start Father’s Day off in sweet style.

S’morish Waffles

Makes 8 servings

This is a playful, open-faced spin on campfire s’mores that takes waffles as the graham cracker and billowy meringue as the marshmallow. Though they don’t have the crunch or gooey factor of actuals’mores, I happen to think these little waffle confections taste even better because they’re not so toothachingly sweet. Although milk chocolate is customary for s’mores, skip it here in favor of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate to really tone down the sugariness. For the sake of convenience, feel free to use semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips instead of breaking up a chocolate bar.

Ingredients:

2 standard Classic waffles (see recipe below), each one cut into quarters

4 oz/115 g bittersweet chocolate, preferably in candy-bar form, broken into chunks

1 egg white

Pinch of cream of tartar

Pinch of fine sea salt

½ cup/100 g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cold milk, for serving (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/gas 7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the waffle pieces on top. Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 in/2.5 cm of water and bring the water to a bare simmer over medium heat.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and warm the waffles for about 5 minutes, flipping each one about halfway through. Remove from the oven and top each waffle piece with about ½ oz/15 g chocolate, leaving a narrow border around the edge. Set them aside, but leave the oven on.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg white, 2 tbsp water, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar and whisk well. Set the bowl on top of the saucepan (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy and feels very warm to the fingertip (if you have an instant-read thermometer, it should register about 125°F/52°C).

Remove the bowl from the pan and add the vanilla. Beat the mixture at medium-high speed, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until the mixture has cooled and a glossy, voluminous, soft-peak meringue forms, about 3 minutes.

Using two soupspoons, top each waffle piece with a cloud of meringue, covering the chocolate as best you can and anchoring the meringue to the waffle (It’s not necessary to achieve perfection.) Using the back of a spoon, create peaks and swirls in the meringue.

Bake the meringue-topped waffles until nicely browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Serve with glasses of cold milk, if desired.

Classic Waffles

 Makes about 8 standard (6½-in/16.5-cm) round waffles

These waffles may be basic, but they’re solidly, dependably good, with just enough sugar for sweetness, baking powder for lift, and butter for richness. The batter comes together quickly, with ingredients that you probably have on hand. The cornstarch, a bit of an oddity in the ingredient lineup, helps keep the waffles supremely light and tender, but you can choose to leave it out—just be sure to use a gentle hand when mixing the batter.

Ingredients:

2 cups/280 g unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

1½ tbsp cornstarch (optional)

2½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 large eggs

2 cups/480 ml whole milk, at room temperature

6 tbsp/85 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Directions:

If you plan to hold the waffles and serve them all at once rather than one at a time hot off the waffle iron, preheat the oven to 225°F/110°C/gas ¼ and set a large wire rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cornstarch (if using), baking powder, and salt until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until combined, and then whisk in the milk. Gradually whisk in the butter.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently just until the batter is evenly moistened. It’s fine if some small lumps remain. Give the batter a couple of folds with a rubber spatula to ensure that there aren’t any pockets of flour.

Pour a generous ½ cup/120 ml of the batter (or the waffle iron manufacturer’s recommended amount) into the center of the waffle iron. Use the rubber spatula to even it out and distribute it slightly (but there is no need to spread it all the way to the edges). Close the lid and bake the waffle to the desired doneness.

Remove the waffle and serve it immediately before baking the remaining batter. Or set it on the wire rack and slide the baking sheet into the oven to keep the waffle warm. Bake the remaining batter, transferring each waffle to the rack in the oven.

Recipes courtesy of “Waffles:  Sweet, Savory, Simple” by Dawn Yanagihara for Chronicle Books, www.ChronicleBooks.com

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