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Waffles 101

Martha Stewart Living, June 1999

When you eat a waffle, do you make sure there's a bit of syrup in every indentation? Do you cut along the lines, or every which way? Perhaps it's all those rows of neat little squares that make us so set in our ways when it comes to waffles. And though they are always festive on the breakfast table, they also make a surprising lunch and a satisfying dinner. For a savory breakfast or lunch, potato waffles provide a superb substitution for an English muffin in Eggs Benedict, and cheddar-cornmeal waffles make a memorable BLT.

Tips for Perfect Waffles
1. Folding beaten egg whites into the batter gives the waffles a light and fluffy texture.

2. Nonstick electric waffle irons are virtually foolproof. The capacity of the individual grids will vary according to model. Ladle batter onto each section of the grid rather than placing it in the middle. The grids should be full but not overflowing, or the batter will seep out the sides of the iron when the top is closed.

3. The waffles will be ready a few minutes after the iron stops giving off steam. Carefully lift the lid; if the waffles resist at all, they need a bit more cooking time.

Waffles We Love
Buttermilk Waffles
Our classic version of the ultimate waffle, flavored with brown sugar and vanilla bean.

Banana Nut Buttermilk Waffles
Serve these with a pat of sweet butter and a drizzle of honey.

Cinnamon Sugar Waffles
Sprinkling buttermilk waffle batter with cinnamon sugar just before cooking gives the waffles a crisp, crunchy topping.

Buckwheat Sour Cream Waffles
The addition of buckwheat flour to the batter gives these waffles an earthy flavor. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and fresh blueberries.

Oat and Whole Wheat Waffles with Mango Sauce
Non-fat buttermilk and egg whites help reduce the amount of fat in these waffles, which are topped with a sweet mango puree and sliced fresh fruit.

Potato Waffles
These hearty brunch or lunch waffles are perfect topped with soft poached eggs, steamed asparagus, and a sprinkling of coarse salt.

Waffle Toppings
While it may seem difficult to improve upon the traditional combination of sweet butter and maple syrup, the following waffle toppings will not disappoint:

Fruit syrups
Toasted pecans and honey
Light-brown sugar and a squeeze of lime juice
Best-quality yogurt and sliced bananas
Fresh blueberries and creme fraiche