Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Malted Waffles

Have you ever wondered why restaurant waffles taste so awesome? Why can't the waffles you make at home taste like that? You taste something, but don't know what it is...

...well, I'll bet you that flavor is malt! Restaurant waffles often have malt powder in them, which give them that special taste that you probably thought you could get only at your favorite breakfast place. Well, you're wrong! This recipe will solve all your waffle craving blues.

Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make yourself a slightly-crispy-on-the-outside, hot-and-fluffy-on-the-inside waffles. Plus you'll need a waffle maker.

Malted milk powder is the special ingredient! You can find it in grocery stores, either with the powdered beverages (like the Kool-Aid and Nesquik) or with the coffee, depending on your store's stocking preferences.

In a large bowl, measure out the dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.)

Add a couple mini scoops of brown sugar, for sweetness.

Now for the malt powder.

Funny, I never thought I liked things that tasted malty--malts, malted milk balls, stuff like that. But my favorite beer style (Vienna Lager) is all malt. Odd.

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Now for the wet ingredients. They start with melted butter.

Everything should start with butter.

Next is some buttermilk. I measured it in the same measuring cup as the butter. It will really help at this point if your buttermilk is room temperature (or at least not fresh-outta-the-fridge cold), or your butter will start to re-solidify.

Because I'm lazy, I skipped using a separate bowl for the wet ingredients and just dumped the butter and buttermilk into the dry ingredients (but didn't mix). Then I used the same measuring cup to crack a couple of eggs. They got a quick scramble and then they went in the big bowl of ingredients too.
A pinch of vanilla also went into the big bowl o' waffle batter.

A big whisk makes short work of any lumps.

Now for the waffle iron. I love this little guy. Someone gave it to us for our wedding and it's been great. Of course, we don't have an everyday use for a waffle iron, but it's so compact that it doesn't take up much storage room, which makes it perfect.

Preheat it and give it a good, good spray with nonstick spray. It sucks when your waffles stick and you're left picking out half-cooked bits of waffle from the iron with a toothpick. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

You'll notice at this point that the leavening ingredients in your batter have started working, and your relatively liquid batter has turned into a bowl of marshmallow fluff.

This is a good thing.

When the iron is hot enough (mine has indicator lights), scoop some of the batter into the center of the waffle iron.

Shut the lid and let the iron do its thing. If it's any good at its job, you should have one of these in just a couple of minutes!

So, so good.

The only thing that could make a hot, malted waffle better is real maple syrup and crisp, thick-cut bacon. Ahhh, yeah.

Recipe: Malted Waffles

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
6 tbsp. malt powder
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 3/4 c. buttermilk (or milk)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and malt powder. Whisk well to combine.

To the dry mixture, add butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until just combined.

Cook waffles in a well-greased waffle iron (follow manufacturer's directions on batter amount and cooking duration.)

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