Since I learned how easy it is to make fresh homemade waffles and pancakes from scratch, I have made them about once a week since then. To keep things interesting I am always experimenting with new additions—like blueberries and cinnamon. Today, I am adding cranberries and pecans.
Karl’s Cranberry Pecan Waffles
1 cup AP flour
2 Tbs. potato starch
2 Tbs. Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free, preferred)
½ tsp. Kosher salt
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup pecan pieces
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (I use low-fat lactose-free)
½ tsp. vanilla
1. Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt thoroughly in a medium bowl.
Tip: The potato starch is optional.
Note: The tenderness of a waffle or pancake depends in a large part by how much gluten you create, when you are mixing the batter. Adding a bit of potato starch—which lacks the proteins glutenin and gliadin—keeps some of the proteins in the wheat flour from forming gluten.
2. Melt the butter in a small cup and drizzle it over the flour mixture.
Tip: Put the butter in a microwave safe custard cup and zap it for 20-30 seconds.
Note: Keep an eye out during the last few seconds, so that the butter does not boil over.
3. Use a spatula—or your fingers—to work the butter into the flour.
Tip: By working the butter in, it binds with the flour and reduces its ability to form gluten. This gives you a more tender waffle.
Note: When you are done the mixture should look like wet sand.
4. Mix the dried cranberries and pecans into the flour mixture.
5. Put the eggs in a large one cup measure and scramble them with one quarter cup of the milk.
Tip: If you are not watching your weight, you may replace some of the milk with half and half.
Note: You want the eggs to be scrambled enough not to have ropes of egg white running through your waffles.
6. Stir the rest of the milk and the vanilla into the measuring cup.
Tip: I frequently get up and prepare the ingredients up to this point and put it all on hold, until the family gets up.
Note: When you mix the liquid and dry ingredients together the baking powder starts to create the gasses that give you light and fluffy waffles. If you leave the mix too long—more than half an hour—the gasses start to escape and will leave you with flat waffles.
7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk/egg mixture into the depression.
8. Whisk the ingredients together until there is no dry flour showing.
Tip: This is a bit tricky. You want to thoroughly mix the dry and wet ingredients, but you do not want to overwork your batter. This would produce too much gluten and make your pancakes tough. Once you have only a few small lumps left, stop mixing.
9. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
Tip: This gives the flour time to fully absorb the liquid.
10. Plug in the waffle iron and let it heat up.
Tip: I am using a non-stick electric waffle iron. If you are using an old-fashioned stove waffle iron you may need to lightly Pam it and heat it over medium high heat. Wipe away most of the Pam with a paper towel, you want the merest smear of oil on your iron.
11. Spoon the batter over the waffle iron and close the lid.
Tip: About a short half cup of batter fills my iron, but waffle irons come in many different shapes and sizes.
Note: The batter expands while it is cooking to fill many of the gaps in the waffle iron. Do not pour the batter all the way to the edge of the cooking surface—it will expand over the lip and drip all over your counter. I leave about a one inch gap on all sides of the waffle iron.
12. My waffle iron is “idiot-proof,” when the light turns green the waffle is done.
13. Use a fork to lift the waffle out of the iron, and transfer it to a wire rack.
Tip: Laying the waffles on a flat surface will make the bottoms go soggy, as the steam comes out of the fresh waffle.
Note: To keep them warm, you may place the wire rack on a lipped baking sheet and put them in a warmed oven. Do not leave the oven on, or it will dry them out into Frisbees® .
14. Continue making waffles until you run out of batter.
Note: This recipe produces about 4-5 8-inch waffles.
15. Serve the waffles warm, with butter and/or your favorite toppings.
Note: I topped mine with butter and a fried egg.