Remember the Dunkin’ Donuts commercial where the Dunkin’ Donuts donut maker (nearly) sleepwalked to his store early, early in the morning? “Gotta make the donuts….gotta make the donuts…” That’s how I feel when I’m making waffles.
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At our house, we love breakfast. Usually, it’s pancakes, eggs (farm fresh, we have our own chickens), and bacon or sausage. Occasionally, however, I suggest waffles just for a change.
A couple of years ago, my old stainless steel waffle maker bit the dust (or rather, I was sick of trying to clean it, and when we moved, it conveniently got “lost”.) I kept saying I wanted a new waffle iron, but never picked one up when I was out shopping. Then last Christmas, my hubby bought me the Proctor Silex (P-S) Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Iron.
The outside cover is white plastic with blue writing - it’s attractive enough and much easier to clean drips from than the old stainless steel version I used to have.
An indicator light comes on when you plug the waffle iron in. This light will tell you when the iron is hot enough to use (takes about 5 minutes to heat up.) Contrary to popular belief, I don’t use this light to indicate when my waffles are done; they are too dark if I use it to judge. (Others use the “steam method - when there is no more steam poring out, the waffle is done. I’m quite impatient…my method is to peek after a few minutes…if the waffles are brownish, they are done.)
The electrical plug is a three-prong (with the grounding plug); so if you are in an older house that doesn’t have updated outlets, you could be waffle-less.
When you open the waffle iron, there are top and bottom non-stick surfaces. For the first use, P-S recommends that you grease (not spray) with Crisco or some other such shortening. After that, you don’t need to re-grease. However, I’ve found that the waffles tend to stick a little unless I use a non-stick spray (like Pam…use the butter flavor for the best taste!)
The entire unit is quite compact; it’s smaller than my George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, and sits easily on top of George in the cupboard. There are four legs that protect the surface of your countertop from the heat of the unit itself.
P-S includes an instruction manual and recipe book with the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Iron. In addition to the “normal” waffle recipes, there is a delicious chocolate dessert waffle included that is wonderful warm with some French Vanilla ice cream.
Done with the nuts and bolts
Okay, while informative, that was a little boring. Why do you REALLY buy a waffle iron? To make waffles! And this unit makes great ones, although, like the Dunkin’ Donuts man, if my whole family is having waffles, I have to get going pretty early to keep up with the feeding frenzy.
Waffles take time to cook. They aren’t like pancakes, where you can plop them in a skillet or griddle whip out 4-8 at a time. In the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Iron, good waffles take about 3-5 minutes to complete, depending on how much batter gets poured in. My family eats them as fast as they come out of the iron, and I always make a double batch of batter to start out. The good thing is that these waffles are bigger than your average waffle (7” diameter), and 1-2 will usually satisfy most appetites.
By the way, the amount of batter you’ll need for one waffle is ABOUT 3/4 cup. I say ABOUT because I have yet (in over 6 months of waffle cooking pleasure) figured out how to make a perfect Belgian waffle that is completely circular and has each and every hole filled in. I can make deformed looking (but perfectly acceptable to the taste buds) waffles and waffles that sploosh batter out the sides of the iron (good thing that white exterior is easily cleaned!) Just can’t get the nice, round, beautiful waffles that are shown on the box.
While Bisquick (or Krusteaz) are great for quick waffle-orgies, if I’m in the mood for a delicious, light waffle, I make the recipe found in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs, separated
2-1/4 cups buttermilk (I use regular milk)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Pure maple syrup, for garnish
Sliced nectarines, for garnish
Fresh berries, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a waffle baker.
2. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl.
3. Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until lightly beaten. Whisk in milk and melted butter until blended. Whisk milk mixture into dry ingredients until smooth.
4. Beat egg whites in small bowl with an electric mixer until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter with a rubber spatula just until blended. Makes about 6 cups batter.
5. Bake waffles in waffle baker* according to manufacturer’s directions until crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Transfer each batch directly onto oven rack to keep warm. Repeat. Dust waffles with confectioners’ sugar; serve with maple syrup and fruit, if desired. Makes five (8-inch-square) waffles or 5 servings.
Nutrition facts per serving: 385 calories, 13.5 g total fat, 7.5 g saturated fat, 157 mg cholesterol, 834 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein, 315 mg Calcium (mg).
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