Monday, November 12, 2012

Gingerbread Liege Waffles

by Darla

* Before I say anything, I feel duty bound to tell you: these waffles were in the top three biggest hits list with my entire family. Huge deal here, people. I thought you’d want to know. ;) *

When we lived in Vermont, there was some really fun places to ski. The mountains are smaller, but they’re no less fun for it.

One place that we used to go was Okemo Mountain. And if you know anything about skiing in Vermont, then you know that you don’t go to Okemo mountain without skiing into the Waffle Cabin.

Yes, skiing into. It’s a waffle pit stop right on the mountain, and if you don’t ski, then you still find a way to get one of their waffles, because they’re incredible.

They serve liege waffles at the Waffle Cabin, and they’re the real thing. Liege waffles are not regular breakfast waffles…no matter how good regular breakfast waffles are. Liege waffles are transcendent. Yeasty, fragrant, sugary, irresistible.

Nothing like any waffle you’ve ever had before.

For 6 years, since we left Vermont, I’ve pined for liege waffles. Yes, I could have made some from one of the many online recipes, but I was missing one key ingredient.

A few weeks ago, I was to a local market and came across these gorgeous little sugar pearls. I knew immediately what they’re used for, but I’ve never been able to find them before, so you can imagine how excited I was!

These sugar pearls are the secret to liege waffles. I’ve seen some recipes using various other techniques of adding sugar to the waffles, but the effect is never quite the same. Basically, what I’m telling you is that if you don’t have these bad boys, you gotta go get some, like, yesterday.

Now, I researched liege waffles like crazy when I first found these pearls, and what I established was that most of them were completely not really liege waffles, or they were so time and labor intensive, that no one would be interested in bothering.

I mean, we’re talking two days worth of working and waiting before the dough is even ready to cook. No, thank you.

In the end, I narrowed the ingredients down from several recipes to see what the differences were. In all honestly, there were a lot of differences; bread flour vs. all-purpose, plain sugar vs. brown, 2 eggs vs. 4 eggs vs. 1 egg, and on and on. I took all the info, thought back to the waffles I’d had before, and used my own personal experience to create this recipe. And I made it fast and simple. Yay!

Then, I made them all molassesy-gingerbready. Because I rock your world like that. Or something.

First of all, rather than use milk and water, like many recipes do, I cut the water all together and increased the milk instead. Second, I eliminated about half a million steps by combining all of the wet ingredients separately from the dry.

In a measuring the cup, I heated the milk until it was hot, then I stirred in the softened butter until it was completely melted. Next, I added the eggs and lightly whisked, then stirred in molasses and vanilla extract.

Trust me when I say that this was far faster and easier than any other recipe I came across, which mostly involved stirring this or that in, resting, then stirring in some of whatever, and resting again. Talk about tedious.

At this point, all I had to do was add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients that I’d already combined in my mixing bowl, and knead the whole thing for a few minutes.

Since I wanted to make something perfect for fall, I used brown sugar and molasses, along with plenty of gingerbread spices, and ended up with a beautiful light golden dough.

Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

See? Easy, right?

When the dough has doubled, add the sugar pearls. Alright…this looks like a lot of sugar, but you’re going to have to trust me here when I say, “I promise you need all that sugar.” And I do promise.

Knead the sugar pearls into the dough, by hand, until evenly distributed. Let the dough rest while your waffle iron preheats.

When the iron is ready, spread a piece of the dough (about 4 ounces) on the iron. Don’t worry about spreading it all the way to the edge or anything like that; these are meant to be rustic, and they’re all the prettier for it.

Cook each waffle for about 2 to 3 minutes, and enjoy. Immediately.

Trust me. You won’t, and don’t, want to wait.

See those shiny parts? Yeah. That’s melty, caramelized sugar, y’all. I told you that you’d want all that sugar earlier.

These waffles are crisp on the outside, with all the melted sugar, and soft and yeasty inside, with little burst is sweet crunch from the sugar on the inside.

Amazing.

Now, if you’re really feeling frisky, mix up some chocolate maple syrup, drizzle it over your waffles, and sit back and bask in the glow of adoration that everyone is bestowing upon you (you think I’m exaggerating, but my boys spoil me rotten every time I make any flavor of liege waffles).

Enjoy!

For another wonderful liege waffle recipe, be sure to stop over at my friend, Caroline’s, place, Chocolate and Carrots. She’s made some amazing Whole Grain Liege Waffles! Great minds think alike. :)

Gingerbread Liege Waffles
Makes 7 waffles

Ingredients

1/3 cup (about 83 ml) hot milk
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 cups (254 grams) bread flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 teaspoon (or 1 packet) instant yeast
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pearl sugar

To make the waffles: In a medium bowl or measuring cup, heat the milk until it’s hot enough to melt the butter. Stir the butter into the milk until melted. Add the eggs, whisking lightly. Stir in the molasses and vanilla extract; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine the flour, brown sugar, yeast, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm milk mixture in a slow steady stream. Increase speed to medium and mix until the dough barely sticks to the bowl, about 7 to 8 minutes, scraping the sides as necessary. Transfer the dough to a very lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Once doubled, turn on the waffle iron. Knead the pearl sugar into the dough and set aside to rest while the iron heats.

Divide the dough into 7 4-ounce pieces. One piece at a time, spread the waffle dough in the hot iron. Cook until deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm, plain, or with chocolate maple syrup or other garnish.

Chocolate Maple Syrup

Ingredients

3 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped roughly
3 tablespoons maple syrup

In a small bowl, combine the syrup and chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir the ingredients to start melting the chocolate. Heat for another 15 seconds, if needed, to melt the chocolate until smooth.

Recipe by Darla

Pin It

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 12, 2012 at 5:56 am

Whoa. These are all kinds of delicious! You rock!

Reply

2 Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more November 12, 2012 at 6:00 am

this is totally not fair, those look amazing, and I bet we don’t have those sugar pearls anywhere here! I must find them!

Reply

3 Cookbook Queen November 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

So….how hard to do think it is to ship hot waffles??

Like, if a certain blogger in the Pacific Northwest wanted to ship breakfast to another blogger in the South (who incidentally, is 9 months pregnant, which means she should get whatever she wants…)

Research this if you need, and get back with me.

Reply

4 Andrea R November 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I need the like post button on here! LOL If she’s going to all that effort she can check out shipping to the mid west as well! LOL

Reply

5 Katherine November 12, 2012 at 6:57 am

These look fabulous!!!

If you’re ever in New York, you can find the most ahhhhhmazing liege waffles at Wafels & Dinges. They have a number of locations (Central Park, Columbus Circle outside the Time Warner Center) – almost like little kiosks making fresh waffles. You can smother them in a number of toppings, including spekuloos spread (incredible!!) or Belgian chocolate fudge. I think you would appreciate them!

Reply

6 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots November 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

Holy waffles (today’s official way to freak out)! Your liege waffles look incredible!!! I had never had liege waffles before I made them, but I’m officially a fan. I’m going to have to use the rest of my pearl sugar on your gingerbread waffles! Mmm!

Reply

7 Emilia November 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

There is a place in Portland, OR (the Waffle Window) that makes the liege waffles, with all sorts of delicious toppings. It is just a hole in the wall (literally) from which they serve the waffles.

Reply

8 Cassiopée November 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

Oh my!
I’m from Belgium and I can tell you… Your waffles look amazing! God, I need to try this!

maybe one day you will come here to taste a real one from Liege ^^

Have a good day ;)

Reply

9 Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie November 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

I’ve never heard of liege waffles before. Obviously, my life was incomplete until now – these sound amazing!

Reply

10 Jill November 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

Woah- these are intense and I would love one. Or two. Or three.

Reply

11 Darla November 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

I want these like NOW!! Thank you for the recipe, my family I’m sure will be thanking you forever!! Just gotta find the pearl sugar first!

Reply

12 Bebe November 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

I was in Belgium this summmer ,and oh wow – those waffles are literally something to write home about! So much better than any I’d ever have. I didn’t realize they were called Liege Waffles because I’ve been looking at recipes online and haven’t been trying to figure out what they used that gave it that wonderful crispy sugary crunch, and here it is. I don’t know if I could find those sugar pearls locally, but I see you can order them online! So glad you posted this! And gingerbread ones to boot. Sounds marvelous!

Reply

13 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers November 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

You’re evil.

<3

Reply

14 Cecily November 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I think I must make these soon. My love of waffles is great, snd these look so good.

Reply

15 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life November 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Those look crazy good! I have never heard of Liege waffles before. Obviously I am missing out big time.

Reply

16 Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. November 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm

What a dreamy breakfast this would be! The waffles look amazing!

Reply

17 buttercream bakehouse November 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I can smell these from here. This is a great idea.

Reply

18 Tammy Y November 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I was just in Belgium in September and had plenty of these type of waffles! Can’t wait to make this holiday version! Yum!!!

Reply

19 Lior November 14, 2012 at 12:40 am

Thank you for the recipe! you are great!!

Reply

20 Natasha November 14, 2012 at 1:27 am

Yum! Liege waffles are my absolute favourite! I made them so often that I broke my waffle maker last time :-( which is such a shame because your gingerbread version looks amazing! :-)

Reply

21 Stephanie November 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

oh my god!!! These need to be in my mouth asap! STAT!

I cannot wait to try yeasted waffles. Need!

Reply

22 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers November 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

stupid. good.

that is all.

Reply

23 Stéphanie November 17, 2012 at 3:18 am

What a surprise! I’m reading your blog since one year and i never think that you might talk about something from my country one day… It’s funny! In Belgium where you can find the city of Liège, the classic recipe we eat, don’t have cinnamon inside but i think it’s a good idea! I’m gonna try this!

Reply

24 Victoria May 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I made these, except that I wanted plain liege waffles so I left out all of the spices, replaced the molasses with honey and brown sugar with white, and made them with 2.5 oz of dough. They were amazing! The only thing is: when you say 1 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet) do you mean 2 1/4 tsp? I made mine with 2 1/4 and they were most excellent:)

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: