Growing up, I rarely recall my family eating breakfast together, except on Sunday mornings. And boy did we do breakfast right on Sundays. It was like a breakfast buffet every week right there on my kitchen table. Both of my parents cooked and were often in the kitchen together. My dad always fried up the bacon and eggs and my mom would do everything else. We ate like champions and I loved that we did this together as a family every Sunday.
I’m happy that my husband and I started the same kind of tradition within our family. Every weekend we sit down together as a family and have breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes are my husband’s specialties. My kids love the pancakes the most but now that we have a waffle baker, the pancakes haven’t been making much of an appearance on the breakfast table but I have to believe that as long as we have fresh berries and maple syrup, the kids are just fine and happy. And the clean plates at the end of breakfast say it all.
For this challenge, I wanted to go beyond the traditional waffle. If you know me, you know I am a texture fanatic when it comes to food. I will usually make sure I mix it up as much as I can and, for example, will add walnuts or other garnishes to my food or cook foods a certain way to create a more exciting dish. And when it comes to waffles, I really dislike flimsy, soggy, or soft waffles.
While trying to perfect this recipe, I probably made 4 or 5 different waffle batters and more than 8 different kinds of waffles, all experimenting with different ingredients and textures for the waffle. And I’m very pleased with this final recipe.
I added blueberry compote into my batter and rolled my waffle batter dough balls in turbinado sugar to create a sweet and perfectly crunchy exterior. Turbinado sugar is ideal for this since it melts and caramelizes well. My friends and family loved these waffles. My husband thought the waffles reminded him of a churro. He said that was wonderful.
For most people, baking waffles might be a little spontaneous so making a batter that you have to leave in the fridge overnight probably wouldn’t work for most. With this recipe, you only have to refrigerate the batter for 20 minutes, making it a little easier to work with. Then, using a cookie scoop or two small spoons, scoop out about a tablespoon of the batter.
Roll the batter ball in the turbinado sugar to lightly coat. Set aside and prepare 3 more tablespoon sized waffle batter balls.
Once the KitchenAid® Waffle Baker is ready, place the 4 waffle batter balls in the center of the waffle baker to create one big waffle. Close the lid, press start and cook each waffle for 2 min 30 seconds. During the last minute or so of cooking, flip the waffle baker to ensure even cooking.
Remove the cooked waffle/s from your waffle baker, and repeat with the remaining waffle batter. To assemble your Wild Berry Waffles: lightly pour on some maple syrup or blueberry compote (or both!), top with an assortment of fresh berries and some whipped cream and enjoy!
So, before berry season comes to an end this summer, get out there and visit your local farm, Farmer’s Market or grocery store for some fresh, sweet berries!
Here are my tips on how and where to find the freshest berries:
Buy local: visit your local Farmer’s Markets- talk to the sellers and sample fruit.
Visit local farms or U-Pick Farms: I can’t think of a better family friendly activity than picking your own fruit. It’s fun for the kids and you get to enjoy some delicious, fresh berries! Also, this is a great way to meet and get to know the people growing your fruit and working on the farm. Ask questions. A good U-pick farm will have experienced people there to help you.
Grocery store: When it comes to berries, I say buy organic. Yes, it’s more expensive, but if it’s important to you, just do it. Ask questions and get to know the produce person working there. You’d be surprised at how much they know or in the very least, might be able to help you select some great, fresh berries.
Important things to know when buying or selecting berries:
When in doubt, rely on the color, size, smell and texture of the berries. You want berries that are firm, deep in color and plump (ie: fully red for strawberries, fully black for blackberries or blue or a light gray-blue for blueberries is ok. A blueberry with any hint of red isn’t fully ripened)
If you see any mold in the container, do not buy it.
Try to eat or bake with your berries within a few days of picking or purchasing; this is when they will taste the best.
Wild Berry Belgian Waffles
For the blueberry compote
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup water
For the waffles
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest (zest from 1-2 lemons depending on the size)
3 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup blueberry compote
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (for waffle batter right before cooking)
Non-stick cooking spray
Special equipment suggested: a cookie scoop (similar in size to a tablespoon)
For the toppings
Assortment of fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Powdered sugar; optional
For the blueberry compote
Using a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the fresh blueberries, turbinado sugar and water and cook until the berries soften and begin to burst; for about 10-12 minutes.
Let simmer, stirring often, for about 5-6 minutes more. The compote will begin to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside a 1/4 cup of the compote and allow it to cool completely.
For the waffles
(You can either mix by hand or use your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer)
Using a large mixing bowl, combine together both flours, the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, turbinado sugar and lemon zest.
In separate medium sized bowl, mix together the eggs and the melted butter. Next, stir in the milk and the 1/4 cup cooled blueberry compote. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Your waffle batter will be blue.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
During the last 5 minutes while your batter is in the fridge, turn on your waffle baker and allow it to heat up.
Remove your waffle batter from the refrigerator and using your cookie scoop or two small spoons, scoop out about a tablespoon of the batter and roll around in the turbinado sugar to lightly coat. Set aside and prepare 3 more tablespoon sized waffle batter balls.
Once the waffle baker is ready, place the 4 waffle batter balls in the center of the waffle baker (this will create one big waffle). Press start and cook each waffle for 2 min 30 seconds. During the last minute of cooking, flip the waffle baker to ensure even cooking.
Remove cooked waffles from your waffle baker, and repeat with the remaining waffle batter. To assemble your Wild Berry Waffle: lightly pour on some maple syrup (if desired), blueberry compote, top with an assortment of fresh berries, top with whipped cream and dust on a little powdered sugar.
Notes for the cook
If you don’t have turbinado sugar, you can substitute it with granulated white sugar for the blueberry compote and waffle batter. However, I would suggest that you not roll the waffle batter in regular white sugar. So, if you do not have turbinado sugar, simply skip this step and cook your waffles in your waffle baker.
Coating the waffle batter balls with the turbinado sugar creates a lovely, absolutely delicious (you’ll always want to cook your waffles this way) perfectly crunchy exterior. Turbinado sugar is ideal for this since it melts and caramelizes well. This method does require a little extra clean up, but nothing that a slightly damp paper towel cannot handle. If you’re not looking for a sweet, crunchy exterior or any additional clean up, simply skip this step and just cook your waffle batter in your waffle baker.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*