the most perfect buttermilk belgian waffles

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I’ve really come to love living in New England (despite the snowy winters, which I continue to despise), but I hate being farther away from my parents in DC. Particular days are harder than others, and lately it’s been harder than ever. I really, really enjoyed my brief trip over Memorial Day weekend and I’ve been feeling a little homesick ever since. As I’ve gotten over my awkward teenage years and independent 20s, I’m now realizing how cool my parents are. What can I say? I like hanging out with them.

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And like I said, some days are harder than others. Today happens to be both Father’s Day and my sister’s birthday. My sister isn’t in DC anymore (and wasn’t even on the East coast this weekend) but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about family and wishing we were all in DC today. To make matters much, much worse, my grandmother had a bad fall last weekend and isn’t doing all that well. She’s ok, but she’s not great and that is more than enough to make me really, really wish I were in DC today.

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I’ve been so busy with work, working long and late hours. I’m tired. And I’m so, so tired of working. So this morning I made waffles. For as long as I can remember, it’s what my family has done for special occasions. Someone’s birthday? Belgian waffle brunch. Thanksgiving? Belgian waffle brunch. Father’s Day? Belgian waffle brunch. And so this morning Joseph and I made waffles. It is, after all, my sister’s birthday and Father’s Day. And we just so happen to have the best waffle recipe ever, thanks to Cook’s Illustrated. It’s just unfortunate that they weren’t here to partake.

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Growing up, our waffle brunches were always made with the exact same recipe – a mixture of Bisquick, seltzer, and eggs – and I always thought it was the best recipe ever. Until I tried these waffles from Cook’s Illustrated. And I am now convinced that these are the most perfect Belgian waffles ever. They are crunchy on the outside, but still light and fluffy on the inside. And the beautiful, rich buttermilk flavor will kick Bisquick’s butt any day.

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I love loading my waffles up with fresh fruit. In the summer, it’s usually strawberries or blueberries and in the fall and winter, it’s sliced apples cooked in cinnamon and maple syrup. Today, it was blackberries. Looking for something festive for the 4th of July? Strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream (or yogurt if you want to be all healthy). Like I said, we always had a waffle brunch for just about any occasion  and the 4th of July is no exception! Or, if you want something really tasty and just a little decadent, whip up a batch of cherry compote (I’m so embarrassed – I promised to share this waffle recipe with you in that post almost a year ago!). Whatever you put on top, I promise you will love these waffles – they’re amazing all on their own!

the most perfect belgian waffles

Yield: 8-9 Belgian Waffles

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

Haven't heard of powdered buttermilk before? It can usually be found in the baking aisle or next to the dried-milk products. It keeps for a year in the fridge and it's my go to ingredient for recipes that call for buttermilk. No need to buy a quart of buttermilk when you only need 3/4 cup any more!

For the seltzer, avoid Perrier - it's not quite fizzy enough. For best results, use a freshly opened bottle because the seltzer is what gives the waffles their light texture. The recipe is actually meant for a regular waffle maker - not Belgian - so go ahead and use that if that's what you've got.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unflavored seltzer water

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Set a wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder, and baking soda in large bowl to combine. Whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine. Gently stir the seltzer into the wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined. Batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.
  2. Heat the waffle iron and bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (in my belgian waffle machine I cooked them for 4 minutes). Transfer the waffles to the rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving with maple syrup and fruit.
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 the most perfect buttermilk belgian waffles

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