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Beloved by Canadians from coast to coast, waffles remain one of the most popular first-meal-of-the day (and sometimes dinner) favourites. Crisp and golden on the outside, light and airy inside, it’s a classic dish most often enjoyed dripping with sweet butter and maple syrup.
For homemade waffles whenever your heart desires, a waffle maker, or waffle iron, is a fabulous small appliance to have on-hand. Yet, too often, it becomes forgotten and neglected, relegated to the furthest depths of kitchen cupboards. Neglect no longer, for that waffle maker is ideal for creating more than merely delicious waffles. Breathe new life into your waffle maker with these six ideas that will have you waffling beautifully through any sweet or savoury meal occasion.
Waffled Grilled Cheese: No need to turn on the stove or heat up a skillet. Instead, assemble your grilled cheese sandwich as per usual, buttering bread on the outside and sandwiching with your favourite cheese. Then, place in a preheated waffle maker, closing lid but not pressing down, and toasting until golden brown. Not only is this easy to make, the pattern created by cooking in a waffle maker adds visual and textural interest, and creates crevices perfectly sized for holding ketchup. Customize your sandwich by adding strips of cooked bacon, deli-sliced ham or sliced tomatoes.
Sriracha Lime Cornbread Waffles: Inspired by food truck fare offerings, this savoury take on traditional waffles uses cornmeal in place of most of the flour and is infused with a zesty Sriracha and Lime kick of seasoning. Top with everything from corn and avocado to bacon and blue cheese.
Waffled Quesadillas: Using two flour tortillas about the size of your waffle maker (or trimmed to fit) per quesadilla, place one tortilla on a well-greased waffle maker; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar or other favourite cheese. Add some diced tomatoes or chopped green onions and sprinkle with chili powder. For added protein, add a small amount of diced, cooked chicken or drained and rinsed black beans. Top with the second tortilla, then close lid and cook until golden brown. Transfer to a cutting board then cut into quarters and serve with sour cream or guacamole.
Hashbrown Waffles with Greek Yogurt Ranch: Ideal for brunch or dinner and with a flavourful creamy yogurt sauce, these are great with anything from fried eggs to roasted chicken. Bonus tip: Hash browns in a waffle maker is additionally excellent as it cooks and crisps up both sides at once and without having to flip or turn them. The trick is to use a well-greased waffle maker and also to squeeze out liquid from potatoes before cooking.
Waffled Cinnamon Rolls: Wow your family or guests with cinnamon rolls reshaped into waffles. Using a can of store-bought cinnamon rolls, simply separate and place and press each prepared roll in greased waffle maker until golden brown and cooked through. That’s it. Make a pourable “syrup” by whisking a spoonful or two of milk or water into accompanying glaze. Or better yet, make your own Maple Glaze by whisking 1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar, 3 tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup and 1 tsp (5 mL) Club House Imitation Maple Extract. If need be, thin glaze out by adding a teaspoonful at a time of milk or water until it’s a thick, pourable glaze.
Raspberry Waffles with White Chocolate Sauce: Bringing it back around to a more traditional waffle, this one includes an extra-special spin thanks to the decadent addition of tart-sweet raspberries and rich white chocolate. Perfect for special occasions…like weekend brunch!