Growing up, about twice a year my mom would surprise us with Belgian waffles for dinner — complete elation! It had the same thrill of playing hooky from school, even my Atkins devoted dad would join in the carb-fest. My mom is 100% Belgian, and not to throw her under the bus or anything, her waffles came straight from the Bisquick box.
The combo of those family waffle nights and my memories of eating actual Belgian waffles in Belgium (trust me, they are nothing like the IHOP menu) sent me to the kitchen to come up with this recipe.
In my rendition, I use beer as a leavening agent over yeast, for some reason it just seems easier to me. (Don’t be nervous about using the beer and feeding them to the kids. The alcohol dissipates during the cooking process — I promise you won’t have belching babies at breakfast calling you Norm!) I mix the batter up the night before and let it sit in the fridge. In the morning, it’s ready for the waffle iron. If you want to go the waffles for dinner route, mix up the batter and let is sit for about two hours to rise. Patience is not my virtue, I’ve only let it sit for an hour and it’s worked just fine.
We have the usual big-square waffle iron, but I’ve been on the hunt for the kind that makes the thin waffles– the texture and crispiness can’t be beat. I found one at Williams-Sonoma that’s a winner. When you make these, go ahead and make the whole batch and freeze any leftovers to throw in the toaster for an easy weekday breakfast. I just let the cool on the counter and then throw them in a bag with parchment paper in between each waffle.
Belgian Beer Waffles
Makes 6-8 waffles
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bottle of beer (I’ve used both Heineken and Victoria)
½ cup butter, melted (plus a little more for the waffle iron)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Raw sugar for sprinkling
Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, break up the eggs with a fork. Add the eggs and other liquids and stir until you have a smooth batter. Really, it’s that easy. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for two hours on the counter.
When ready to cook, heat-up your waffle iron. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter. Brush iron with butter and ladle the batter onto your iron and cook until golden. To serve in the most traditional manner, brush waffle with a little melted butter and then sprinkle with raw sugar.
My girls also like these smeared with raspberry jam or if we really want to go crazy, we bust out the Nutella.