Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Holiday Edition – Mission #1 Liege Waffles

 

Heading into the depths of winter and the end of daylight saving time is my most loathed part of the year and also my most loved. How can that be you ask? I love the holidays. From the minute the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, as I head to bed with a sure-to-be sugar hangover from all the Halloween candy, I am in holiday mode. I am one of “those” people.

Slowly, the boxes of decorations meander their way into the house as the days go on. First a reindeer here, a little carved wooden sign that reads “snow” covered in snowmen, little stuffed Santas, a wreath, candles, shiny balls, garlands, wooden trees adorned in bells…they all slowly creep their way into the house. The line the walls, the window sills, the tops of every available surface and they stay there for eight weeks straight.

As the weeks slowly creep on, my mind wanders towards the baking, the music, the lights. Every aspect of holiday attitude becomes my day to day reality. My children’s eyes sparkle with the twinkle of hundreds of Christmas lights strewn on the ceiling high above. This is my time.

I know a lot of people don’t feel the same way, especially Americans who celebrate a holiday in late November that us Canucks have already celebrated even before the advent of Halloween. This is the only way I can get myself through the dark days of winter. I hate the cold. I hate rain. I hate wind. Let’s be honest, I hate it when there is merely a wisp of grey in the sky and a chill on the air. As much as I love fall and the beautiful colours of the leaves, the smell of the smoke, I can barely stand to be outside for more than 20 minutes. I should have been born on a Carribean island somewhere, living my life in barely visible dresses clinging to my every curve and open toed shoes for every day of the year. Somehow I come from Irish/Scottish descent and ended up in one of the coldest climes on Earth. Well, not really. Vancouver Island is considered the mildest place in Canada, but that’s not saying much.

So when I hunker down for the five months that are to come (with their rain, wind, cold and barely rising above the horizon sun) I reach for comfort foods. I’ll eat a salad every day of my life when the weather is nice, with a nice cold cocktail to go with it. When the weather turns foul, bring on the pasta, the cheese, the potatoes, the soups, stews and curries, the heavy desserts, the dark, rich beers.

One thing I don’t often pay much mind to is breakfast. I prefer to whip up a nice hearty smoothie after my workout and chug it back as I get ready for the days activities. It fits my busy lifestyle and I honestly really enjoy it. But the holidays just beg for something special. It’s no wonder the majority of us put on a few pounds over the holidays. Our will power is weak in the absence of light, heat and outdoor activities. We give in to what we truly crave, whether it’s a scoop of ice cream with the slice of pie, a second helping of garlic bread with our lasagna or an extra dollop of whipped cream on our weekend waffles.

And it was here that I came up with my idea for the grandest of Christmas morning breakfasts. As part of the Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Missions (Holiday Edition), I was challenged with this:

“It’s Christmas morning, and the whole family has gathered to exchange gifts and spend some quality time together. What better way to do that than at the kitchen table enjoying an extra special Christmas breakfast? Your mission this week is to create a recipe for the morning of the big day!”

Usually, in my house anyway, Christmas morning is spent drinking coffee and trying not to eat anything. This invariably leads to munching all afternoon as we try to stave off the desperate hunger we feel but also the need to not too much before dinner, the pièce de résistance. We’re all just saving up for that big meal. But I find if I eat a big breakfast, I don’t often need lunch and can wait diligently until dinner. With this breakfast in your belly on Christmas morning, you’ll be sure to be full right until dinner.

For this challenge I was provided with a Cuisinart Classic Round Waffle Maker, something a little different than the Belgian waffle maker I had used previously. This waffle maker is very small and definitely does not have the deep wide pockets that Belgian waffle makers usually have. I had my doubts. I decided to challenge this waffle maker with a classic Belgian waffle recipe, the liege waffle. This is the quintessential “walking around” snack waffle. It has so much butter and sugar in it, it really does not need a topping, though I like to add a little low calorie goodness just to make it extra special. Here I added a quick applesauce and a plain, low fat Greek yogurt in place of the usual syrup and whipped cream. These waffles do not, I reapeat, do not need any syrup whatsoever. Do not make the mistake of trying it. They have enough sugar and butter to last you all day, believe me. But they may well be the best damn waffles on the planet. Bar none. Period. Ad infinitum. Serious.

I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the waffle maker. It’s tiny frame made a kick ass waffle and was done faster than my Belgian waffle iron. Side by side comparisons proved that it did just fine and only in the case that you may need huge butter/syrup pockets would you require anything else. I give this waffle iron a thumbs up. It has everything you need: a plug, actual irons, a light and a heat setting. Poifect!

So if you are brave enough to have a heavy, fat laden, sugar drenched breakfast on Christmas morning, than this recipe is for you. Otherwise, save this for a special occasion (Mother’s Day, Sunday Brunch, etc.) and go all out. Served with a huge dollop of (unsweetened) freshly whipped cream, these babies could feed me all winter long. Truth.

One year ago: Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Black Eyed Peas

Two years ago: Portobello Burgers

Liege Waffles

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes + one hour inactive
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups pastry flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds scraped from one pod
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pearl sugar, small rock sugar or turbinado sugar (The sugar makes the waffle. Having made these waffles with yellow rock sugar that I pounded in a pestle and mortar {not being able to find pearl sugar locally} I found that some of the bigger chunks did not melt fast enough in the quick waffle iron and therefor did not caramelize, leading me to bite into big rock hard chunks of sugar. No good. Try to make sure the sugar you use is no bigger than a peppercorn. If all else fails, turbinado sugar works incredibly well.)

1. Mix yeast, water, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes.
2. Pour flour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and blend on medium for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time. Letting them incorporate fully before adding the next.
4. Slowly pour in the melted butter, while the mixer is running. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
5. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rest at room temperature for one hour or until the batter has doubled in size.
6. Gently fold in the sugar and rest another 15 minutes.
7. Preheat the waffle iron, make s” round balls with two spoons and drop them into the centre of the iron when it’s ready. When the light turns green (or after 3-5 minutes), remove from iron and serve with yogurt and a dollop of applesauce. Or try strawberries and freshly whipped cream for a real treat! You can also hold the waffles in a 200°F oven for 10-15 minutes.

Disclosure: I was provided with compensation, including a free Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker, in exchange for creating this post for the Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew series. All of the opinions are 100% my own and reflect my honest opinion on the product. If I didn’t love it, I would say so. The Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes & tips with promotional consideration made possible by Canadian Tire. If you want to uncover your kitchen’s true potential, stay tuned to the Kitchen Crew for my weekly missions.

Similarly delicious recipes from other fabulous food blogs:

Buckwheat Strawberry Waffles from Naturally Ella
Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles from La Kocinera
Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles from Une-deux Senses
Toasted Coconut Waffles from My Little Celebration
Pumpkin Waffles from Prevention RD

 

9 comments to Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Holiday Edition – Mission #1 Liege Waffles

  • Thanks for the shout out! Those toasted coconut waffles are delicious!
    dana @ my little celebration recently posted..Vegan Cookie Dough Balls.My Profile

  • When I was in Liege I visited my friends aunt and I was quickly introduced to her waffles. I had never tasted something so wonderful in my life and when I left she have me about 20 waffles which I ate with such passion. She said the trick was the Belgian sugar and that her recipe consisted of 2 kilos each of butter, flour, sugar and eggs as translated to me. I never questioned her recipe…Yours reminds brought back such wonderful memeories of this little woman that is no longer with us.

  • Honestly, I’ve never made waffles. I kid you not. I don’t even own a waffle maker (I’m a pancake type gal) but this recipe is so unique and the comment left by Norma has me thinking that it is something I should invest in. Not to mention your lovely photographs and write-up giving me pause to once again, increase my Christmas wish list.

  • Those waffles sound so good! I love that you are so excited for the holidays. They seem to come so quickly and sometimes its hard to appreciate all the wonderful things around you since its such a busy season! I actually put a waffle maker on my christmas list this year!! Can’t wait to get it (as long as Santa remembers!)

  • Mission # 1 us accomplished. U have added thsi recipe to my bucket list!

  • Robert Alan

    I’ve never made waffles. I kid you not. I don’t even own a waffle maker (I’m a pancake type gal) but this recipe is so unique and the comment left by Norma has me thinking that it is something I should invest in.
    Robert Alan recently posted..Winning LotteryMy Profile

    • Elizabeth

      As someone who despises pancakes, I can’t voice too biased an opinion in case the pancake police are listening. But seriously. Waffles are a million times better. Crunchy, yet soft, little buckets to fill with butter and syrup and whipped cream. These waffles in particular are just out of this world!

  • abegail

    I want to try this waffle..Looks delicious..Thanks for sharing the recipe..

  • […] year ago: Moving Sucks Two years ago: Liege Waffles Three years ago: Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Black Eyed Peas Four years ago: Portobello Mushroom […]

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