Waffles are a favorite in our house, and while I am still a fan of the plain, lacey discs that can be dressed up with nuts, berries, flavored whipped cream and of course maple syrup, our family has diverged into other realms.

There are all sorts of combinations we’ve dreamed up, and I share the best of the best with you here. The waffle adventure takes two tracks. One, the sweet, which can still be dressed with the above condiments, and two, the savory, which are much better suited to eggs, greens drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, sausage, cheese, salsa, etc.

Once you read through these recipes, you’ll see that the basic recipe calls for 2 cups of liquid and 2 cups of dry ingredients.

If you begin to experiment with substitutions, you’ll need to adjust accordingly. I’ve included the recipes here in total for those who feel a little nervous about straying too far off the recipe path.

LEMON POPPY SEED WAFFLES

2 cups flour

1/4 cup white sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

13/4 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons lemon zest, about 1 lemon

6 tablespoons lemon juice, about 1 lemon

2 teaspoons lemon extract

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Add the poppy seeds. Mix the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk, zest, juice and extract in a medium bowl. Combine with the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

POTATO CILANTRO WAFFLES

This recipe is also a perfect use for leftover mashed potatoes. If the potatoes are cold from the refrigerator, warm them up a little bit in the microwave and then add some of the buttermilk slowly with a potato masher so you work most of the clumps out.

Dill is a perfect substitute for the cilantro in this recipe.

1 medium Yukon Gold potato (about 12 ounces), or 1 cup of leftover mashed potatoes

2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro

2 cups flour

11/2 teaspoon sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

13/4 cups buttermilk

Peel the potato and cut into large pieces. Boil in water over high heat until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Mash with a potato masher. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Mix the egg yolks, butter and buttermilk into the potatoes. Combine with the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the potato batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

COCONUT, ORANGE, CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

2 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

13/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

2 teaspoons coconut extract

2 teaspoons orange extract

2 teaspoons orange zest

1/2 cup toasted coconut

3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or chips)

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Mix the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk, extracts and zest in a medium bowl. Combine with the dry ingredients and then add the coconut and chocolate. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

RUM RAISIN VANILLA WAFFLES

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup Goslings rum or other dark rum

13/4 cups buttermilk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped of seeds

2 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

Soak the raisins in the rum for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Whisk the vanilla seeds into the buttermilk to make sure it gets broken up and incorporated. Save the pod for another use.

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Mix the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk and rum raisins in a medium bowl. Combine with the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

CHILI CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

There isn’t enough time on the heat to really get the spices going here. If you are wishing for a kick of heat, try blooming the chili powder in a small skillet until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Also try adding dark chocolate balsamic vinegar to both this or the mocha waffles for a different effect.

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon minced chili en adobo

2 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk the chipotle en adobe into the buttermilk to make sure it gets broken up and incorporated.

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Mix the egg yolks, butter and buttermilk mixture in a medium bowl. Combine with the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

MOCHA WAFFLES

These by themselves wish for a little more sugar, but once you add maple syrup into the equation, a heavenly balance is struck.

13/4 cup flour

1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

2 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped of seeds

Preheat the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk, coffee and vanilla seeds and whisk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. In a separate bowl, one that is clean and dry, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.

Follow the directions for your waffle iron. Makes 10 to 12 waffles.

 

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea.” She can be reached at [email protected]