Kneads & Cravings: For the love of waffles

Waffle bar

All right, first things first; waffles are the supreme breakfast food and are infinitely superior to pancakes. Why? Waffles can be transformed and used for all sorts of different sweet or savory meals. You’ve heard of chicken and waffles, but has anyone heard of serving fried chicken with pancakes? Nope.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way I should explain that I am weirdly passionate about waffles — not in an elitist way — and have probably made thousands of them over my fairly short lifetime. How could someone in their 20s make thousands of waffles? Well, I used to make them during the brunch shift at my college’s dining hall. During those shifts I would churn out hundreds of waffles for my bleary-eyed peers as they deliberated between the few toppings offered at the waffle bar. They could choose between a vat of melted butter, maple syrup, or a berry sauce.

My college’s town also had a magnificent waffle joint downtown that I liked to hit up with friends because they made the most spectacular waffles (in a variety of flavors with gluten free options) and offered tons of toppings both sweet and savory. Move over fried chicken, waffles have far more options to choose from than you! Pop some baked apples and brie on your waffle, turn it into a sandwich (pancakes can’t compete with those crispy corners) just have fun with it. In an effort to amp up your next brunch date with pals, I present to you some effortless options for a waffle bar that will make your friends see you as a god (waffles are just that powerful). Make your waffles with your preferred recipe (boxed is fine, avoid frozen waffles as they taste like sadness) and go crazy with your toppings.

Strawberry and Cream Waffle

Strawberries and Cream Waffles

1 cup sliced strawberries

whip cream (or Cool Whip if that’s what you prefer)

Spritz waffle with whip cream and top with a generous handful of sliced strawberries

Berry Crunch Waffles

½ cup raspberries

Berry Crunch Waffle

½ cup blueberries

½ cup granola (I prefer to use honey coconut, but feel free to use your preferred flavor)

2 tablespoons of honey (if you like it sweet, feel free to add more)

Place the berries into the nooks and crannies of the waffle before sprinkling the granola over the fruit. Drizzle honey over the top to taste.

Sweet Tooth Waffles

½ cup chocolate chips

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Scatter a handful of chocolate chips over the waffle after it comes off the iron so the chocolate can nicely melt into the crevices (without getting chocolate all over your waffle iron) and dust the top with powdered sugar.

BLT Waffle

Waffle BLT

3-5 slices of cooked bacon

2-3 leaves of lettuce

2-3 slices of tomato

Place lettuce, bacon and tomato on one half of the waffle and fold the waffle in half.

Sundae Waffles

1 scoop of ice cream (in any flavor)

1 tablespoon of caramel sauce/ hot fudge

1 maraschino cherry

whip cream

Place one (or two for the daring) generous scoop of ice cream on the waffle. Drizzle the caramel/ hot fudge over the ice cream and entire waffle. Top with a spritz of whipped cream and a cherry.

Baked Apples and Brie Waffle

Fancy and French Waffles

1 oz. wheel of brie

1-2 apples, quartered and cut into thin slices

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the brie on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. While the brie is baking, heat up the apple slices with the cinnamon and butter in a pan on the stove until the apples are soft. Place a scoop of brie on the waffle and top with baked apples.

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