Monday, July 28, 2014

Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels

I dare you to take a bite of a waffle that is crisp and chewy, with pockets of caramelized sugar, that (according to my brother) "tastes like a cookie", and NOT became a full on addict.

I'm gonna stop you right now: YOU CAN'T!

Just ask Hayley....and...I'll admit it: ME.
I have found that the #1 food related thing I miss from NYC is probably the liege waffles (the "other" Belgian waffle. It's essentially like the long lost, prettier, more talented, and overall better sister of the Belgian waffle we all know and grew up with) from Wafels and Dinges. It makes me sad that it took me so long to discover them...I only had a year with those flavorful little beauties. And I didn't even appreciate them fully (I mean...I did but like...not enough) until I knew I would be leaving them. Before leaving NYC I probably ate 3+ of those waffles that I dubbed "my last"...but then...I'd see another truck...and I had another! #noregrets
Anyway, I had anticipated that I would go through sugary-waffles-from-heaven withdrawal so I bought myself some pearl sugar before I'd even made the move home (I had it shipped to my mom's house).

And then, as fate would have it, I found myself in possession of a jar of Nutella-my dinge (topping) of choice! Obviously it didn't take me long to tackle making my own homemade liege waffles!
To make the liege waffles you make a thick, yeasted dough and fold in big old chunks of pearl sugar. The pearl sugar chunks caramelize in the waffle iron and create those gorgeous sugary bites as well as the crisp exterior, while the yeasted dough gives us a chewy structure. 

...and this recipe called for melted butter, so I decided to brown it. Typical Kayle move.

Did I notice the browned butter? Ermmm...a little. Not a huge difference. Def. not a necessity. 

Did I love 'em? OF COURSE! They're so PRETTY! And they were sooo delicious, especially smothered in nutella with a good dusting of powdered sugar, and when you get a goood bite of caramelized sugar! 

Are they as good as Wafels and Dinges? Not quiiite (but close!) I think the dough might have been a smidge over-yeasted. That's ok, I'll just continue my quest and try more recipes!

Oh noooo....more liege waffles? Gosh darn it. Life is hard.

:P


Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels

Slightly adapted from Buns in My Oven

Makes 6-8 waffles.
Ingredients:
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup very warm (NOT HOT) water
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (or 16 tbsp.) butter, browned-or just melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional-I forgot to add it)
  • 1 cup Belgian pearl sugar
  • Top with powdered sugar and whatever toppings desired. Suggestions: nutella, peanut butter, whipped cream, speculoos (or Biscoff/cookie butter), ice cream, chocolate, caramel, strawberries, bananas, etc. etc!)
Preparation:
  • If browning the butter: In a, preferably light colored, saucepan melt butter over medium heat and whisk constantly as it melts, foams, bubbles, and eventually turns amber with little brown flecks forming. Immediately pour into a small, heatproof, bowl and allow it to cool until it is comfortably warm, not hot.
  • In a small bowl combine yeast, water, and sugar and let sit for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), and create a well in the center. Pour the foamed yeast mixture into the well.
  • Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer (or...just your hand mixer if you're like me and stand mixer-less) mix on low speed until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • On low speed, mix in the melted (or browned and cooled) butter and vanilla (if using). Beat together on medium speed for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. It will be thicker than a normal waffle batter but wetter than a bread dough.
  • Place in a warm spot and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes, until doubled.
  • Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let rest an additional 15 minutes.
  • Heat your waffle iron (mine doesn't have settings-if yours does start out with medium and use trial and error). Spoon about 1/4 cup of prepared batter onto the heated waffle iron and cook until evenly browned and crisped on both sides (my waffle iron sucks so I have to flip it half way through)-this should take 3-8 minutes. Use 2 forks to remove waffles from iron (CAUTION-the caramelized sugar is very hot, be cautious to avoid burning yourself or others).
  • Top waffles with desired toppings and enjoy!
  • If you have leftovers, store (plain) covered waffles in the refrigerator and, when ready to eat, place in a 300 degree oven for approx. 5-10 minutes, until warmed through and crisp!
Yeah. I'm sharing a bite with you. This is a big deal. I must love you a lot!

I do <3 :D

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