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what the syrup is for

January 15 2010 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized » 25 comments

Cornmeal Buttermilk Waffles

Last Sunday, we woke up with plans to try out a new bake shop in our neighborhood for breakfast.  Visions of puffed muffins and sugar-dusted scones and fat slices of quickbread dancing through our minds, we pulled open the blinds and set to excavating the protective gear required for a mid-January walk (even of only a few blocks) in Chicago.  Somewhere along the line, Kevin had the good sense to consult the current air temperature and we were downright offended to find a stark, round zero staring back at us.

As in zero degrees.

Cornmeal Buttermilk WafflesCornmeal Buttermilk Waffles

Without so much as a discussion of let’s-brave-it-anyway or a-brisk-walk-could-feel-great, we began peeling off our coats, unwinding our scarves and unloosing our fingers from their mittens.  Breakfast, it seemed, would be served right there at home.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Waffles

We settled quickly on waffles and cornmeal ones at that and, before long, the waffle iron was sizzling and the maple syrup was heated.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Waffles

I ladeled the not-too-thin, not-too-thick batter, flecked with the yellow grit of stoneground cornmeal, onto the iron’s lower jaw and, instantly, our kitchen smelled like the best kind of childhood morning—those that involved waffles and bacon and warm pajamas and cartoons.

With the iron clenched shut, the waffles set up into a sturdy, deeply golden specimens.  Adorned with a melting pat of sweet butter and a splash of maple syrup, they prove to you that perfect waffles are absolutely possible to achieve in your own home.

1.10.10sunday breakfast: after

And these waffles refuse to take the easy route, relying—as too many waffle recipes do—on sweetness to mask other deficiencies.  Instead, the batter for these waffles eschews any sugar or sweetener (that’s what the syrup is for), which helps you appreciate their crisp, lacy exterior and their soft, airy insides.  And the cornmeal?  Its crunch—gently present in each bite—sealed the deal.

On the cusp of another weekend, I’m secretly wishing for another 0-degree Sunday.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles
Adapted slightly from Gourmet

Yield: About 16 waffles

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stoneground
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional oil for brushing waffle iron

Accompaniment: pure maple syrup

Into a large bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Repeat sifting 2 more times.

In another large bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk just until combined.

Preheat a waffle iron and preheat oven to 200 °F.

Brush waffle iron lightly with additional oil. Spoon batter into waffle iron, using 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch-square standard waffle and spreading batter evenly, and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in middle of oven. Make more waffles with remaining batter in same manner, brushing waffle iron with mire oil before adding each batch.

Serve waffles with syrup.


25 comments so far. »
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  1. Scorpio Woman says on January 15 2010 at 10:55 am:

    I’m looking to try different recipes of waffles. So this one I’m adding to my list of recipes to try. Thanks for the recipe :)

  2. andie says on January 15 2010 at 2:38 pm:

    Yum. I think I may make this over the weekend, perhaps on our lazy sunday morning. I got a huge bottle of Organic Maple Syrup as a holiday gift and I am so ready to give it a try! This recipe looks perfect! Plus, I haven’t made waffles in a really long time!

  3. Jacqueline says on January 15 2010 at 4:04 pm:

    I am planning on buying a waffle machine for Graham’s birthday at the end of January, so this recipe is really well timed for me. May I ask what kind of waffle iron you use?

  4. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on January 15 2010 at 4:16 pm:

    Scorpio Woman: I hope you give it a try! Let us know what you think.

    andie: What a lovely gift! I love using maple syrup in baked goods, too. Though waffles sound like an even better use. : )

    Jacqueline: Mine is Cuisinart. I’ve had it for years and it’s held up well. Part of me wants a circular-shaped iron …

  5. Megan Gordon says on January 15 2010 at 7:20 pm:

    Mmmmm! I recently moved and our kitchen is teeny tiny. There was a big debate whether or not to bring the waffle maker–glad we did :)

    Happy weekend!

  6. Victoria says on January 15 2010 at 7:39 pm:

    Kristin…I’ve stopped by before and made your granola and pecan sandies. So I was inspired and made the waffles tonight. I wrote about it on my blog because it was pretty laughable. http://www.victoriaINvirginia.com

  7. grace says on January 16 2010 at 6:04 am:

    i KNOW i didn’t just read that you’re wishing for a big fat 0 on the thermometer. how could you? wait a hot second…yeah, i can understand your motives for saying such a thing. :)

  8. kate says on January 16 2010 at 7:29 am:

    Waffles also speak to me of childhood, Sunday morning childhood to be exact, with the percolator of coffee bubbling on the stove as an accompanying song to the hiss of the waffle iron.

    I adore waffles, and love the crunch of cornmeal in them. I’m thinking this is breakfast, today, and it’s well above zero outside. Who needs super chilled air to appreciate the beauty of waffles?

  9. diane says on January 16 2010 at 8:44 am:

    These waffles look amazing and you know how I love them! This could be our pregame Viking breakfast.Thanks..Love,MOM

  10. nicole says on January 16 2010 at 9:37 am:

    Your silverware is so pretty! May I ask what brand it is?

  11. Whitney says on January 16 2010 at 12:28 pm:

    Good thing its “warm” this weekend so you and Kevin can go for your walk. But these waffles look like the next best thing!

  12. Eliana says on January 16 2010 at 10:10 pm:

    These waffles look picture perfect; almost too good to eat.

  13. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on January 17 2010 at 10:25 am:

    Megan Gordon: Yes, a very good decision!

    Victoria: Sorry the waffles didn’t work out for you.

    grace: Okay, okay. You’re right. But I AM wishing for these waffles. : )

    kate: I can hear that kitchen. What a lovely image.

    Mom: Hi! You guys should definitely try these. xo.

    nicole: Thank you! It’s from Crate and Barrel — almost 10 (yikes) years old at this point.

    Whitney: It’s definitely warmer this weekend, though still pretty chilly. Waffles weather, still.

    Eliana: Key word = almost. : )

  14. Jacqueline says on January 17 2010 at 10:46 am:

    Thanks Kristin, although I am not having much luck finding one. All the UK stores selling them seem to be out of stock. I will keep looking :)

  15. Devon says on January 17 2010 at 11:10 am:

    My boyfriend is always the one to check the weather report and break my heart. In this case, it seems waffles were the better choice anyway.

  16. Maddie says on January 17 2010 at 9:11 pm:

    This sounds (and looks) like the perfect use for my birthday-present waffle iron. And it almost makes me nostalgic for the Chicago winters of my youth!

  17. Barbara says on January 18 2010 at 8:05 am:

    I bet those waffles had a slight taste of the old fashioned corn meal pancakes my mother used to make. Had forgotten about them! They were so good and we loved the crunch the corn meal gave them. I copied your recipe before I even made this comment…..can’t wait to try them.

  18. Kaitlin says on January 18 2010 at 4:14 pm:

    Kristin, I LOVE reading your blog! These waffles look positively mouthwatering! My mother only made waffles with cornmeal, so I’ve always had a soft spot for them-I’m glad to see I’m not alone in appreciating the gritty texture!

  19. Caroline says on January 19 2010 at 8:06 am:

    We really must thank the Chicago winters for some cozy, delicious foods that come right out of our own kitchens. Though next time, I may brave the cold to come to your house to eat these waffles.

  20. Dawn (KitchenTravels) says on January 19 2010 at 11:53 am:

    Cornmeal waffles – genius! Our waffle iron was lost in one of our many moves over the years. Or did it finally break? I can’t remember. In any event, this recipe has got me itching to buy a replacement. The before-and-after breakfast pics are my fave.

  21. Karen says on January 19 2010 at 1:35 pm:

    These look wonderful! I am in the market for a new waffle iron. Are you using a belgian waffle maker for these or just regular? Thanks!

  22. perfect cornmeal waffles « Kate in the Kitchen says on January 27 2010 at 9:45 am:

    [...] to describe it any more than that. And when I came across the recipe for these crunchy beauties on Kristin’s lovely blog, somehow I knew I would adore them like a treasured memory so I put together a double batch. [...]

  23. LoveFeast Table says on January 31 2010 at 9:14 am:

    I love love love your pictures….they make me want to walk over and join you for breakfast! Oh yeah….it’s a little too cold! :)

  24. [...] discovered this recipe on The Kitchen Sink Recipes.com in the post entitled “What the syrup is for“. Here is the recipe, but check out he [...]

  25. Hearty cornmeal waffles « Fashionably Fit says on October 04 2011 at 6:24 pm:

    [...] Adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes [...]

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