Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pearly Belgian Waffles {Sprinkles!}

Despite the way too sweet Party Popcorn we made last night, we're forging ahead in our mission of conquering our fear of sprinkles and cooking through Jackie Alpers' Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

It's not really a fear per se; it's more of a questioning: why are sprinkles necessary in life...and on our food? These waffles make a pretty darn good case. Adorned with sugar pearls and cupcake gems, these are not only delicious, they are pretty. And in a house full of boys that I, only half-jokingly, refer to as 'Testosterone Land', pretty is a rarity. So, I'm embracing the pearly, pink beauty of this breakfast treat.

What will probably shock you, if you've been following me for awhile: I cooked these almost exactly at Jackie Alpers wrote the recipe. Now that is a rarity as well! I did use dark brown sugar, instead of light. I subbed out all purpose flour for a white whole wheat. And I skipped adding salt altogether since I used salted butter.

One word of warning, this recipe takes two hours of rising and resting for the batter. So, I was up at an ungodly hour this morning, though I did crawl back in bed after I whisked the batter together at o'dark thirty! Still, this would be a better recipe for a lazy Sunday morning brunch versus the get-the-kids-fed-and-out-the-door routine mid-week.

1 T packed organic dark brown sugar
1-1/2 t active dry yeast
2 C white whole wheat flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 C butter
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 C Belgian pearl sugar

In a small bowl whisk the brown sugar and yeast into 1/4 C warm water and let stand for 5 minutes until bloomed and foamy. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and beat with a hand-blender on medium. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well to combine.

Gradually add in the butter and vanilla, mixing until smooth. The batter will be thick and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise, in a warm spot, until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Gently fold the pearl sugar into the batter. Let rise for an additional 15 minutes. Gently stir your batter to delate it. In the meantime, heat your waffle iron.

Using 1/2 to 3/4 C batter per waffle, cook according to manufacturer's instructions until crisp and golden. Brush your waffle iron with butter, as needed, to prevent sticking. Transfer the waffles to plates and serve hot.

To decorate, top the waffles with a dusting of powdered sugar, cupcake gems, and more sugar pearls. Dylan told me that I needed more sprinkles!

The verdict: these were tons better than the sprinkled party popcorn. Also, Riley loved eating the pearls off the top of the waffle; he pushed them into a pile and savored them separately. Dylan, on the other hand, thought that the sugar inside the waffles was "like a mini creme brulee."

I'll take his word for it since I'm more of a savory kinda gal. But this got a thumbs up from my crew. We'll definitely be making them again.

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