The Best Waffles

The perfect waffles are crisp, evenly browned on the outside and light and airy on the inside.

This recipe was developed with just the right amount of fat needed to brown the exterior to a beautiful golden color. Dress these gems up inside and outside. Pour the batter into the waffle maker and sprinkle in a few berries, chopped nuts or finely minced fresh herbs. Or, top them with a choice of ingredients: crème fraîche or Greek yogurt and berries, ham and egg or peanut butter, bananas and chopped peanuts.

Waffle Toppings

Strawberry-Balsamic a la Mode: In a medium bowl combine 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar. Add 8 ounces sliced fresh strawberries; toss until coated. Let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Top each waffle with some of the strawberry mixture and a small scoop of vanilla-bean frozen yogurt. Drizzle with balsamic-berry juices and, if desired, garnish with mint. Makes 1 cup strawberry topping.

Peanut Butter-Banana: Spread each waffle with creamy peanut butter and top with banana slices. Drizzle with warmed chocolate ice cream topping and sprinkle chopped peanuts.

Spiced Cranberry Chutney and Citrus: Spread each waffle with cranberry chutney or preserves and top with sliced mandarins and raspberries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and add a spoonful of crème fraîche.

Fried Egg with Prosciutto: Top each waffle with a sunny-side-up fried egg and thin slices of fried prosciutto. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired.

Blueberries with Lemon-Curd Mascarpone (not pictured): In a small mixing bowl beat ½ cup mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer on medium until softened. Add 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon powdered sugar. Continue beating until well combined. Fold in ½ cup lemon curd. Top each waffle with a spoonful of the lemon-mascarpone topping and fresh blueberries. Makes 1¼ cups topping.

Grilled Pineapple and Caramel (not pictured): Spray a cold grill pan with nonstick spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fresh pineapple slices and cook on both sides until slightly charred. Halve the pineapple slices and toss with warmed caramel ice-cream topping. Top each waffle with caramel-coated pineapple and coconut chips.

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