The Waffle Chronicles: Pretzel Waffles (with Ice Cream)

In my house, breakfast requires discussion. If left up to B, we would be eating baconeggsbaconeggsbaconeggs every Saturday and Sunday morning, with the occasional breakfast potato side dish thrown in there for an element of surprise. I’m more of an equal opportunist, almost conducting a morning interview to make sure everyone starts off the day pleased.

“How do you feel about pancakes? What about pancakes with fruit, or chocolate? Mini or regular-sized chips? Oh, you’d rather have waffles? What about waffles with fruit, or…” etc. You can guess how the rest of the conversation goes. After I cycle through the usual suspects (pancakes, waffles, french toast, muffin, bagel), we nearly always agree on waffles. In our house, waffles > pancakes > french toast. I can use the same batter as a batch of pancakes, but there’s something special about the crispness of waffle edges and those…pockets (?) for syrup to pool (I just googled “What are the squares in a waffle called”…nada. Pockets it is.)IMG_0805

Behold, my trusty waffle iron. My breakfast BFF since I unwrapped it one Christmas morning in college.

Now that I’ve talked it up some, I have a confession to make. As dependably delicious as they are, I was getting a little tired of waffles. Rather than dare utter those words around here, I thought I should step outside my waffle comfort zone and push the limits a little bit. Hence, the dessert waffle.

This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart. There was a moment while soaking the waffles in the boiling lye solution that I thought I had made a really. big. mistake. Have you ever seen a soggy, water-logged waffle? Well you will, in the recipe instructions below. Spoiler: it’s pathetic-looking and looks awfully unappetizing.

But fear not! After forty minutes of baking (and finger-crossing), my previously-mushed specimens became crisp squares, complete with the signature soft pretzel look and taste. All the better to serve with ice cream, my dears.

Pretzel Waffle

Pretzel Waffles with Ice Cream
Basic waffle batter recipe slightly modified from this recipe from Allrecipes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tbsp oil
3/4 tsp vanilla
boiling water
1/4 cup baking soda
kosher salt
ice cream (and the fixins’!)

1. Plug in your waffle iron and set crispness to just done (not as crispy as you would if eating as-is).
2. In a medium-size bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
3. In another bowl, mix together egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined and there are no lumps.
5. Pour batter onto waffle iron and cook until timer rings for a bit less than medium.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
7. While waffles are cooking, fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, very very slowly add baking powder a tiny amount at a time. Be careful, as water will bubble up with each addition:

Bubbling Water
8. Once all baking soda is added, drop one waffle at a time into boiling water and hold under the surface with a slotted spoon. I kept each waffle under for about 20-25 seconds, then flipped for another 20-25 seconds. Remove waffle and let drain a bit on a wire rack over some paper towels.

Soggy waffle
9. Once all waffles are done dipping, sprinkle each with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned.
10. Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Serve each with a scoop of ice cream and your favorite toppings.

Yields about 4-5 waffles

Pretzel Waffle whole

More non-traditional waffle recipes on the way!