Because who doesn't want waffles more often?
Credit: sandoclr/Getty Images

You know how persistent cravings for dirt and urges to chomp on ice supposedly suggest that you may have an iron deficiency? (I just double checked to make sure I’m not entirely making that up—I’m not.) Well lately, I persistently crave waffles and constantly combat urges to chomp on crispy edges of maple syrup-filled dimples. I’m beginning to believe this is likewise suggestive of a deficiency… a waffle deficiency.

Because, as with any nutrient deficiency,* I am clearly not managing to get a sufficient level of waffle through my diet organically, I decided it was time to take proactive steps towards a more balanced, waffle-ful existence. I needed to make sure that I could make waffles—and I’m not talking some LE’ggo my Eggo BS, I mean warm, fluffy, crisp, fresh, and wonderful waffles—happen for me most any day of the week, and so devised the following two-fold plan of attack.

Weekday Waffles

Credit: Darcy Lenz

Darcy Lenz

Fact: Ain’t nobody got time to mess around on weekday mornings. Even still, if your priorities are in the right place, you can, in fact, enjoy fresh, real-deal waffles. All you need is a game plan (i.e. the mental commitment to set you’re alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier), and the right recipe. For me, that recipe involves Bisquick (or whatever baking mix is around). But because I value an airy-crisp, buttery-browned waffle, I deviate slightly from the recipe on the back of the box; rather than the couple tablespoons of oil, milk, and egg called for on the package recipe, I go with:

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cream soda*
  • Pinch of salt

All you do is whisk everyone together in mixing bowl while your waffle iron preheats, hit the iron with cooking spray, ladle on your batter, and boom—waffles!

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Why stray from the box recipe? I’ll tell you right now, there’s not a thing wrong with the box recipe; I just like to tweak the formula a bit to produce, what I think, is a tastier waffle for the same amount of effort. The concept of adding soda to baking mix for waffle or pancake batter is nothing new—doing so makes for a really light and lovely end product—but I recently played around with the type of soda used, and found that cream soda lends a nice touch of richness and depth. Tossing an extra egg into the mix further contributes to a rich batter that yields a more from-scratch taste. I believe in adding a bonus pinch of salt to almost all boxed baking mixes because, again, this amps up the flavor to a less-generic, more homemade-with-love level. Hell, if you were feeling fancy on a Tuesday morning, you could throw a dash of vanilla in too. I opt for butter over oil because I think it’s yummier and makes for crispier ridges. And finally, I triple the amount of added fat called for on the box because I like to live on the edge.

If you (+ your family) aren’t going to eat an entire batch of waffles in one sitting, go ahead and keep pressing them out to use all of your remaining batter (this takes far less time than it sounds like, I swear), lay the waffles out in a single layer on paper towels, let them cool off while you finish getting ready for the day, pack them up in plastic zip-top baggies, and toss them in the freezer for another morning down the road. When you’re ready to get down on your DIY freezer waffles, warm them first in the microwave for a few seconds, and then pop them into the toaster to achieve a thoroughly warmed and perfectly crisped breakfast bread. This pro-tip for a superior reheated waffle experience comes from Time Inc. Food Studios Director and waffle enthusiast Allison Lowery, who takes a little time each weekend to make a week’s worth of breakfast waffles for her girls and thus, has mastered the process. #Dedication #Priorities

Weekend Waffles

Credit: Darcy Lenz

Darcy Lenz

This brings me to part two of the master plan—whether you are a rockstar mom prepping for the week ahead or simply reveling in the fact that you have a little extra time to dedicate to making an amazing waffle, waffles need to be happening on the weekend.

Personally, I want to use the extra wiggle room in my weekend schedule to make an extra-special waffle. And most recently, “extra special” has meant yeasted waffles. While truly no more difficult to mix up than your typical homemade waffle batter, inviting yeast to the party is a real game changer. The one key factor to keep in mind is that you do need to think ever so slightly ahead, because you’ll want to start your batter the night before you actually want to make waffles so that the yeast has time to do it’s thing. Let me tell you though, the overnight wait is so well worth it because the next morning your kitchen is going to smell like a bakery as you turn out some of the crispest, most decadently flavorful waffles you’ve ever had. The yeast’s flavoring and leavening powers produces what I’d liken to a waffle-doughnut hybrid. In other words, it’s a good thing.

I follow this super simple recipe from The New York Times, again, just tweaking it slightly. Where this recipe calls for 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, I substitute in 1 cup of finely ground Cornflakes cereal. Why? Because originally, it seemed like a good idea and I have since found that doing so lends a delicate toasty sweetness and maltiness that I really enjoy. And again, if you find yourself with more batter than you need when making weekend waffles (actually, a real pro would guarantee that they ended up with more batter than they needed), go on and prep some freezer waffles for the week ahead. After all, the real moral of the story here is this: A more waffle-ful week is a more wonderful week.

*Yes, I would consider the well-buttered, syruped-up, golden-crisp glory of a waffle a nutrient, because it contributes to the overall health of my soul. Sue me.

By Darcy Lenz and Darcy Lenz