Birthday waffles

Belgian waffles are wonderful all by themselves, but when you add ice cream and fruit they become extra special birthday waffles. I made these for my kids on their birthday. Even after they were grown and out of the house they thought I should come and make them for them. It was always so fun to start of their special day with a birthday waffle piled high with ice cream, fresh fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles and, of course, a candle.

One year when my middle child was turning 10, we were traveling to Lake Tahoe with my sister and her kids. We were in Winnemucca, Nevada at breakfast time and we went in search of breakfast waffles. We went to several restaurants looking for one that had waffles with ice cream we finally found a cute  little cafe. With 5 kids in tow we went in and had a birthday breakfast party with birthday waffles. They all still remember this fun day.

Ingredients for great Belgium waffles include; flour, sugar, eggs, salt, milk, cream of tartar and melted butter.

One of the secrets to great Belgium waffles is cream of tartar. It is that mystery ingredient at the back of your spice cabinet. The white one you bought once but can’t remember why.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, egg yolks, milk, salt, sugar and butter. Stir until well blended.

The secret to true Belgium waffles is whipped egg whites. Start with separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the yolks and white in separate bowls. You can buy fancy egg separators however I have found that the egg shell is by far the best tool.

Be sure no yellows are in the bowl, any yolk will prevent the whites from fluffing. Once the whites are separated, whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. This will take several minutes if done by hand. It can also be done with a mixer that has whisk attachments.

When you have whipped the egg whites to soft peaks, fold into the prepared batter. Gently fold eggs over batter by hand until eggs are fully incorporated. DO NOT beat the batter at this point as it will break down the fluffy egg whites. Gentle folding is all that is needed.

Preheat waffle iron. When it is hot pour on the batter. It is best to spray the iron with nonstick spray to prevent sticking. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until golden brown. This takes several minutes depending on your waffle iron. I like my standard Belgium waffle iron, the new fancy ones that flip just take up too much space. TIP: The lid will not lift easily if the waffle is not done. So, if the lid sticks do not try to force it open or your waffle will separate into pieces.

Waffles are delicious any way you choose to top them. Plain with just syrup or all decked out for birthday waffles.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
Instructions
  1. Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cream of tartar and salt on a mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl combine the egg yolks, milk and butter, mix to combine.
  5. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients stir until just moistened.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into above batter.
  7. Pour about 1½ cups of batter into heated belgian waffle iron.A soup ladle works really well.
  8. Cook until golden brown. If the lid won’t lift they are not done yet.
  9. If 1 /12 cups of batter is too much reduce amount of batter for next waffle.
Notes
Any fruit goes well with these. Fresh sliced peaches in the fall, warm cinnamon apples in the winter and berries for spring and summer. Whatever is your favorite or what is available for the season, it will make your day special.
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