Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wiffle or Waffle

It is International Waffle Day, but for Nilla, our one-year-old Australian Shepherd, wiffle and waffle are all the same.

Last summer, the kids next door loved to play ball. However, due to the growing size (and batting power) of the children and our relatively small lawns, many stray balls found their way over the fence into our yard. Nilla was thrilled. Who needs popcorn when there are pop flies? Wiffle, or waffle? It was all the same to her. If she found the lost balls before I could toss them back over the fence, they were her snack.

I tried to tell Nilla that the leather of a baseball isn't really jerky and that while good waffles are crisped on the outside and light and airy in the middle, it is much different from a plastic wiffle ball. She wouldn't listen, and unfortunately, the neighbor kids lost a lot of sports equipment. I felt badly, but what could I do? Our puppy door is designed to allow the dogs to come and go as they please, and I have too many other things going on to have time to umpire every spontaneous ball game.

Maybe today, for International Waffle Day, I should make a big batch of Spiced Waffles with Maple-Pecan Syrup and toss them over the fence as a peace offering for Nilla's ball fetish. These waffles have a hearty texture and a sweetly spiced flavor and unless you are a part of the Australian Shepherd crowd, are a home run over snacking on a wiffle ball.
On My Plate Blog

(adapted from Fine Cooking)

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I have used Greek yogurt and vanilla Greek yogurt with success.)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup maple syrup (Come on; use the real stuff, not pancake syrup.)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Heat the oven to 200F, and preheat the waffle maker.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. In a second bowl, combine yogurt, milk, egg YOLKS, oil, and vanilla.
Beat the egg WHITES to soft peaks.
Gently combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just combined. (Batter will be lumpy.)
Fold the egg whites into the batter until just incorporated.
Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray, and working in batches, cook the batter in the waffle iron until crisp and golden.
Place waffles on oven rack to keep warm; do not stack.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm the syrup. Stir in the pecans.
Serve the waffles with the warm syrup. (Yield: about 10 waffles)

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