A few years ago I was introduced to a waffle, an amazing waffle. A waffle to ruin any other waffle. It was at a place downtown Salt Lake City called Bruges Waffles & Frites. The owner and chef is from Belgium and he makes the most delicious, authentic, Belgian Caramelized Waffles. If you are ever in Utah, you must make it one of your go-to destinations.
Over the last year or so, it seems like Utah has become waffle CRAZY! Many different waffle houses have opened and there are a couple different waffle trucks that park in a different location every day.
These waffles are not your typical runny pancake batter on a waffle iron. They are made from a yeast dough that rises into a sugar cookie type batter. They are also full of Belgian Sugar Pearls. I have not seen these sugar pearls in any of my local grocery stores, but lucky for me (and you) the internet makes almost any item available to be delivered to your front door.
My friend, Sydney, and I were determined to make these waffles at home. We tried, we were successful!
Belgian Caramelized Waffles:
3 1/2 cups Flour - 1 packet dry yeast - 3/4 cup lukewarm milk (I used coconut milk) - 2 sticks soft butter - 2 eggs - 1/2 tsp salt - 1-2 tbls vanilla bean paste (you can use extract, but paste is better, much better) - 1 1/2 cups Belgian Sugar Pearls - 1/4 cup coarse sugar - You can add cinnamon if you like, I did not.
Dissolve your packet of yeast in your luke warm water. While that dissolves beat your butter until smooth. Add your flour, eggs, salt & vanilla. (if you are using cinnamon, add it here as well) Beat together. While mixer is running, slowly add your milk & dissolved yeast. Mix well. Your batter should resemble bread dough. Now let it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes until it rises and doubles in volume.
At this point you still have your two sugars that have not been added to the mixture:
Your Belgian Sugar Pearls and your course sugar.
This is raw sugar and it works really well to give you a caramelized waffle.
When your dough has doubled, you can stir in your sugar pearls. Your dough should look like sugar cookie dough. We made our dough at night and then I put the left overs in the fridge, when we made them the next morning, they were just as delicious as the night before.
You can make the waffles small or large. Just roll the batter into any size ball and then roll in the raw sugar. This step is not necessary, but it makes a big difference in the crispy "caramelized" exterior of the waffle.
Place the ball in the center of the waffle iron, close and let it cook. While you wait, get your toppings ready. I really like strawberries and cream on my waffles, but this biscoff spread is EVIL! It's so good on the waffle...or right off the spoon.
We made these on a fancy professional waffle iron and then again on an inexpensive home waffle iron. I didn't notice any difference in taste. The professional iron was definitely more "user friendly" because it's heat can be adjusted up and down like a toaster and it has a timer. With the inexpensive iron, you had to watch it to make sure the waffle wasn't over or under cooked. But other that that, they both work well.
Order some sugar pearls and make these at home. Once you do, you might be glad the pearls aren't available in your local stores, or you might be tempted to eat them every day!