The title of this post might be a little misleading…mainly because it is, in fact, misleading. These aren’t pumpkin waffles. These are Sweet Mama Winter Squash Waffles. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t roll off the tongue, I figured ‘squash waffles’ might turn some of you away. Here’s the thing though, these taste a lot like fresh pumpkin. And besides, most of the canned pumpkin you find at the market contains squash. Bet you didn’t know that. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m comfortable with the deception.
Weekend breakfasts are one of my favorite Fall events– and yes, I consider them an event. We aren’t in as big a rush to leave the house in the mornings as we are in the Summer. The farmers market isn’t as picked over when we don’t get there just after sunrise. Instead, we lounge around in the morning, watching Liverpool play soccer and drinking French-press coffee, while the kids play nearby. My homebody boys, Aanen and Radd, really love these lazy Fall weekend mornings.
Although I was a bit deceptive at the top, I’m not when I say these waffles are near perfect. I’ve done my best to make them more healthy by adding whole grains, smaller amounts of sugar, and just a bit of butter. They are perfectly spiced– not too much, not too little. I made these particular waffles from a Sweet Mama Squash, which tastes very similar to a Butter Cup. I’ve also made them with Sugar Pie Pumpkins, as well as canned 100% organic pumpkin. They all work well, so don’t feel that you must puree your own. (But if you do, I have another fantastic recipe later this week for your left-over squash). Whatever you decide to use, I strongly urge you to top them with a dollop or more (so much for healthy) of freshly whipped cream and raw turbinado sugar. It adds such an amazing, sweet crunch. Try these this week, you’ll end up making them all the time.
The Recipe: Pumpkin Waffles
(Makes about 10 waffles)
1 cup white unbleached all-purpose
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for waffle iron
1/2 cup winter squash or pumpkin puree
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups 2% milk (add a bit more, if needed)
Do ahead: To make the puree — Preheat oven to 375°F. Quarter the squash or pumpkin if large or half it if smaller. Remove the insides. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover with aluminum foil if quartered. If only halved, place cut side down and you shouldn’t need to cover them. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Puree in a food processor until very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the waffles: Preheat the waffles iron. Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk them together. Add the eggs, squash puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and milk. Whisk until just mixed. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add more milk, if too thick.
Brush the waffles iron with a bit of melted butter. Ladle 1/4 cup into each section of the waffle maker. Make sure to smooth it out as much as possible. Cook until a deep, golden brown. Remove and let cool for a minute or so. Top each waffle with real maple syrup, freshly whipped cream, toasted walnuts, and a sprinkle of raw turbinado sugar. Enjoy!
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