Cornmeal-Scallion Waffles with Caramel Corn and Maple Syrup
I developed this waffle recipe for my third book, CookSmart, back in 2002. My perfect waffle was light, flavorful and crisp. And since waffles can only be made one at a time, I also wanted to figure out a way for everyone to enjoy them together.
The secret to a light waffle turned out to be meringue. Whipped egg whites deflate almost immediately. Beat in a little sugar, however, and you’ve got stable meringue that produces airy batter that cooks into a light waffle.
The key to a flavorful waffle is buttermilk—no surprise here. Straight buttermilk turned out to be a little thick. For years I thinned it with regular milk, but that meant pulling out an extra ingredient. Now I just top up the buttermilk with a little water.
Super crisp wasn’t as easy to figure out. It was a combination of cornstarch along with a generous pour of oil that ended up producing a super crisp waffle.
Letting the waffles sit in a warm oven while the others are being made not only reinforced the waffle’s crispness, it was also the way for everyone to enjoy them at the same time. As you can see, KitchenAid has partially solved the challenge of serving waffles at the same time by developing a waffle iron that cooks two at a time!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- ¼ cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup each: all-purpose flour and cornmeal
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon each: salt and baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1½ cups thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
- Maple Syrup
- Heat butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When butter starts to turn light nutty brown, add corn and cook, stirring frequently until water evaporates and corn starts to turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in sugar and continue to cook corn, stirring frequently, until caramel color, about 5 minutes, longer. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees. Mix flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Measure buttermilk, ½ cup water, vegetable oil, and 1 cup scallions in a Pyrex measuring cup; whisk in yolks and set aside.
- Beat egg whites to almost soft peaks. Sprinkle in remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue to beat until whites are firm and glossy.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until just mixed. Add egg white to batter in dollops and fold in with a spatula until just incorporated.
- Add batter to hot waffle iron (Our KitchenAid Belgium waffle iron takes a heaping cup. Other waffles irons may take as little as ½ to ⅔ cup). Cook until crisp and nutty brown. Set on oven rack to keep it warm and crisp. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with caramel corn, remaining scallions, and maple syrup.