It’s February, perhaps the chilliest month of the year. We couldn’t think of a more romantic yet comfy way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with breakfast in bed. With comfort food on our minds, we made waffles the star of this romantic morning menu. However, these are not your average waffles! These are liège waffles – rich, chewy and dense, with a caramelized sugar crunch that requires a little more effort and preparation sure to WOW the lucky someone who receives this homemade treat.
Makes 16 thick waffles, about 4 inches across each.
1/2 cup whole milk
» 1/4 cup water
» 2 tablespoons raw sugar
» 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
» 2 large eggs at room temperature
» 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
» 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
» 1 teaspoon kosher salt
» 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
» 1 1/3 cups pearl sugar
Warm milk and water together to lukewarm, or between 110 and 116 degrees F, and place in the bottom of a large mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes; the yeast should look foamy.
Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then stir in all but 1 cup flour using the dough hook of a stand mixer. Add the salt and mix to combine. Using the dough hook of a stand mixer, add the butter, a spoonful at a time, thoroughly kneading in each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed until all of the butter has been mixed in. Add remaining flour and knead with dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes, or until glossy.
Set dough to rise twice: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours; dough should double. Stir with a spoon or spatula to deflate into a mound, re-cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours.
Cook the waffles: the next morning, knead in ALL of the pearl sugar. Divide dough into 16 mounds.
Heat your non-stick waffle iron over medium heat. Place a ball of waffle dough on iron and cook until deeply golden all over, approximately 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack, they’re very hot and filled with molten sugar. Repeat with remaining dough, adjusting the temperature of waffle iron as needed.
Serve immediately or keep waffles warm in a 200-degree oven – as the waffles cool, they will harden. These waffles should always be eaten warm.
Serve with fresh whipped cream, fresh berries, Nutella or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Fresh Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy cream
» 6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
» 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Make the whipped cream: Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a clean mixing bowl until it holds stiff peaks.
Recipes adapted from SmittenKitchen.com