Saturday, June 10, 2023
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easy freezer waffles

smitten kitchen

A few months ago, and honestly not for the first or realistically the last time, my family betrayed me. It started, almost predictably, with the youngest. I made waffles one morning, so proud of myself for remembering to start the yeasted waffle batter, my favorite, the night before — and my daughter told me that she prefers the waffles at grandma’s house. “What kind does grandma make?” I asked. “They’re in the freezer,” she told me. “I think they say ‘egg’ on them?”

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I think we all know where this was going. I was traveling a wee bit over the last few months and decided before a trip to surprise her with a giant box of Eggos in the freezer. When I got home at the end of the week, the whole box was gone. It turns out that it isn’t just my daughter who prefers them, it’s my son too, and even my husband. The treachery!

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A normal person who cooks might shrug and be at peace with having one less thing that needs to be made from scratch. I’m perfectly comfortable, for example, simply never making croissants at home. But waffles? I love homemade weekend morning waffles. So I did the less rational but very me thing and got very obsessed with cracking the code of homemade freezer waffles. I learned a few things along the way:

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6 months ago: Eggplant Involtini
1 year ago: Castle Breakfast
2 years ago: Rigatoni alla Vodka
3 years ago: Perfect Vegetable Lasagna
4 years ago: Bodega-Style Egg and Cheese Sandwich and Chocolate Puddle Cakes
5 years ago: Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Korean-Braised Short Ribs
6 years ago: Small-Batch Tiramisu
7 years ago: Miso Black Sesame Caramel Corn and Hot and Sour Soup
8 years ago: Oven-Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic and Pecan Sticky Buns
9 years ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
10 years ago: Italian Stuffed Cabbage
11 years ago: Lasagna Bolognese
12 years ago: Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
13 years ago: Best Cocoa Brownies and Chana Masala
14 years ago: Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes and Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Slaw
15 years ago: Seven-Yolk Pasta Dough and Best Chocolate Pudding
16 years ago: For Beaming, Bewitching Breads

Par-cook waffles: Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions and coat with nonstick spray. [I’m using this one.] Cook your first waffle until it’s just beginning to color on top and the shape just sets but is not fully cooked through; in my tiny iron this takes 30 to 60 seconds. I find it easiest to remove these very soft waffles by first poking into the side of the waffle with a knife point, just to lift the edge. Then, use tongs (which you can now slide under and over the waffle) to yank it out. Transfer/plop waffle quickly on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

Freeze waffles: Freeze waffles right on this rack until completely solid, an hour or two, or overnight. Once solid, transfer to an airtight bag or container.

Toast and serve: Place frozen waffles directly in toaster and cook until crisp and lightly browned outside. You can also toast them in an oven heated to 400°F, either on an oven-safe rack for 8 minutes, or on a baking sheet, flipping waffles over midway for even toasting.

Serve hot with a pat of salted butter and drizzle of maple syrup and lots of fresh berries, if you’re me, or however you like your waffles best.

Do ahead: Frozen waffles will keep in an airtight bag or container for months, or for as long as you freezer allows it without imparting them with a freezery taste.

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