I used to be weird about sharing recipes. Really weird.
I suppose I can explain myself with two simple reasons:
a.) I never used to write my recipes down. I tend to be an “intuitive” cook and like to make decisions in the moment, rather than follow ones pre-made on paper.
b.) My pride for my “propriety” of a recipe was excessive.
My pride – for creativity and culinary “voice” – got in the way, for sure. That was the primary reason I kept my recipes, written out or not, under lock and key.
Nowadays, I think of my recipes with an entirely different attitude. I’ve taken to actually planning out a recipe, which often involves a certain amount of research. Sometimes I look to the internet for guidance, and other times to my trusty cookbooks. More often than not, though, I probably resort to both. Ingredients, proportions, methods, degrees, time… there are just so many variables.
Once I have the foundation for a recipe, I head into the kitchen and get to work. I make changes as I go, allowing my intuition to guide me the rest if the way. It’s not long before I have a finished product to try. Is it a keeper? A failure? In need of adjustments?
I know, now, that a recipe is truly successful when someone asks if I’m willing to share it. It’s a huge compliment. Huge. What’s could be a bigger pat on the back than saying, “I enjoyed this so much that I’d like to make it!”?
I have to admit, when I started this blog I was still hesitant about sharing recipes. I still feel an attachment to my creations, however innovative or not. It’s a prideful attachment, for sure, but no longer a selfish one.
When my post about Nuttella Cheesecake Layer Bars was recently featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed (perhaps the most exciting day, to date, in the history of The Moonlight Baker), I got such an overwhelmingly positive and appreciative response from you, my lovely readers. Lots of “thank yous.” So many.
I couldn’t possibly respond to all of them, as much as I wanted to. But, again, I say you’re so very welcome. And thank you. Really.
It’s a really rewarding feeling to hear that people trust my pictures and posts enough to try one of my original recipes. And then to hear such rave reviews and see pictures of their end products… without question, it’s the icing on the cake.
This recipe is a combination of something “borrowed” (the waffles) and something new (the syrup). I found the recipe for the waffles in one of my go-to cookbooks, U.S.A by Sheila Lukins, and altered it ever so slightly. These waffles are super light due to the whipped egg whites and a bit earthy thanks to a healthy dose of cinnamon. Quite a versatile waffle recipe, all around!
The syrup is what makes these waffles unique. Bacon, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar make this syrup sweet, spicy, smoky, and salty. On its own, the syrup is incredibly pungent and, perhaps, a bit aggressive; but with the waffle… oh my, is it delicious.
Be adventurous and give this recipe a try!
adapted slightly from Sheila Lukin’s U.S.A Cookbook
- 2 C. all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 ½ C. milk (whole, preferably)
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat non-stick waffle iron.
Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (you can do this by hand). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into the batter.
When ready, lightly grease waffle iron. Add just enough batter to cover the plates (you may need to use a rubber spatula to spread the batter out towards the edges). Cook until desired doneness (or according to manufacturer’s instructions). Repeat with remaining batter.
Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.
Yields 6 Waffles
Bacon, Cayenne, and Brown Sugar Syrup
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 ½ C. water
- 1 ½ C. dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, leaving bacon renderings in the pan.
Lower the heat to low and add honey. Whisk immediately; mixture will begin to bubble. Continue whisking and slowly add in water, then brown sugar. Whisk until smooth. Add in cayenne pepper and cinnamon stick.
Raise the heat to medium. Cook syrup for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing syrup to reduce by a third to a half (depending on desired thickness). Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.
To Serve: Generously pour syrup over warm waffle. Garnish with reserved bacon (can be crumbled or left in whole strips). Enjoy!