Sweet Potato Waffles!
This was my husband’s rather brilliant suggestion for breakfast last weekend. While we were out walking Sunday morning, I asked if he wanted breakfast when we got home. Not only was the answer a resounding “yes,” but he also fired out the idea for sweet potato waffles!
Apparently I married a genius when it comes to breakfast.
I happened to have 2 sweet potatoes already cooked that didn’t make it into the previous evening’s dinner. If you want to plan ahead, for the best flavor, bake a sweet potato the night before and put it in the refrigerator so it is all ready to go for breakfast.
Here’s what you need:
1 baked sweet potato, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, 2 eggs, orange zest, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon, milk, canola/vegetable oil, and vanilla (not pictued). Chopped pecans (also not pictured) are optional but recommended.
Be sure you have butter and real maple syrup too!
As I mentioned, you can save yourself some time by baking the sweet potato ahead of time. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and poke a few holes in a medium sized sweet potato. I bake mine on a piece of foil right on the oven rack just in case the potato oozes while it cooks. Bake the sweet potato until soft and squishable, 45-60 minutes depending on size.
If you don’t have time to bake the sweet potato, you can also peel it and cook it in a pan of boiling water until fork tender. I’ve been told that you can also microwave sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes on high but I’ve never tried it. I think that baking gives the sweet potatoes the best texture and flavor so that’s the method I use.
For the dry ingredients, combine 2 cups of flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Give the dry ingredients a good whisk to combine and set them aside.
Mash your cooked sweet potato with a fork or potato masher. You want it to be fairly smooth but a few small bits will add great texture to the waffles. That’s why I just mash by hand rather than pureeing in a food processor.
Separate 2 eggs. Put the whites in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Put the yolks into a medium bowl with 1 cup of mashed sweet potato. 1 medium sized sweet potato made almost exactly 1 cup.
Add 1½ cups milk and 3 Tablespoons of canola (or vegetable) oil to the sweet potatoes.
Grate in 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest. I think the orange zest is the secret ingredient that makes these waffles extra tasty!
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and whisk the wet ingredients together to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. See the little bits of sweet potato?
Stir the batter just until most of the flour has been incorporated. Do not over stir.
Use an electric mixer on high speed to whip the egg whites.
Most recipes will say to whip the egg whites until “stiff peaks” form. Here’s what that means…
When whipped on high speed, the egg whites will start out very bubbly…
then they get more firm and foamy but are still quite soft. At this point, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of sugar over the egg whites.
Continue whipping on high speed a few more minutes until you start to see lines or waves form in the egg whites.
When you turn off your mixer and lift it out of the whites, you can see if you have “stiff peaks.” If the egg whites stand up on their own, they are stiff. If they immediately fall down, continue whipping for a few more minutes.
If you watch for the lines/waves in the egg whites, you will know when you are getting very close to stiff peaks.
By whipping the egg whites, we are adding air that will make these waffles light and fluffy. Pour the egg whites into the batter and GENTLY fold them together.
Folding means that instead of just getting in there and stirring like crazy, you take one stir GENTLY about half way around the bowl and then once over the top. Continue with this light over under motion scraping around the sides and up from the bottom of the mixing bowl.
A rubber spatula is the tool you want to use for folding. This takes a little more time, but by being gentle you won’t deflate the egg whites.
Notice that the egg whites don’t need to be completely incorporated into the batter. Just get them mostly mixed in.
Now you know how to make a soufflé too!
Once I got the batter mixed together, I got the bright idea to add pecans. If nuts are your thing, chop up 1/4 cup of pecans.
You need a waffle maker! Mine is an 8 inch Cuisinart that I got at Target for about $20 several years ago. I like that it makes individual waffles but if you are serving a crowd, you might want a waffle maker that makes more than one at a time.
Lightly spray the surface of the waffle maker with non-stick spray and ladle the batter into the center of the waffle iron. If you want nuts in some waffles and not others, you can add them right on top of the batter rather than mixing them in.
Close up the waffle maker and bake the waffles until they are golden brown. Most waffle makers come with a built in light/timer that will give you a red light-green light to tell you when your waffle is done.
Note: You can hold waffles in a warm (175 degree) oven. Just be sure to put the waffles right on the oven rack rather than on a plate so they stay crisp.
This recipe made enough batter for 6 round 8-inch waffles. We ate 3 and I have 3 in the freezer all ready to go for a quick breakfast. Just pop them in the toaster and go!
Add a little (or a lot) of butter and some warm maple syrup and you have one happy breakfast.
I walked 4 miles so I earned these waffles!
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from food.com