Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banana Waffles with Buttermilk Syrup

After all that holiday baking, it seems like the January Improv challenge came around way too soon. The ingredients for January were bananas and nutmeg, and the first thing those flavors brought to mind was breakfast. Pancakes are a breakfast staple around here, but for Boy Mimi's last day of winter break from school, something a little more special was in order. Light and crispy waffles, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of home buttermilk syrup, were just the thing. 

The waffles were good, but the real star of breakfast was the buttermilk syrup. It was sweet but not too sugary, and had a nice mild flavor, with hints of vanilla. It was a nice change from the usual maple syrup found on the breakfast table. This syrup is definitely worth making for a special breakfast, and makes an everyday breakfast seem special. 

Banana waffles
Adapted from Sunset magazine January 2005

1 cup flour
1 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
1 ripe banana mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.  In another bowl mix together egg yolks, milk, banana, sour cream and butter until well blended. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until just combined.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the batter until no white streaks remain.
Bake in a Belgian waffle iron until well brown about 6 to 9 minutes. Keep warm on a baking sheet in 200 degree oven for up to 15 minutes. Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream and warm buttermilk syrup.
Serves 4-6

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Light Karo Syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

In a deep pot combine the butter, sugar, buttermilk, salt and Karo syrup and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the baking soda and vanilla and stir till combined. *The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam to twice its volume, so be sure to use a big enough pot* The color of the syrup will turn to a golden brown. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the syrup thickens. Let it cool and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an air tight container. It will thicken as it cools, but you can warm it up in the microwave to thin it out.

printable recipe

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Whether you eat your granola plain by the handful, douse it with milk, or spoon it into yogurt, good granola can be difficult to come by. Luckily, good granola, with its slightly sweet crunchy clusters and any kind of nuts and fruits you like, is surprisingly easy to make. It takes a matter of minutes to get this into the oven, and in as much time as it would take to get to the store and back, you can have fresh, crunchy granola customized to your own taste. We love the original recipe (below) but also like to throw in some dried cranberries and pecans, and maybe a handful of mini chocolate chips if it's a chocolate kind of day.

Almond Granola with Dried Fruit
adapted  from Cooks Illustrated March/April 2012

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups slivered almonds, coarse chopped
2 cup dried fruit, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, vegetable oil and vanilla. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.
3. Transfer oats mixture to prepared pan and spread across the sheet into a thin even layer. Using a stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes.

When it is cool, break into large chunks or small clusters, gently stir in dried fruit and store in an airtight container.

link:Foodie Friday