My mom’s favorite story to tell people who ask about my cooking is a tale of my three-year-old self. On a hot early summer day she offered me a beautifully red and ripe strawberry. With a look of ferocious disgust I informed her that I was a “meat-a-tarian,” and would have nothing to do with this piece of fruit. It was at that point she remembered the point of parenting is to win the war and not every single battle, so she instead stuck to vegetables (namely green beans and peas) that I would happily consume alongside my otherwise protein heavy diet.
And, for this I thank her. Instead of forcing me to eat things my immature palette just would not accept, I learned to love food and gradually developed a much more expansive taste. And then as I progressed through professional skiing and an intestinal yeast overgrowth (yummy!) that limits the amount of processed food I can consume, I have landed on my current cooking repertoire of deliciously healthy homemade meals.
Despite all of this, one thing I really do get nostalgic about are eggo waffles. You know, the frozen kind that are perfectly crisp yet fluffy on the outside…that slathered with some peanut butter and maple syrup (real or fake if I’m being honest) is perhaps the number one morning comfort food…yeah sometimes I really get a hankering for those.
But knowing that some of the ingredients in there don’t exactly make a stick to your ribs breakfast, a while back I went on a search for the perfect substitute. After many waffle trial and errors, one cold winter afternoon I discovered the simple yeasted waffles from the NYT Cooking collection. They required an overnight rise, but other than that did not require extravagant time demands or morning intensive work. In fact, the bulk of the work is done right before bed. In the morning you just add some eggs and baking soda, heat up the waffle iron, and everyone stumbles out of bed to the scent of sourdough steam and coffee wafting through the air.
And (to really make this post come full circle) for this Memorial Day Weekend morning, I had some beautifully ripe strawberries and apricots in the fridge. Thomas and I were making a large batch of waffles for his family before they departed back to Maine, so while we were making the waffles I macerated the berries and apricots to make a stunning and simple waffle topper. This is hands down my favorite breakfast, bringing my childhood love of freezer waffles to my grown-up tastes, strawberries and all.
Start the waffles tonight, and tomorrow morning you can impress everyone with your stack of Monday waffles. Yay for long weekends!
P.S. If anyone’s keeping track, Thomas and I also had waffles for dinner. This time topped with fried chicken
Overnight Waffles with Macerated Strawberries and Apricots
Waffles slightly adapted (but just barely) from the NYT Cooking Site, macerated fruit my own
Makes enough for four hungry people
2 ¼ cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter (plus more for your waffle iron)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (plus more for serving)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups whole wheat or white-whole wheat flour (or, more all purpose flour)
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 pound of strawberries (one container in most stores)
3 medium apricots (if you can’t find apricots, peaches/nectarines/plums would work wonderfully, or just skip all together. The strawberries on their own are delicious!)
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
Very small pinch sea salt
**you may have leftover fruit. This is a good thing. They keep fabulously in the fridge for up to two days, so your early weekday oatmeal just got a lot tastier
- THE NIGHT BEFORE in a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the milk and butter. Heat until butter is just melted (no simmering or boiling) then remove from heat. Stir in tablespoon of maple syrup and salt. Let cool to luke warm, 45 minutes to an hour.
- Combine yeast with ½ cup warm water (110 degrees) in a large bowl and let stand until foamy (also if it doesn’t get too foamy that’s okay. One time mine didn’t at all and it still worked out for me)
- Add the milk mixture to the yeast, stir in the flours, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. Go to bed!
- IN THE MORNING about an hour before you want to eat (while sipping your first cup of coffee) hull strawberries and cut into quarters. Slice apricots into thin half moons. Place both in a large bowl, and add salt, lemon and maple syrup/honey. Stir well and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees and plug in waffle iron. Add the two eggs and the baking soda to your waffle batter. This will make the waffle batter scoopable. For my waffle maker (linked HERE), one cup of batter is the perfect amount. Grease your waffle iron with butter. We cook each waffle for four minutes, and they turn out perfectly every single time. Your waffle maker may be different, so a little trial and error may occur!
- Place finished waffles on a wire rack in the oven until ready to serve. Top waffles with butter, syrup, and a big scoop of macerated strawberries. Your day just got off to the best start possible. Enjoy!