Note: this recipe was edited on May 23rd, 2014 after realizing that the key ingredient, 3/4 cup of almond meal, had been omitted. If you tried it and it was too runny, please try this updated version.
A while back I woke up to a picture of ham and cheese waffles in my Facebook feed. I couldn’t get over how good they looked. I wanted the them, NOW. After posting about my love of pancakes last week, Here is a confession. I don’t make pancakes very often anymore. D loves waffles, so when we have a more elaborate brunch at home Belgian style waffles are the featured item.
But back to those ham and cheese waffles. I could’t get over how good they looked. Crisp waffle edges looking even more crisp with the cheese clearly browned like a breakfast frico on the outside, fluffy inside with bits of ham and melted cheese. Two great loves, breakfast waffles and grilled cheese sandwich united together at last. ;-)
Digging through the fridge for lunch meat, ham, smoked turkey, something, anything meaty (“Why did I not go to the store. Why was I not thinking about ham and cheese last week at the grocery!) I came up with a package of turkey pepperoni and shredded mozzarella (can you say pizza craving from the week before? Uh huh.) as well as bacon and cheddar. What the heck. I chopped up the pepperoni, the bacon, and shredded some cheddar. I tried adding all the ingredients to the batter, but found it easier to add the meat and a little cheese to the batter, ladle in the batter, then add more cheese on top and close the lid of the waffle iron. It took a few tries to get the amount right, and depending on your waffle iron size and depth, you will likely need to do the same. Start small and work you way up – otherwise you will end up with batter bubbling over the edge onto the counter.
The results: pepperoni and mozzarella were good. The spices of the pepperoni and the salty creamy cheese mixing well with the plain waffle, surprisingly. The bacon cheddar was good as well a more classic smoky bacon flavor (something I serve with waffles anyway) standing out well with the sharp nutty cheddar against the waffle batter. Next time I would definitely try the classic ham and swiss, or possibly some Parmesan mixed in with any of the options above.
Want to take it to the next level? Try out these ideas for Macaroni and Cheese Waffles from Serious Eats.
Don’t have a favorite waffle recipe to use? In previous post, I’ve shared my recipes for regular and low carb waffles . Since dropping gluten from my diet, I’ve modified the recipe for low carb waffles to eliminate the wheat based low carb flour mix: the new recipe uses only the whey protein and almond flour listed in the original. (I’m working on a nut and dairy free version, but since this waffle uses cheese the original recipe is a better fit.).
Low Carb Waffles
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup of plain unflavored or vanilla flavored whey protein (If using vanilla flavored whey protein cut out the vanilla extract and reduce or eliminate the extra sweetener)
3/4 cup of almond meal (I use the kind with the skins on, but the blanched works well too)
1 -1.5 Tablespoons of sweetener of choice – reduce if making savory waffles
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
Blend eggs one at a time into the softened cream cheese and whisk the mixture for at least a minute after the last egg is in. (I use a stand mixer, but a whisk and some elbow grease work well too). Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. The mix may be thinner than traditional waffle mix, however the eggs will expand in cooking and fill the space in the waffle maker. if it seems too thin after resting for 10 minutes or so, add an additional tablespoon or two of almond meal and whey protein until its the consistency you like.
A couple of notes on the Low Carb Waffles:
- Sometimes I use part buttermilk and part Greek yogurt for a zippy tart flavor
- You can also use a combination of sour cream & cream, thinned with a bit of water if you don’t have buttermilk or don’t use it.
- Low carb waffles have less gluten and do not hold together quite as well as regular ones: be careful in removing them from your waffle iron. You may find the need to oil/butter the surface of the waffle maker a bit more, even on non-stick surfaces.
- Low carb ingredients tend to brown quicker: doneness is best determined when the waffle can be removed from the iron, not when it is simply “browned.”
- I use Trader Joe’s ground whole almond meal. Its ground whole with skins and is less expensive, but Bob’s Red Mill brand is good too. You can grind your own in a food processor: be careful not to grind too long and end up with butter.
- Check ingredients on whey protein powders: many have added sweeteners and flavors even when they say “plain.” Whole Foods carries an plain organic whey protein powder and Syntrax (available from many sources online) makes a “medical” version with no flavor or added sweeteners.