Carrot Cake Waffles
Adapted from willowbirdbaking.com
Yields: about 7 waffles (using 1/2 cup batter for each)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots
Cooking spray for waffle iron
Maple Nut Cream Cheese Spread:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
Prep Day: Bloom the spices in butter: Heat 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter is light brown and has faint nutty aroma, 2 to 4 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda.
Mix together the buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) and the egg yolks. Stir in the spiced butter and vanilla. Spray the waffle iron well and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Stir gently to combine.
Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Spray iron with cooking spray between waffles as needed.
To Freeze: You can make a big batch, allow them to cool, and freeze them for a homemade alternative to preservative-laden commercial frozen waffles.
To make Maple Cream Cheese spread, simply combine nuts, syrup, and cream cheese and mix well.
Rewarm in toaster or toaster oven.
Serve waffles immediately with a schmear of Maple Cream Cheese spread (which will get lovely and melty), or keep the waffles warm for a few minutes in a low oven.***
* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.