These waffles really scream holiday special to me, especially if topped with Fiori di Sicilia (orange-vanilla) whipped cream and sugared cranberries, which could not be easier to make. You can learn how here. You basically make a simple syrup, toss with the cranberries, and forget about them overnight. The next day, just drain and roll in granulated sugar. I also tossed raw cranberries and lemon zest in the actual waffle batter so these Belgian beauties were bursting with flavor.
Bonus? They toast up perfectly…if you have any leftover!
Cranberry Belgian Waffles
Makes 8 waffles
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Zest of half a lemon
1/4 cup raw cranberries
1/4 cup raw hazelnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
Optional: top with Fiori di Sicilia Whipped Cream (recipe follows) and sugared cranberries (recipe here)
1) Combine the first eight ingredients in a large bowl*, leaving room for expansion; the mixture will bubble and grow. Stir to combine. The batter will be slightly lumpy. *Note: I like to use a Pyrex for this so I can see exactly how much the yeast has expanded. I put it in the fridge at 3 cups and it’s doubled by morning!
2) Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. The mixture will begin to bubble. You can cook the waffles at this point but they will be much tastier if you refrigerate the batter overnight and cook the waffles in the morning.
3) Right before cooking waffles, add the zest of half a lemon (orange would also be delicious!) and 1/4 cup of cranberries.
4) Preheat your Belgian waffle iron. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and pour 2/3 to 3/4 cup batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, until the waffle is golden brown. Mine cook for 5-7 minutes.
5) Serve with chopped toasted hazelnuts, cinnamon honey butter or regular butter, fiori di sicilia whipped cream, maple syrup, and sugared cranberries for a fabulous holiday treat!
Fiori di Sicilia Whipped cream
1 cup cold whipping cream
4 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia
1) Chill a metal bowl and whisk in the fridge while making waffles.
2) Beat one cup of cold whipping cream in the chilled bowl using a chilled whisk. (You may of course use an electric beater but I prefer soft, pillowy peaks and I love the workout.)
3) When the cream has thickened but isn’t quite whipped cream, add the powdered sugar and fiori di sicilia. (If you don’t have the latter, use 1 tsp vanilla extract.) Continue to beat with the whisk just until soft peaks form.
Note: This makes plenty and this recipe can easily be halved or even quartered. As you can see from the photo, I made a teeny amount for myself!