I love the sitcom Parks & Rec. I love the character Leslie Knope. Probably the only thing I don’t get about her is her obsession for waffles. Nor anybody else’s obsession with waffles, frankly.
The only meal of the day I do not prefer carbs at is breakfast. I would much rather have eggs, bacon, yogurt, fruit … anything other than pancakes or waffles. I’m not sure why this is. My mother always made fantastic pancakes and waffles. After I moved out, I tried making pancakes the way she did. For years, I never understood what the problem was when they didn’t turn out the same. My family constantly reminded me that my pancakes “aren’t as good as Grandma’s”. Recently, when I watched her make them, I realized she practically deep fried them, that how much oil was in the pan. Of course they were delicious that way. Of course mine didn’t turn out the same.
This recipe was another that she always made growing up. I thought that everybody knew about bacon and cheese waffles. Seems this is not the case. When I searched Instagram for #baconcheesewaffles the other day there were “fewer than 100 posts”. That surprised me. Haven’t waffles been done six ways to Sunday?
So today I must share this recipe with you. I will admit, it’s not the same base waffle recipe my mom always made. A trip to Belgium changed that. Have you ever been there? Have you ever had one of their famous waffles? They can shove you with great force off the fence that you’re sitting on about waffles as they did me.
They have two varieties to choose from, the Brussels and the Liege waffle. The Liege is thicker and contains little clumps of sugar, (not cheap to buy on Amazon), whereas the Brussels one is lighter and more like what you and I are used to. I had no idea there was a difference. But I’ll tell you, I loved every single one I ate in the three days I was in Belgium.
I appreciate waffles more now. Still not to the extent Leslie Knope and the rest of the world does though, I will admit. So if I don’t love waffles why did I post this recipe? Because everybody else loves waffles, especially does my family love this bacon and cheese version.
When I make waffles, I make such a mess that it’s not worth it for me to just make them for that morning. I always double the recipe, let the waffles cool on a rack like you would any baked good, and then freeze in Ziploc bags. Then they just need to be popped into a toaster for a few minutes whichever morning you are ready for them. Much better than those boring, stale, pre-packaged frozen waffles, let me tell you.
This version has less sugar in it than most because it’s a savory waffle and because the maple syrup makes it sweet enough. Beating the egg whites separately is what makes it as close to a Belgian waffle as possible without the special pearl sugar and customized waffle makers that they use in Belgium that I want so bad but can’t bring myself to buy.
Laying a strip of cooked bacon down right on the top of the batter is what makes that bacon poke out on the top instead of getting lost in the batter. Ain’t it gorgeous?
- 2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 12 strips bacon, cooked and cut in half
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and whisk to combine.
Put egg whites into a small, dry bowl. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, a few minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, milk, and oil.
Add wet mixture to dry, stirring only until just combined. Add cheddar cheese. Gently fold in egg whites.
Heat waffle iron. Spray with non-stick spray. Pour batter into waffle iron, filling well. Lay down four strips of bacon on top of the batter. Leave lid open for 30 seconds before closing. Cook until golden brown (every waffle iron varies, mine takes about 3-4 minutes per side).
Remove and repeat until all batter is finished.
Makes 3 large waffles (depending on the size of your waffle iron)
Serving 1/2 waffle each, serves 6 people.