There’s something magical about having waffles for breakfast. Starting the day with such a luxurious tone can only lead to good things, I think. Typically, I am the happy recipient of whatever waffles my mom whips up when I am visiting — usually crunchy, Belgian-style grids that are light and airy. This Christmas when I was home, I decided to mix it up.
The result is something a little denser, with a toothsome bite from whole grains and ample spices to toast a gloomy winter day. Cardamom’s fragrant notes match up perfectly with earthy rye flour. True, there’s only 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe, seemingly not enough to either perfume the batter or give it top billing in the title. I promise that little bit will shine through in just the right way before hitting that metallic too-much-cardamom taste. As for the rye, Bob’s Red Mill sells dark rye flour if you don’t have some already on hand.
These make for the perfect wintery weekend brunch, preferably with fat snowflakes falling slowly outside, but I’ll leave that part up to the weather.
Spiced Cardamom and Rye Waffles
6 large eggs, separated
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
¾ cup dark rye flour, spooned and leveled
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Salted butter, maple syrup, and sliced banana, for serving (optional)
Waffle maker, egg white beaters (optional)
1. Preheat a waffle maker on highest setting.
2. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an egg beater, whisk, or an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. You should be able to lift your whisk or beater, turn it upside down, and the egg whites should stand straight up. Set aside.
3. Whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
4. Whisk the all-purpose flour, rye flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk in the egg yolk mixture until almost incorporated—it’s okay if some lumps remain. Add the egg whites and fold with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix!
5. Spread about 1 heaping cup on the heated griddle, spreading from the middle outwards. Cook until done according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Repeat with remaining batter and serve immediately with butter and maple syrup, or your favorite accompaniments.