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Picture this: It's a quiet Sunday morning and you're awakened by the warm, sweet smell of waffles. You wander into the dining room only to marvel at the perfect pattern of squares sprinkled across a plate of Belgian waffles. Fresh strawberries and whipped cream are set out and you grab a plate and dig in!
Well, Belgian waffles don't need to be a dream. This month, I present my favorite recipe. It features sour cream and a hint of vanilla in the form of vanilla sugar and extract. The combination results in a fluffy waffle that's both sweet and creamy. The texture is perfect for holding a serving of fresh, juicy strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream -- my personal favorite accompaniments!
I used to think that Belgian waffles were weekend fare until I realized that they freeze well. This recipe makes 8-10 waffles and unless you have a full house, there will probably be leftovers. Just lay a sheet of waxed paper between each waffle and pop them in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Then, when you get the urge to have them during the week, take them out and toast them in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or pop them in your toaster for a really quick treat. You can also microwave them, but you lose some of the crunchy outer texture.
2 T. vanilla sugar (if you don't store a vanilla bean in your sugar container, you can use regular sugar instead!)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. low fat sour cream
3 T. margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
In a different medium-sized bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg yolks, margarine and extract. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring to form a lumpy batter.
In a different medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until thoroughly mixed.
Lightly spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter (amount varies with the size of your iron) onto the hot iron and spread it almost to the corners of the grids. Close the lid and bake until the waffle is golden brown, its edges look dry and it does not stick to the grids -- about 2 minutes. Transfer the baked waffle to the warm oven, placing it directly on the rack so that it will stay crisp. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with desired toppings.