This past weekend, I cashed in on one of my 2012 holiday gifts from Dan. He had given me a gift certificate to the New York Wine and Culinary Center so that I could take some classes, and with the way our schedules worked out, none of the classes I wanted to take fit in until October. But it was totally worth the wait.
My friend Megan and I started the morning with a knife skills class. We learned to properly and consistently dice vegetables, slice leafy greens and herbs into chiffonade, and break down a chicken. We tried our new skills with both a chef’s knife and a Santoku knife. The Santoku was so great and it was so reasonably priced ($45 for commercial kitchen quality!), that Megan and I each ended up buying one to bring home. I’ve been having fun practicing my new skills this week, and my cut produce looks so much prettier now!
We also took Pizza Making 101, and I finally, finally successfully made homemade pizza. You know, one that didn’t scrunch up, or stick to the pan, or end up doughy on the inside, or let all the toppings fall off immediately upon slicing. It is about time, too, as that hasn’t actually happened in years. Seriously, years. But I’ll talk about that one more later.
These waffles have very little to do with knife skills or pizza-making abilities, but I’m just so excited about my classes that I had to share. It was seriously one of the best gifts Dan has ever given me. I suppose the one way to tie it all back together is this: they aren’t in the photographs, because I decided to add them after I made the waffles, but I highly recommend topping these pumpkin waffles with diced apples sautéed in a little cinnamon sugar. And if you have the knife skills to make the dice pretty and even, more power to you.
These waffles are healthy and packed with fiber and vitamins, thanks to the whole wheat flour, ground walnuts, and pumpkin puree. The secret to keeping them from becoming dense and heavy is to whip the egg whites separately, and fold them in at the end. It will give a little lightness to the batter.
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Sauteed apples, whipped cream and/or crushed ginger cookies, for topping
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the walnuts until they form a coarse meal, with the largest pieces the size of a small pebble. Be careful not to break them up for too long, or you'll end up with creamy walnut butter instead of walnut meal.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flours, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger together with a fork. Create a sort of a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add the egg yolks (not the whites!), milk, pumpkin puree and melted butter, and stir just until there are no dry spots left in the batter. The batter will still be dense and lumpy, and that is okay.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they are a bit stiff. When you lift the beaters out of the eggs, the peaks should hold their shape for at least five seconds. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron's directions, using about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter for each waffle.
Make Ahead and Storage
Unless you are hosting a brunch, you'll have plenty of extra waffles. Freeze the leftovers like this.