The Cornmeal Waffles of my dreams: crispy and chewy with a tender interior. Slightly sweet, like Southern cornbread, and FULL of cornmeal flavor and texture. Every bite has a satisfying crunch!
There’s nothing like waffles to make breakfast feel like an occasion. Waffles say, today is a special day.
Before you think waffles are out of your reach, let me convince you otherwise.
I’m betting that you have a waffle iron somewhere in the house or that you’ve been thinking of buying one. Well, it’s time to pull it out/make the purchase, because you NEED to make waffles a standard part of your weekend rotation!
Magically, waffle batter doesn’t need much. Fresh ingredients are minimal. Whisk everything into a bowl and breakfast is well on its way.
These particular waffles require cornmeal, which can be found in the baking aisle of any grocery store. The cornmeal takes these waffles from plain-Jane-ordinary to something truly spectacular. Crisp and crunchy, earthy yet sophisticated, these will up your waffle game considerably!
Sweet or Savory?
For sweet Cornmeal Waffles, I lay out berries, strawberry butter (1/2 cup butter + 2 Tbsp strawberry jam), maple syrup, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
For savory Cornmeal Waffles, I like to serve lots of bacon, slices of avocado, cilantro, lime, hot sauce, and chipotle butter. This is my preferred way of serving and eating these waffles. 😉
But either way, you can’t go wrong!
Coarsely ground cornmeal is the best. Why? Texture, texture, texture. It’s more gritty and earthy than finely ground cornmeal and adds intense crunch and crispiness.
I’ve bought the fancy, organic kind and I’ve bought the cheap, grocery store kind that’s somehow always on sale and you know what? I can’t tell the difference. My suggestion? Buy what’s cheapest, as long as it’s coarsely ground (or medium ground) cornmeal.
Some of my favorite recipes call for buttermilk but 9 out of 10 times, I don’t have any in the fridge. An easier alternative is to “sour” milk with a little white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit on your counter for 5 minutes or so until it thickens. The proportion I use is 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp. vinegar/lemon juice.
I usually “sour” the milk as a first step. Put the rest of the ingredients together. By the time you’re ready to combine wet and dry ingredients together, the “buttermilk” should be ready.
I’m betting that we have different waffle irons. Depending on your waffle iron, the size, thickness, and number of your waffles may differ from mine.
For those who are asking, my waffle maker is a Cuisinart classic round waffle maker. Here it is looking janky after 14 years of regular use, but still going strong.
My waffle maker has non-stick plates and is well-greased from years of use; I rarely butter/oil the plates when making waffles. If your waffle iron is fairly new or fresh out of the box, I suggest buttering/oiling after each waffle until you get the feel of your waffle iron.
Waffles are best eaten when they are freshly made. But as most people do not own more than one waffle maker, you can only make one waffle at a time.
Many recipes suggest placing finished waffles in a 200F oven, but it’s a delicate balance. You don’t want the waffles to get soggy (too much steam from the waffle) or too crispy and dry (too much heat from the oven). About halfway through all waffles being done, I turn off the oven heat so they don’t get too crispy and dry.
NOTE: The waffles are placed directly on top of the wire racks. DO NOT USE A BAKING TRAY! Unless, of course, there’s a cooling rack between the waffles and baking tray. Steam is the enemy of crispy waffles.
At the end of the day, none of the waffles will taste as good as the first one that gets eaten, straight from the waffle iron. That first one has the perfect texture and chew. My suggestion? Enjoy the fleeting moment and eat that first one.
When you’re ready to serve, pile them on a plate, and bring to the table. Dig in and enjoy!
These waffles freeze well. Make sure they are completely cool and then store in a large ziploc bag in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, pop frozen waffles into the toaster and serve immediately.
- 1 cup buttermilk or soured milk (see notes below)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup cornmeal coarsely ground
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in small bowl with fork until well combined. Transfer to small serving bowl.
Place wet ingredients into large measuring cup. Whisk until well combined.
Place dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then pour wet ingredients (from the measuring cup) directly into the bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Make waffles according to waffle iron manufacturer's instructions, until golden brown and crispy.
Use a measuring cup to scoop 1/4 cup of batter into the waffle iron at a time. The waffles will not spread all the way to the edges of the waffle iron. They will be small and petite, good for layering and for the little people at your table.
Serve with chipotle butter, avocado, bacon, hot sauce, lime wedges, and maple syrup.
If you do not have buttermilk, an easy substitution is to “sour” milk with a little white vinegar or lemon juice. For every 1 cup of milk, add 1 Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice and stir. Let it sit on your counter for 5 minutes or so until it thickens.