Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

March 24, 2014

Lee Ward: More foods to celebrate: pecans and waffles: 3/25/14

ASHLAND — In keeping with last week’s theme, I looked up some upcoming “food days” and found today is not only Pecan Day but Waffle Day.

Why not combine the two?

ALMOST-FAMOUS PECAN WAFFLES

from FoodNetwork.com

3⁄4 cup pecans

11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄3 cup sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

1 cup whole milk

1⁄2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for brushing and topping

1⁄4 cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled

Maple syrup, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet; bake until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then chop. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk the egg, milk, buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl until combined. Stir the egg mixture, melted butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.)

Preheat a waffle iron and brush with melted butter. Ladle some batter into the iron (about 1⁄2 cup, depending on your waffle iron); sprinkle with 2 tablespoons toasted pecans. Cook until golden brown, then transfer the waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. Top the waffles with butter and maple syrup.

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What else can you do with pecans, those waffle haters are thinking.

Here’s something.

SUGAR-COATED PECANS

from allrecipes.com

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

1 pound pecan halves

1 cup white sugar

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

t

One of my favorite ways to enjoy pecans is in Pecan Pie Muffins. It’s no joke: these little muffins taste just like the pie.

PECAN PIE MUFFINS

1 cup brown sugar

1⁄2 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

2⁄3 cup butter, soft

2 beaten eggs

Mix together sugar, flour and pecans.

Separately, mix together butter and eggs.

Stir the butter-egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Pour batter into lined, mini muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

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TOASTED BUTTER PECAN CAKE

from laurassweetshop.com

11⁄4 cup butter, softened, divided

2 cups chopped pecans

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk

Frosting:

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 package (2 pounds) confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons milk, as necessary

extra chopped pecans for garnish, optional

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

In a medium heavy skillet, melt 1⁄4 cup butter over medium heat. Add pecans; cook until toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Spread across sheet of foil to cool.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine; set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together rest of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour (flour in 3 parts, milk in 2). Fold in toasted pecans.

Divide between cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pans. Cool completely.

For frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat in enough milk, as necessary, to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cake. Store in refrigerator.

t

Gimme another good waffle recipe, the pecan haters are thinking.

About.com offers a lesson in basic waffles.

BASIC WAFFLES

13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1⁄2 tsp salt

 Tbsp granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 ⁄4 cups whole milk

1⁄2 cup vegtable oil

1⁄2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat waffle iron to its hottest setting. Placing a cookie-sheet under it can help catch batter drippage during cooking.

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat eggs thoroughly. Whisk in sugar, milk and oil.

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Don’t overmix!

Spray both surfaces of the waffle iron with cooking spray.

Ladle 4 to 6 oz. (1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup) batter on the iron and close it. It’s not unusual for a bit of batter to seep out of the edges of the iron. If there’s excessive leakage, use less batter for the next waffle.

Cook until the waffle iron’s indicator light shows cooking is complete, or until no more steam comes out. The finished waffle should be golden brown and crispy.

Lift the waffle out of the iron with a pair of tongs and either serve right away or transfer it to the oven to keep warm.

WHOLE WHEAT

WAFFLES

 11⁄2 cups King Arthur 100 percent White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg

11⁄2 cups lukewarm milk

1⁄3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil

Preheat the iron while you make the waffle batter.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and butter or oil.

Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy.

Cook the waffles as directed in the instructions that came with your waffle iron.

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re

looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.

 

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