ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bacon Black Pepper Waffles

 As far as I'm concerned, waffles are honorary pancakes.  I do not judge these breakfast sisters by their shape; I embrace their likenesses, while respecting their differences.  The main thing is that they are hot, comforting...and freakin' good with maple syrup. 
 And if there happens to be bacon and black pepper in them, all the better.  And all the more embracing that will be taking place.  My kids only thought these were so-so, but keep in mind they are accustomed to toaster waffles with artificial "blueberry" bits in them; I have no one to blame but myself.  I, however, lo-o-o-o-o-ved these waffles; I froze the leftovers and ate them for breakfast all week, savoring every sweet-salty-smoky-spicy-buttery bite.  Can't wait to make them again.

Bacon Black Pepper Waffles (print recipe)
Makes 16 waffles
10 slices bacon
2 1/2 tsp fresh, coarsely cracked black pepper, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

1.  To make the bacon: position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange bacon slices in a single layer across the sheet.  Sprinkle generously with 2 tsp black pepper.  Place in the oven to bake until bacon is brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels.  Once cool enough to handle, chop bacon into bite-size chunks and set aside while you prepare the waffle batter.  

2.  Set your waffle iron on a level, clean surface and turn on to preheat.

3.  To make waffles: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and brown sugar.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add the buttermilk mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture.  Stir until just incorporated.  Fold in the bacon.  Try not to overmix the batter.  If a few lumps remain, that's OK.  Cook according to your waffle iron instructions.  Serve with warm maple syrup - heaven!

Variation: If you don't eat bacon, or just want to try it a different way, subtract the bacon and black pepper and add 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg and 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon to the batter!

Recipe from Joy the Baker by Joy Wilson

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