Spiced Apple Walnut Waffles

I certainly couldn't share the homemade apple pie spice without sharing a delicious recipe.  This plate full of goodness (along with an 8:30 am soccer game) is one of those things that can get me out of bed early on a cool, crisp, fall weekend morning.  Apples, walnuts, cider, and a little bit of sugar make for a hearty and tasty forkful.  And speaking of hearty, the batter has some whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and grated apples in it.  So it's good for you too, right?!  

I served these waffles with caramelized brown sugar apples and an apple cider syrup (both recipes included below), but they can be served with a good maple syrup.  I have even combined an equal part mixture of maple syrup and caramel sauce for a decadent treat. One note-- these waffles are big, so serve the syrup of your choice on the side and drag each bite through the sugary pool.  They are best enjoyed warm off the waffle iron, but they can be cooled, wrapped well in plastic wrap, then toasted in a toaster until heated through.

Printable Recipe

Spiced Apple Walnut Waffles
makes 8 (4 1/2-inch square) Belgian-style waffles

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/4 cups milk
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 medium apple (I used Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and finely shredded
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish.

Apple cider syrup (recipe below)
Caramelized apples (recipe below)

Crumble the brown sugar into a large mixing bowl, breaking up any large clumps.  Add the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, spice, and salt; whisk to blend.  Add the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla; whisk until smooth.  Fold in the apple and walnuts (batter will be thick).  Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes before using.

Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron to desired setting. Pour 2 cups of batter (or according to the manufacturer's directions) onto the center of the lower grid of the waffle maker; spread batter using a heat-proof spatula.  Close lid of waffle maker.  When tone sounds, open lid and carefully remove waffles.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve immediately with apple cider syrup, caramelized apples and extra walnuts.  Enjoy!

Apple Cider Syrup
makes about 2 cups

3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

In a medium saucepan stir together the cider, corn syrup, sugar, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter, piece by piece.  Serve immediately or let cool, pour into a container, and refrigerate for up to a week.  Reheat before using.

Caramelized Apples

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch of kosher salt

In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples release their juices and start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with the sugar and salt; stir to mix.  Continue cooking the apples, turning them occasionally until they have a light crust and are golden caramel in color, about 10-15 minutes.  Use the apples immediately or cover and keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours.  Reheat before using.

Source: Waffles adapted from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet, Syrup and Apples adapted from the Joy of Cooking, 1997

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