When friends come to town, fabulous brunch offerings are always in order. It’s great to have a handy recipe that is easy to scale up, and I ended up reaching for a trusty waffle recipe, that is easily customizable. While I kept it plain for my guests because everyone has different tastes (and there’s no limit to what you can pile on top!) I found myself yearning some fluffy fig waffles from a few weeks before, that I’m sharing now.
This recipe is a variation from The Joy of Cooking, my very first cookbook, and where I first learned to experiment with breakfast foods. Their pancake recipe was the first thing I ever made, but somehow they never turned out to be the fluffy puffy pillows that the recipe promised, and instead they were always thin and almost crepe-like. My Dad joked they were “Swede-ish pancakes” because he loved actual Swedish pancakes a lot, and they quickly became my Dad’s favorite breakfast treat. It wasn’t until many years later I realized I had been misreading “tbsp” for “tsp” every single time I went to add the baking powder. No wonder they were always so flat!
I love how the Joy of Cooking encourages you to customize and tweak recipes, and their waffle recipe is no exception. It recommends anywhere from a quarter to two sticks of butter, with the latter promising to deliver the crispiest most delicious waffle ever. I couldn’t bring myself to use quite that much butter, and settled on a balance between butter and coconut oil for the perfect light crispiness.
When I noticed some gorgeous fresh figs calling to me at the market, I absolutely had to put them in something. I already had a coconut waffle planned (I’m just IN LOVE with all things coconut) so I thought, why not throw them in? Boy am I glad I did.
I used two kinds of coconut for this recipe: lightly toasting some sweetened shredded coconut in the oven to include in the waffle itself, and using whole toasted coconut chips that I have been putting on everything lately, for topping.
I found these coconut chips at Whole Foods, and I put them in everything from pancakes and waffles, to on top of my yogurt for breakfast in the mornings. The last time I stopped in at WF I couldn’t find these exact ones, so hopefully they haven’t discontinued them (OH TRAGEDY)! I will just have to keep stopping in…like I need another excuse to go!
These waffles are super fluffy on the inside, with a crispiness that is totally adjustable and 100% delicious. Who needs to separate whites and yolks, and beat the crap out of them? I’ve never found that this makes a difference so noticeable that it justifies the extra work. While my mix-ins are fresh figs and toasted coconut, you can add anything that appeals: other fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, banana) or dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips…endless and delicious possibilities await!
Fluffy Fig & Toasted Coconut Waffles:
- 1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 TBSP Baking Powder
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup melted butter, slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
- 6 oz fresh figs, roughly chopped (optional: save a few for topping)
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (Reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
- Optional: 1/4 cup toasted coconut chips, for topping
Note: Joy of Cooking says you can use up to 1 cup of butter/oil (while here I used only 1/2 cup of both total) so feel free to increase the butter or oil if you don’t mind that, for the crispiness of dreams. With the ratio I use above, I like the balance of crispy to fluffy, but ultimately, it’s down to personal taste. As a scientist, I fully condone experimentation!
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the shredded coconut on a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper and toast in the oven for 8 total minutes, checking in 4-5 minutes to stir. The coconut should become fragrant and start to lightly brown. The degree of browning can change drastically, so keep an eye!
- Mix all dry ingredients.
- Pre-heat your waffle iron: I prefer my waffles medium-dark.
- Mix the wet ingredients together, then add to the dry.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients, adding in the chopped fig and 1/2 cup of toasted shredded coconut. The batter will be thick, but should not contain too many lumps.
- I do not grease my waffle iron first, but if yours requires it, then use a non-stick spray.
- Add about 1 cup of batter to your iron, and cook waffle until desired level of golden brown.
- Remove to a cooling rack for 1-2 minutes, serve with warm syrup, topped with toasted coconut and/or fresh figs and coconut chips.
Serves 4 (I doubled this recipe for more people and it worked well!). Recipe modified from The Joy of Cooking Cookbook.
Up next: it’s both apple picking season and PSL time! I know that both apple and pumpkin will feature prominently in my next breakfast items, but as to what those will be…I’m not sure yet. Stay tuned!