The best cheddar thyme cornmeal waffle recipe

Like anyone, I love a good crispy waffle. Unfortunately, waffles have been a sort of kryptonite for me, in that I’ve tried so many recipes and have never found one I liked. My waffles were immediately crispy and fluffy, and then upon cooling, quickly became floppy, soggy, or both. Even folding in the most impossibly fluffy egg whites or a melting a whole stick of crispy butter didn’t save them. I’ve used coconut oil, regular oil, buttermilk, no milk. Never any good. What was I doing wrong?

Finally, I decided to investigate the trick that adding seltzer water to waffles made them impossibly crispy and delicious. This was something I could barely fathom, although the I knew it was used for this purpose elsewhere (think tempura batter…) but for some reason I had always chalked this up to myth. Well, as it turns out, not so! These waffles were by far the crispiest and most delicious waffles I have ever made: they held on to that crispness long after cooling, and they were the perfect blend of many things I love. Those things are sweet with savory, breakfast, and cheese. I love cheese.

 Just in time for Valentines Day, these waffles are enough work to be special without being very laborious. They are delicious drizzled with sweet maple syrup and the leftovers are great to make as sandwiches later, perhaps with a romantic picnic. I’m just fantasizing now because it’s literally a gorgeous sunny day with a thermometer reading of -8 degrees with a -31 degree windchill, not optimal picnic weather.

For these waffles, I used my favorite brand of grocery store cheddar, Old Croc. Those Australians know their cheese!

I always feel like I’m betraying nearby Vermont cheddar when I buy it, but I love them both equally so it’s okay. I’m an equal opportunity cheese-ist.

A few other classic ingredients like butter and cornmeal really give these waffles that extra crunch! The batter was thick and I cooked it in my no-peak Cephalon waffle maker on medium/dark until bubbly hissing goodness emanated from within. Pure magic.

Next, I’ll have to work on making a well shaped waffle. Right now, I’m all about the taste. Priorities…

 Aspects of this recipe were inspired by Cooks Illustrated Buttermilk waffles (seltzer water!) and King Arthur Flour’s cheddar cornmeal waffles.

Cheddar Thyme Cornmeal Waffles: 

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar 
  • 5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter (1/3 cup)
  • 1.5 cups Greek yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  1. Combine first five dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chopped thyme and stir.
  2. In a separate bowl, or using a stand mixer, whip together the eggs and yogurt. Melt the butter until just warm, and slowly add to the eggs and yogurt as they are being whipped together. It is best to use room temperature ingredients so the butter doesn’t seize when you add it to the eggs and yogurt, but if it does that’s okay.
  3. Next, add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients while slowly mixing by hand, or on “stir” using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. At this stage, add the seltzer water, stirring until just combined.
  4. Lastly, add the grated cheddar and mix until just combined. The batter will be very thick, this is good!
  5. Cook about one cup of batter at a time in a pre-heated waffle iron until medium dark, transfer to a cooling rack until ready to eat.

Makes 4 medium sized waffles. Enjoy with warm maple syrup.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


Why you should reschedule Valentine’s Day

Okay, V-Day was over a week ago, so why am I still thinking about it? As a young city couple on a student budget who are also saving for a wedding, the idea paying through the roof for a rose bouquet is not a welcome thought. I love chocolate, but does it really have to be twice as expensive a few times a year? Valentine’s Day comes too soon after Christmas when I’ve still got no money left, it’s also the week after my fiance’s birthday which I’ve already racked my brains to plan. Especially this year, all the hearts and pink things just put me in an obstinate “I refuse to indulge your manufactured holiday” mood.

That being said, I do like the idea of Valentine’s Day as a way to reconnect to the romantic side of being a couple, get adorably cheesy on purpose, and eat lots of chocolate. That is why this year my fiance and I made the joint decision to reschedule our Valentine’s Day for a time that worked best for us. We can enjoy the convenience of doing ours on a weekend where we don’t have to rush to dinner after work, have the luxury of sleeping in and cooking whatever we want, and the added perk of 75% off all things pink, flowery, and chocolate.

And while our Valentine’s Day may not be what someone else might choose to do with their loved one, a tailor made day enjoying simply being a young couple in love still sounds better to me than crowded dinner reservations.

Our couple’s day out:

Start with piping hot coffee and delicious homemade Strawberry Oatmeal Banana Pancakes modified from this delicious recipeImageAfter that, it’s gadget shopping fun and thrift store trawling together, lunch at a cheap new Falafel place we’ve been meaning to try in Davis Square earning rave reviews and to finish off the day we’ll see Silver Linings Playbook at the cutest theater ever, hopefully the perfect bit of comedy and romance. Lastly, since we’ve set up a nice crock pot soup to cook while we’re out, we’ll come home to a delicious dinner and watch the snow fall outside. Now that’s what we call a nice day out.