I don’t put a lot of stock in owning single-use small appliances, simply because I don’t have the space to store a fleet of miniature food makers. There are some exceptions though, and after years of cooking for a family I have my personal favourites, which include: food processor, slow cooker, ice cream maker, and waffle iron.
Of all the items I’ve purchased, it’s the popularity of the waffle maker that was the biggest surprise to me. My kids absolutely adore it, and we use it for more than just breakfast waffles. Grilled cheese done in a waffle maker? That’s definitely a family favourite. Mashed potato waffles? A Sunday brunch must-make, especially if you’re entertaining.
Right now, I’m also making waffles for my baby, as he’s branching out into finger foods, and they seem to be easy enough for him to grasp and nibble on. I also like that because they’re made minified for him specifically, one batch of waffle batter makes two dozen meals, which can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Before we get to the recipe though, there are a few waffle-making tips and tricks I’d love to pass along. Making them is relatively straightforward, but with a little extra know-how you can elevate them to the light and crisp bites you usually find in a restaurant.
- Replace some of your flour with cornstarch. The two ingredients combined yield a product that’s crisp on the outside, yet tender on the insider. In our recipe for pumpkin waffles, I combine ¼ cup cornstarch with 1¼ cups of flour.
- In the interest of ease, in our recipe I have suggested whisking the eggs into the milk and other wet ingredients, but to make your waffles fluffy separate the egg before adding it. Beat the yolk with the wet ingredients, and then whip the white and fold it in for a tall and tender product.
- A thinner batter makes for better waffles, which is why we suggest oil over butter in our recipe.
- Even if your waffle maker is non-stick, lightly grease it before baking the waffles to aid in giving the exterior a little extra crispiness. I like to brush on a little canola or coconut oil with a pastry brush.
- Don’t open the waffle iron prematurely. Also, watch the steam as it’s a good indication of when the waffle is finished cooking: no steam equals a fully cooked waffle.
- Like pancakes, the first waffle is usually a dud. Adjust the amount of batter used and heat controls to achieve the results you are looking for.
- Don’t stack waffles, as they’ll immediately turn soft and limp. Lay cooked waffles out in a single layer on a cooling rack. To re-crisp them, warm them in a 200°F oven for 4-6 minutes.
These pumpkin waffles are reasonably healthy and a wholesome food for older babies and toddlers. They’re made with whole grain flour, oats, Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, and pumpkin purée. The oil and sugar is kept to a minimum, yet the result is still soft and moist (but not soggy!), easy to chew, and makes very little crumbs. I serve them plain or with a side of applesauce, but toddlers can certainly try them topped with maple syrup, fruit and yogurt.
Mini Pumpkin Waffles for Baby and Toddler
Makes 2 dozen mini waffles
- 1 ¼ cup whole-wheat, all-purpose or spelt flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp melted coconut or canola oil
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Prep and Cook:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
- Whisk in the eggs, milk, yogurt, oil, and pumpkin until all ingredients are combined. Let stand for 15 minutes. Pre-heat your waffle maker.
- Use a 1-inch wide ice cream scoop (approx. 1-2 Tbsp) to drop batter onto lightly greased waffle maker for mini waffles. Close the lid and cook based on your waffle maker manufacturers directions, or until there is no longer any steam emanating from the waffle iron.
- Remove cooked waffle using a fork or tongs and serve.
Good to Know: Waffles can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.