Pumpkin Waffles

Waffles and pancakes have the power to heal. There is something about the thick batter and maple syrup that breathes life into bent shoulders and cures the woes of the soul. This past week has not been the best of weeks for me. There have been books, a career-defining exam, and a homemade stack of flashcards ever growing in height. There has been a car accident, a sore neck, and bent metal (but thankfully no real injuries). There have been insurance companies, a battered ego, and frustration trying to find new forms of transportation.

When the world hands me trouble and strife, I make waffles.

I wish I could say I always handle myself with grace under pressure and kindness under stress, but it isn't always the case. I often become selfish and inconsiderate during these moments, putting my own problems and worried emotions above others. In a way, it's a form of self-preservation; a coping mechanism to hold myself together enough to make it through a taxing afternoon. Even so, it doesn't excuse my behavior.

I want to apologize to my boyfriend for yelling at him when he was only trying to help me study for my exam (I was just frustrated with myself, not you). I'm sorry I haven't been very pleasant this past week.

Last Sunday I set aside time to make waffles—a brunch for two was on the menu. I needed a little comfort food to cure the aches of my week, fall spices to bring warmth back into my disposition, and pumpkin to remind me of the changing leaves outside my window. Even though waffles will never truly solve our problems, they can help us find a new perspective with which to approach them.

Waffles and pancakes have the power to heal. They just need to be given the chance.

Pumpkin Waffles have a bright flavor and a seasonal draw. The waffle batter is thick, with plenty of cinnamon and spice to keep the flavors warm. When the waffles cook up, the inside sets almost like a pumpkin pie, while the outside stays crisp. The waffles may need to cook a little longer to achieve this texture, but a few extra minutes on the clock are worth the final product. These waffles are a lovely addition to an autumn brunch.

One Year Ago: Oatmeal Raisin Crisps
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Pumpkin Waffles

Yields 2-3 servings

3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup (245 grams) canned (or fresh) pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 57 grams) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (237 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat waffle iron.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, melted butter, vanilla, and milk until uniform. Gently mix in the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt until smooth.

Cook the waffles in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. I found that these waffles took longer than average to cook (approximately 8 minutes) because the waffles are so moist. Cooking the waffles longer can also provide crisper edges. Use your best judgement!

Serve warm, topped with a healthy dose of maple syrup.