Saturday, June 9, 2012

Norwegian Heart-Shaped Waffles (Vafler)

Since my mom's side of the family hails from the fjords, we try to reconnect with our cultural heritage by introducing traditional Norwegian cuisine into our lives every now and then (thereby pretending we are "worldly"). This morning, I took the liberty of fixing up a classic Scandinavian favorite - heart-shaped waffles. Much smaller than regular waffles, they have a sweeter taste, the texture of a pancake, and are served with coffee, jam, and butter.

To make these, you will need:

2 eggs
5 tablespoons sugar

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

First, heat up your waffle iron. Don't be discouraged if you don't have a heart-shaped mold like mine, a regular American waffle iron will work just as well. Just don't use a Belgian waffle maker, or the batter won't cook right.

Aren't the hearts adorable?

Next, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until creamy.

Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

A quick note about the vanilla, however. While most people may be used to using the liquid vanilla, this recipe works best if you can get your hands on some Scandinavian vanilla. The difference is the texture and flavor - Scandinavian vanilla is powdery, like flour, and tastes very similar to powdered sugar.

Once you combine all of your ingredients, let the batter sit for five minutes to thicken.

While you're waiting, slather the iron in a layer of crisco, butter, Pam, or any kind of non-stick cooking aid to let the waffles slide out easily after they're cooked.

Then, pour the batter into the iron, close the lid, and wait for the beep (or the light to go off/come on, depending on what kind of iron yours happens to be. My heart-shaped waffle maker sounds like a smoke alarm going off every time it's finished cooking, so hopefully yours has a more pleasant-sounding alert system).

Once they're done, carefully lift the waffles out with a fork, making sure they don't break apart. They should be golden brown, like the color of perfectly cooked toast.

Resisting the urge to gobble them up immediately, apply more of your non-stick agent to the waffle pan, and keep adding batter and cooking the waffles until there's none left in the bowl. Remember to keep adding the non-stick stuff in-between each round - the saddest thing in the world has to be opening up a waffle iron and watching the fluffy bread rip apart....

Once they're all done, serve them with any kind of jam that you'd like. I used lingonberries and blueberry jam.

Don't forget your cup of coffee!

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