Hamming It Up...

Despite the disastrous clean-up situation after our last round of waffle-making that brought me to the brink of throwing away a brand-new waffle iron, I found myself pulling it out of the depths of the kitchen cabinet in order to give things another try. I had spotted a recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit that provided one-stop shopping for brunch: ham and cheese waffles. They combined sweet and savory, protein and carbohydrates, and most importantly, I had all the ingredients in the house between our leftover Easter ham and the buttermilk I used to bake my blogiversary cake earlier this week. I couldn't ask for more.

The waffles turned out crisp yet fluffy, with a nice salty kick from the ham and cheese. I was a little wary of how they would pair with the maple syrup suggested in the recipe, but the combination was spot-on. If you like getting maple syrup on your ham or sausage when you go out for breakfast, it's a safe bet you'll like these waffles.

Most importantly, the cooked waffles released cleanly from the waffle iron, without creating another epic mess. We made these waffles for dinner, and it would have been miserable to spend our evening scraping food debris from our cooking implement. Now that I've gotten a successful batch of waffles under my belt, I'm ready to dust off the waffle iron with a bit more frequency, and explore a variety of conventional and unconventional recipes alike.

Ham and Cheese Waffles
adapted from Bon Appétit

1 3/4 c. flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg whites
3 large egg yolks
1 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup soda water
1 cup thinly-cut strips of ham
3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat waffle iron until very hot. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until medium-soft peaks form. Whisk egg yolks, melted butter, buttermilk, and soda water in a medium bowl; gradually whisk into dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites.
Coat waffle iron with Pam. Pour batter onto iron, spreading it into corners (amount of batter needed will vary according to machine). Scatter 1 rounded Tbsp. ham and 1 Tbsp. white cheddar over each waffle. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet; keep waffles warm in oven between batches. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

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