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Gatherings: All Kinds of Pecan Waffles and Wine Smoothies

Pecan waffles with salted caramel bananas

Weekends are made for waffles, don’t you think? And brunch is one of my favourite reasons to gather; I like doing it at home even better than going out. You get to stay in your PJs – or upgrade to yoga pants – and woolly socks, and lounge about with whomever you feel like being with first thing in the late morning. I find it almost impossible to not make waffles; the plain kind are fine, but this past weekend I upgraded ours with toasted pecans, and then started playing around with fillings and sauteed bananas and salted caramel. There are so many ways to dress up a waffle. And since you have to cook them one at a time anyway, it makes sense to accessorize them as you go – and giving everyone a little something to do in the kitchen somehow makes a party more fun. After all, they’re going to be in there anyway.

Waffle ingredients Collage

So I mixed up a bowl of the most basic waffle batter, then started playing with it – I stirred in a pile of roughly chopped, toasted pecans, which suspended themselves perfectly without sinking to the bottom. Those were divine on their own, with butter and maple syrup. But hey, it’s Sunday morning – why not add more bling? Raspberries and blueberries get on just fine with pecans.

Pecan waffles with raspberries
Pecan waffles with blueberries 1

Generally I toss a handful of fresh berries on top of a freshly cooked waffle; this time I called on my freezer stores and tried scattering frozen berries over the batter before cooking it, hoping they wouldn’t stick but fully expecting them to. They didn’t.

Pecan waffles with blueberries 3
Pecan waffles with blueberries 4

In fact, they wound up inside the waffle. They didn’t look like much – the berries being in the middle and all – but the waffles wound up tasting sort of like blueberry cobbler. Better than blueberry pancakes even, with their crispy exterior, crunchy pecans and warm, juicy middles.

Pecan waffles with blueberries 2

Some days some sort of cocktail is in order. The great thing about bellinis (read: wine smoothies) is that you can make boozy ones for the grown-ups and non for any kids hanging around.

Bellinis 1

Shake a bag of frozen fruit – peaches, mango, berries, what-have-you – into a food processor and blitz until smooth with a big splash of apple or orange juice. (I started on straight mango, then decided to add raspberries to the mix.) Spoon the slushy puree into glasses and top with bubbly anything – prosecco, moscato, ginger ale – and then add a blop of yogurt and a banana to what’s left and pulse it into smoothies for the kids. Weekend mornings, I tell ya.

Bellini Collage

And then it got really fun. I caramelized some bananas – you do this by slicing one into a pan and adding equal blops of butter, brown sugar and Rogers’ golden syrup, then bringing it to a simmer until it turns thick and caramel-like. You can’t mess this up – it’s butter and sugar, after all. The syrup keeps it from turning into candy, unless you leave it on the stove and go check Pinterest.

caramelized bananas 1
caramelized bananas 2

Waffles with Salted Caramel Bananas 2

There are plenty of waffle recipes that call for the separating of eggs and whipping of whites – something I rarely have the gumption to do first thing in the morning. This is not one of them. It’s the most basic stir-together waffle batter you’ll find; you can use it as a blank canvas and customize them at will: add chopped toasted pecans, or cooked and crumbled bacon, or a handful of cheese, or a shake of cornmeal, or berries, or whatever you feel like.

Or whatever your friends feel like, as the morning goes.

Pecan waffles with salted caramel bananas
Pecan waffles with salted caramel bananas

Simple Waffle Batter

Recipe link

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March 27, 2013

adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman

  • Makes: Makes about 8 big waffles.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup milk

2 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)


1In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, oil or butter and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Stir in the pecans, if you're using them.

2Preheat your waffle iron and spray it with nonstick spray or brush it with oil. Ladle in some batter - about 1/2 cup, or however much you usually cook at a time, close the lid and cook according to the manufacturer's directions, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately, or keep warm on a rack set on a baking sheet in a 250F oven while you cook the rest.

Makes: Makes about 8 big waffles.

For this months’ Gatherings post, Jan did a Hash Brown Quiche with Caramelized Onions and Baby Spinach and all the spring trimmings – another delicious way to do brunch!


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12 comments on “Gatherings: All Kinds of Pecan Waffles and Wine Smoothies

  1. Robin
    March 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This is happening this weekend! Especially the bananas…yum

  2. Kathy @ Painlessly Delicious
    March 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

    …unless you go check Pinterest… I laughed when I read this as I frequently leave something on the stove to go do something else..sometimes w/ disastrous consequences to whatever’s on the stove. But at least I haven’t burned the house down yet!

  3. Sue.D
    March 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Ok – love all the food (caramel! waffles! TOGETHER!!!).

    But my favourite thing in this post is your photo of the tulips. Bloody marvelous. I want spring.

  4. Vivian
    March 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    But Julie, ever since you passed on the recipe for “Waffles of Insane Greatness” I have never waivered! The cornstarch just adds that perfect “insane” crunch! They NEVER get soggy. They take on any kind of addition and garner rave reviews every time. Now I must try them with caramelized bananas…cranberries, maybe even savoury with sundried tomatoes and bacon.

  5. Joanne
    March 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    OK, I really need to buy a waffle iron. Whatever happened to “Free Stuff?” nudge nudge, wink wink!

  6. liz
    March 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I need to get a waffle maker, any suggestions???? What do you use?? What kind do others have??

    • Julie
      March 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Liz – you know, I’ve been as happy with inexpensive (like $40) waffle irons as I have been using other peoples’ $200+ irons – in fact I spent more on one once and wound up going back to my cheap one! I’m not at home right now so can’t check the brand, but will as soon as I get back to Calgary!

  7. Vivian
    March 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve found the little cheapies work just as well as the high-end models…after all its just a heating element and a couple of patterned plattens…

  8. bail
    April 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Which was both attention-grabbing at the same time as insightful!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  9. www.eriksentrust.co.za
    June 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    nutella per tablespoon

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