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The Whole Dish blog: Make waffle-wiches for any meal

Last weekend’s pancakes unexpectedly emerged as waffles.

It wasn’t so much a change of heart on my part as a dual-purpose mix that simply did not work for pancakes. So thin, the batter spread almost entirely across my griddle, making it impossible to produce more than a single, oblong pancake at a time for my family of four. I got out the waffle iron, added an extra egg to the mixture and salvaged the thinner than usual pancake off the griddle and set it aside.

Behind the curve on breakfast, I found myself getting hungry cooking waffles for everyone else. So I returned the failed pancake to the griddle, topped it with a bit of ham and cheese and, once it got gooey, rolled it up and enjoyed an appetizer to chocolate chip waffles.

I just as well could have constructed my sandwich on waffles, a food that’s gaining new exposure in publications, including this season’s Sip & Savor. Read the online version for the story headlined: “Want to make food fun? Waffle it!”

Or try this Tribune News Service recipe any time of day.

Tribune News Service

Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

For maple butter:

1/2 cup softened butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

For buttermilk waffles:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

Generous pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter

For sandwich filling:

6 ounces thinly sliced ham, divided

4 ounces thinly sliced baby Swiss, Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese, divided

Pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat waffle iron.

Combine the butter and maple syrup in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer or by hand until well blended and fluffy. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and a large pinch of salt. Make a well in center and add the beaten egg, buttermilk and oil or melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, mix wet and dry ingredients together until just incorporated. It should be smooth but not overrmixed.

Spray heated waffle iron with a light coat of cooking spray (before the FIRST batch only).

Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into waffle iron and cook until golden brown on both sides, for 2 to 3 minutes. (When steam stops coming out of iron, waffles should be done.) Repeat with remaining batter. (You should get 8 waffles.)

To keep waffles crisp, transfer them to a 250-degree oven after you pull them out of the iron. You also can crisp them up in a toaster.

To compose sandwiches, spread maple butter on 1 side of each of the 4 waffles and place them on plates. Divide the ham and cheese and place on top of each waffle. Cover with a second waffle.

Drizzle maple syrup on top of each sandwich and serve immediately with a knife and fork.

Makes 4 servings.