This evening I needed to make a béchamel for my Thanksgiving mac & cheese, but instead I got carried off to Waffletown.
Rockford got a waffle maker a few months ago, and ever since he ordered it I’ve been making a mental note of all the amazing things one can do with a waffle maker. The Food Network says you can make pretty much anything in a waffle maker. Epicurious says you can put pretty much anything in a waffle. And Pillsbury says “Hey, lazy, just open a can and make a delicious cinnamon waffle. And I believed them. I believed them all. (Except for the bibimbap one. No way does that work.)
Since I was going to be busy with Thanksgiving prep tonight, Rockford volunteered to make breakfast for dinner, which ever since the waffle maker arrived means waffles. I knew I had puff pastry in the freezer for just this sort of evening, and then I discovered that I also had a can of cinnamon buns. It was clearly a sign, so I sloughed off my mac-n-cheese duties and started a kitchen experiment.
The first thing we tried were the Cinnamon Bun Waffles. They were OK. They would’ve been better if the cinnamon rolls weren’t basically just biscuits with cinnamon chips. The cinnamon bits burnt and left rather unsavory burnt bits behind.
After that we moved on to the Puffle. The Puffle, sayeth Epicurious, can be loaded up with anything your heart desires. Ham and cheese? Puffle it! S’mores? Puffle it! PB&J? Puffle it! So I rolled out my puff pastry and cut it to fit, and I loaded it up with Trader Joe’s cookie butter and cocoa swirl. And when I say “loaded it up,” I mean I didn’t put very much in, because I didn’t want it to leak.
But leak it did.
The puff pastry waffle was crispy and light, but its filling leaked all over the waffle maker and made an oily, unholy mess. I cleaned it out the best I could and moved on to the Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Having learned my gluttonous lesson, I put even less filling in this one. I also pinched the edges together with extra pinchocity. I was sure there wouldn’t be a leak this time.
But leak it did.
In just under 3 minutes, the scent of burnt jam began wafting through the kitchen. I removed the offending puffle and cast it aside.
And then I came here to my computer to write this report, with nothing to show for my evening but a Rather Impressive Mess, a pile of burnt waffles and zero béchamel.
So look on me, mighty, and despair: The waffle maker is a powerful tool — but use it wisely, lest you find yourself peeling burnt jam off its grid.