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Rather than pepper the blog with more Thanksgiving meal ideas, I thought I’d take a page from last year, and toss out a couple ideas for what to do with all of the great leftovers from the feast. I’m a big fan of re-purposing leftover food into totally new meals. I’d like to say that stems from my own creative culinary spirit, but the reality is that I have four boys–have I mentioned that before?–that don’t particularly have a taste for leftovers; no matter how much they loved the dish the first time around.

Besides, re-purposing leftovers makes me feel like a Rock Star. There. I said it.

So when faced with the conundrum of what to do with leftover mashed sweet potatoes, these waffles are the natural choice. Lucky for me my boys will eat anything that serves as a vehicle for maple flavored syrup.

Several months ago, The Happy Housewife posted a recipe for her new favorite waffles, made with whole wheat flour and cornmeal.  That recipe quickly became our new favorite waffle recipe, as well. So this recipe for Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Waffles?  This is my barely adapted version of Happy’s.  Her recipe. I added the sweet potatoes and changed up/explained the method in more depth.

Cool? Good.

The resulting waffles are buttery & crisp on the outside, light & pillowy on the inside. Not to mention they pack a serious nutritive punch with the sweet potato/whole grains combination.

I’d be lying if I told you that my boys cared at all about the nutritive value of their waffles. They just care that these waffles are darn tasty, and that the recipe makes enough that they can toast their own waffles in the toaster the next day, too.  Thus, making a liar out of their mama for saying that they didn’t like leftovers in the first place.

It’s complicated. But this recipe is not.

The necessary supplies: 100% white whole wheat flour, cornmeal, 2 % milk, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, canola oil, warmed mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, and unsalted butter.

Before we start mixing anything, now would be a great time to plug in the waffle iron to preheat. The waffle batter will work for both standard and Belgian style wafflers. Also, set a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet, and put it in the oven. Turn the oven on to the “warm” setting, or about 170° F.

Plop the unsalted butter into a medium sized, microwave safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave set to 50% power–about 2 minutes.

Once the butter is melted, crack in the eggs, and pour in the canola oil.

Then pour in the milk, and add the brown sugar. Whisk the wet stuff until it is good and combined.

Scoop the sweet potatoes into the bowl, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. I find the sweet potatoes to blend more easily if they are slightly warmed before being added to the bowl. Set the wet stuff aside for a few minutes while you tend to the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula until just incorporated.

If you happen to have a large liquid measuring cup with a pour spout, then transfer the batter into that cup.  Transferring the batter to a vessel which pours easily makes it much easier to control the batter.  Although I am usually not in the habit of making more dishes for myself to wash, in this case, I find it makes the whole waffle making process easier. If you don’t have a large liquid measuring cup, then just use a ladle to scoop the batter.

Spray the hot waffle iron well with baking spray.  There is nothing more frustrating than filling the house with the wonderful aroma of fresh waffles, only to have them stick to the waffle iron, and require shredding with a fork to extricate them. Not that I’ve done that a thousand few times, or anything.

Pour enough batter onto the waffle plates to completely fill the cavities when cooking. Sorry folks, but this is a trial-and-error type process.   But if it is any help at all: my Belgian style waffler has four 4 x 4-inch cavities, which hold about 1/4 cup of batter each. That amount of batter leaves about 1/2-inch of free space all around the perimeter before I lower the top plate.

Pouring 1/3 of a cup of batter into each cavity of my waffler results in a slight overflow.  Not a big deal.  Just a big mess.

Cook the waffles until they reach your desired degree of doneness, or according to the manufacturers instructions for your waffler.  I like my waffles to be a deep golden brown, with a crisp outside; in my waffler, that takes exactly 10 minutes per batch.

Now because I like to eat with my family rather than act as a short order cook, I transfer the finished waffles to the prepared baking sheet in the warm oven while I make the rest of them.  Consider it the Waffle Holding Area.

I usually get 3 batches, or 12 waffles out of this recipe. I just keep pouring and transferring until I’ve used all of the batter.

When all of the waffles are done, I spring them from the Waffle Holding Area, and plate ’em up. That way we can all eat hot waffles together.  Which, in my house is kind of the whole point of serving a hot breakfast–family togetherness around the table.

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Waffles

Barely adapted from http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/whole-wheat-corn-waffles/


Makes 12 Waffles

4 C. 2% milk

4 eggs

½ C. unsalted butter, melted

½ C. canola oil

¼ C. brown sugar, packed

3 C. 100% White Whole Wheat flour

1 C. ground cornmeal

2 Tbs. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 C. mashed sweet potatoes, warmed

  1. Preheat the waffle iron. Also preheat the oven to “warm,” or about 170 degrees F. Set a cooling rack onto a rimmed baking sheet, and set it in the oven while it preheats.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter, canola oil, and brown sugar until combined.
  3. Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl; whisking until blended.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
  5. With a wooden spoon, fold in the warm, mashed sweet potatoes and stir until fully incorporated into the batter.
  6. Spray the hot waffle iron with cooking spray, and ladle the batter onto the bottom plate. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions for your waffle maker. (My particular Belgian waffle takes 10 minutes to reach a crispy waffle exterior.)
  7. Once waffles are done to your liking, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet in the warm oven. Setting the waffles onto the cooling rack over the baking sheet will keep them from getting soggy while in the oven.
  8. Continue making waffles, placing finished waffles in the warm oven, until all of the batter has been used.  (My Belgian waffle has four 4 x 4-inch waffle cavities. I have enough batter to fill the plates 3 times, for a total of 12 waffles.)
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. Leftover waffles can be cooled, layered between sheets of waxed paper inside a freezer bag, and frozen. To reheat, pop a frozen waffle into the toaster, just like a store-bought toaster waffle.

Note: This recipe can be halved, with good results.