A waffle iron is handy, as you can whip up a fresh batch of homemade waffles any time you want. And if you’re feeling creative, you can toss in various fruits, chocolate or nuts into your waffle batter to spice things up. But did you know that a waffle iron can do much more? This useful kitchen tool can grill up a cheeseburger, bake cookies and even soft pretzels. Check out our top three picks for non-waffle recipes using your waffle maker.
Ham and Cheese Panini (adapted from Foodie with Family)
2 slices of sturdy bread
1 tablespoon softened butter
6 thin slices deli ham
2 thin slices provolone cheese
1 fistful baby arugula
Thin slices sweet onion, to taste
Dijon mustard, to taste
Mayonnaise, to taste
Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the Dijon and mayonnaise on one piece of bread, and then arrange three pieces of ham on the bread, as well as one piece of cheese. Add half of the arugula, last piece of cheese and the remaining three slices of ham. On the remaining piece of bread, spread more Dijon and mayonnaise and then top the sandwich. Butter the top of the bread.
Hold the sandwich together and carefully invert it onto the waffle iron so the buttered top is facing down on the iron. Quickly butter the other piece of bread and close the waffle iron. Toast the sandwich until it has a panini appearance and the outside is crispy with a golden brown color. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully remove the sandwich from the waffle iron.
S’moreffles (adapted from Waffleizer)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, chilled
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the butter and rub together until the ingredients are coarsely mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, honey and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients until a dough forms. If it looks like there’s too much liquid, slowly add in more flour, up to a half cup. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least two hours.
Preheat your waffle iron. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut the dough into squares, about 4 inches on each side. Add each square of dough to the iron, and cook for three minutes. Set aside the waffled graham crackers.
To make s’mores, place one waffled graham cracker onto the waffle iron, and top with chocolate and marshmallows. Place another waffled graham cracker on top, and then close the waffle iron to allow the heat to melt the chocolate and marshmallows, about one minute.
Calzone (adapted from Rachael Ray)
1 cup fresh ricotta
Handful of parsley, chopped
Handful of basil, chopped
½ cup provolone cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 round pizza dough
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high heat. Mix together ricotta cheese, parsley, basil, provolone, garlic, salt, pepper and a little olive oil together in a bowl. Split the pizza dough in half, and roll into an 8-inch round. Spread half of the cheese mixture all over the dough, leaving about a ½ inch border. Lay a few slices of mozzarella across one side. Rub water around the edge of the dough, and fold the dough over and crimp the edges.
Lay the calzone in the waffle iron and gently close it. Do not apply pressure, and let the calzone cook until the crust turns brown.
Repeat the above steps for the other half of the pizza dough. Serve with marinara sauce.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/RonBailey