Cornmeal Waffles With Banana Bourbon Syrup

DSC04629I recently received a gift of a new Belgian waffle maker, and couldn’t wait to give it a test drive to make these waffles using a recipe I’d been saving since last spring. The recipe is from Melissa Clark of The New York Times. She’s one of my all-time favorite recipe authors. Speaking of the Times, have you seen their new cooking site—Cooking? It’s an incredible resource for searching years of recipes from the Times (more than 16,000), watching how-to cooking videos, etc. But back to the waffles—they are decadent and delicious. Bananas and bourbon are definitely a winning combination. This breakfast might need to become part of my routine on Derby day.

Cornmeal Waffles With Bourbon Syrup (from Melissa Clark via The New York Times)

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for waffle iron
1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 tablespoons bourbon
½ cup maple syrup
50 grams toasted chopped pecans (1/2 cup), optional
160 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
100 grams finely ground cornmeal (3/4 cup)
15 grams sugar (1 tablespoon)
8 grams baking powder (1 teaspoon)
5 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
3 grams baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, separated

Melt 5 tablespoons butter either on the stove or in the microwave. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter until foam subsides. Add bananas in a single layer. Cook, without moving, until undersides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes; flip and brown other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl.

Add bourbon to pan and let simmer until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Pour in syrup and nuts; simmer until just heated through. Pour syrup onto the bananas and cover to keep warm (or reheat just before serving).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream or yogurt, milk, melted butter and egg yolks. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Immediately fold into batter.

Heat a waffle iron and, using a pastry brush or paper towel, lightly coat with melted butter. Cook waffles (using about 1/2 cup batter per waffle) until golden and crisp. Butter the iron in between batches as needed. Serve waffles immediately as they are ready, or keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Serve with banana syrup on top.

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