These Norwegian waffles, or heart waffles, are deliciously buttery and soft and when fresh they have a delectable crisp exterior, perfect with sour cream and strawberry jam! Make sure you make a batch for the Scandinavian Waffle Day on March 25th.
And if you like this type of recipe, I'm confident you would also love these French crêpes, whole wheat banana pancakes, fluffy Japanese pancakes, or double chocolate banana muffins, or for a more crispy choice try these Norwegian krumkake!
March 25th is the Waffle Day in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but really, it should be across the globe. We all want an excuse to make waffles no matter the day of the week.
This day is also the Feast of Annunciation, a day where waffles are commonly consumed. In Christian religion, this day is the day when archangel Gabriel informed virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ. Not sure what that has to do with waffles, but I'll eat them anyway.
How we eat waffles
So, Norwegians don't really eat waffles for breakfast. You can of course, I won't judge. It's more like a mid-day coffee treat like a coffee cake. Not quite dessert, but not quite breakfast either, you know?
It is also a very popular treat on kids' sporting events, large conferences and pretty much anything in-between.
Have you heard the term "dugnad" before? It can be confusing for foreigners to understand the concept, but it's common if you live for example in an apartment building to have a day of the month or year or whatever where everyone in the building helps out on a communal thing.
It can be gardening, cleaning, or other random stuff. But it's also common that parents have dugnad to raise money for their kids' school trips, sport teams or something like it.
And what do we do on these dugnad days? Some always serve waffles! And coffee, got to have that coffee too.
Pantry staples are all you need to make these delicious treats!
- All purpose flour: It wouldn't be the same with oats or whole wheat, making it a denser waffle. However, I guess it would be a good substitute for a healthier choice. That being said, if that is the case I would rather make these whole wheat lemon ricotta pancakes.
- Baking powder: Gives the waffles a delicious rise and a beautiful browning.
- Butter: isn't butter just the best thing? The flavor is impeccable, but if you don't have it you can use a neutral oil instead, that will make them lighter and airier.
- Milk: I use 1% fat, but you can use whatever you have. If you decide to use plant milk, remember that that will alter the flavor of the waffles.
- Eggs: provide tenderness and structure. Not easy to substitute for a vegan option, I'm afraid. You can try flax eggs, but I have not tried this.
- Sugar: with eggs give the structure, but also of course the sweetness of the dessert. If you want more of a caramely flavor, you can use brown sugar.
- Vanilla: either pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder for that extra flavor profile. Can be omitted if you want!
Heart shaped waffle maker
In order to make these Norwegian waffles, you will need a heart shaped waffle maker. I know, I hate to tell you to get another appliance, but honestly, if you only knew how delicious these waffles are, you wouldn't question it!
I really love my Wilfa waffle iron, the WAS-623-BELL. It's like $65, but it wasn't easy to find it on US Amazon. My waffle maker is 1400W, and the closest I could find is this 1000W Cucina Pro waffle maker (these are not affiliate links by the way!).
In my waffle maker, these waffles take 1 minute and 30 seconds to brown to perfection, however it will probably take longer in the Cucina Pro, but it should still work! Making waffles require some trial and error anyway, so on the second waffle you will know how long yours need.
What to put on Norwegian waffles
So to me, there are three answers to this question:
- When they are right out of the waffle iron, only butter is enough. That salty butter is just perfection with crispy, yet also soft waffles.
- However, the perfection on steroid is to add butter, then a dollop of strawberry jam and another with sour cream. AMAZING and 100% my preferred way.
- The next day, when they are more soft and not as fresh, butter and brown cheese is really good. Not sure what brown cheese is? Read more about it in my classic sweet buns recipe!
They are definitely best right out of the waffle maker. That does not mean they can't be stored. I only keep them wrapped up in a kitchen towel, good for 1-2 days, and ok for another day. However, I stress that you will not get that slight crisp exterior which they get immediately after cooking.
The next day I nuke them in the microwave for just 15 seconds to re-heat! They will then get soft. If you want a slight crisp, try the toaster instead. But you can also eat them cold.
You can also just make the waffles you need that day, and keep the batter in a bowl with a tight lid in the fridge for about 3 days (however, I know my Dad has had a batter for longer than that and I honestly couldn't tell any difference). The batter can also be frozen, but remember that liquid expands when frozen so keep ample space in the bottle or container!
How to make the batter
Start by melting the butter and let it cool while you prepare the rest. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together for a couple of minutes using a handheld mixer or stand mixer (high speed). You don't need that super white and fluffy consistency, just enough for a few air bubbles to appear (1).
Add in the milk and pure vanilla extract and whisk until just combined (2-3). Reduce to low speed and then add in the baking powder (and vanilla bean powder if you use that) and a third of the flour (4).
Slowly mix until you no longer see bits of flour, then add another third of the flour. Continue until all flour is used, but do not mix more than necessary (5).
At the end, stir or slowly whisk in the melted butter (6). Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes (svelle in Norwegian) (7-8), so that the flour gets a chance to bind to the liquid of the batter. This ensures that the waffles are easier to make and they become airier.
Using the waffle iron
When it's time to make the waffles (or do we say cook?), make sure the waffle iron is on maximum heat and that it has been heating for a couple of minutes (1).
Before you add the first scoop of batter, add a touch of butter or cooking spray. Depending on your iron, you will need roughly ½ cup of batter (125 ml) for one waffle. In mine it was a little over (making 13 waffles)(2).
Close the lid and let them cook undisturbed for 1 ½ minutes (3). This will depend on your iron too, and you will need some trial and error. Most likely you will not need less than this, and probably around 2 minutes (mine are cooked at 1 ½).
Slowly open the lid. If they stick to both parts of the iron, close it again and cook for another 30 seconds. It will let go of the top when it's ready. Sometimes you may need to help it off a little with a butter knife or fork (then you should butter the iron again).
Lift the waffle out of the iron using a fork or a knife (4) and place on a cooling rack, in one layer if you want them crisp. If you stack them, they will become soft. And if you add a towel on top to keep them warm, they will become soft. Soft is totally ok too, it depends on preference!
You may need to add butter to the iron between every 2nd or 3rd waffle. Serve as mentioned above with butter, strawberry jam and sour cream. Enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more brunch dishes I think you would like:
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