Yeasted Pumpkin Waffles with Sage Maple Butter

Pumpkin Waffles with Sage Maple Butter | Will Cook For Friends

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it seems there are two camps of people — those who eat leading up to the meal, and those who fast in preparation for the feast ahead.

I used be in the latter category, because, frankly, I wanted to cram as much stuffing and gravy into my pie hole (and pie, of course) as possible. The issue was, I would get really hungry, and then eat way too fast and way too much (even by my standards), which leads to feeling bloated and uncomfortable for the whole rest of the evening. If you’ve ever glanced hastily around a room to see if anyone will notice if you unbutton your pants, you know what I’m talking about.

Pumpkin Waffles with Sage Maple Butter | Will Cook For Friends

Now I take a different approach. I like to eat light leading up to the meal, with a moderate enough breakfast to get me through until turkey time. The thing is, Thanksgiving morning isn’t very conducive to cooking oneself breakfast. There’s enough going on in the kitchen already!

That’s where these waffles come into play. The batter is quick and easy to make the night before, so in the morning the only dishes you dirty are the waffle iron and your plate. In the time it takes to make a cup of coffee, the first waffles should be ready to eat.

Light and crispy outside, warm and tender inside… mmm!

These waffles are plenty filling, and on the day of the feast I find just a couple small ones is plenty. The recipe makes enough to feed four on any regular day, or more when everyone’s saving room for later.

Pumpkin Waffles with Sage Maple Butter | Will Cook For Friends

If nothing else this Thanksgiving, I urge you to make this Sage Maple Butter. It has this whole sweet and savory thing going on, which adds a unique element to these waffles. Just a small smear is enough to take them from average to over-the-top!

It would also be perfect on sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, in stuffing… or simply spread on toast, if you aren’t up for the whole making waffles thing.

So, what about you — do you like to eat Thanksgiving morning, or hold off until the big meal? Let me know in the comments!

Whipped Sage Maple Butter
Makes 8 TBSP – easily doubled or tripled

4oz. (1 stick, or 8 TBSP) unsalted butter, very soft*
2 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 tsp. fresh sage, finely chopped (about 4-6 leaves)
small pinch of salt

*I suggest using a European style butter for this, as they tend to have better flavor

1.   Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat thoroughly, until the butter is smooth and fluffy.
2.   Taste (having a piece of toast handy helps) and adjust the amount of maple syrup and salt, if necessary.
3.   Scrape the butter into a small bowl or ramekin, and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight, to let the flavors develop before using. Butter can be stored in the fridge for up to several weeks. Alternatively, scrape the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll tightly into a log. Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before using. Unwrap from the plastic wrap, and the butter can be easily sliced into pats.

Yeasted Pumpkin Waffles
Makes about 4 servings

4 TBSP unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk, warm (about 115 degrees F)
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
4 TBSP dark brown sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2-3/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)

Sage Maple Butter, real maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon, for serving

1.   In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 3-4 minutes, swirling the pan frequently, until it has become frothy, golden-brown, and smells nutty. You will notice small brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to cook the butter too long, or else it will burn and become bitter. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. (For a better visual on how to make browned butter, click here)
2.   In a large bowl, combine the warm milk, yeast, and granulated sugar. Be sure the milk is warm, but not hot — if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast has become bubbly / foamy.
3.   In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, spices, and salt (do not add the baking soda). Set aside.
4.   To the bowl with the yeast mixture, add the cooled brown butter, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
5.   Stir in the flour mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to make the waffles…
1.   Preheat your waffle iron. You may also want to turn your oven on to 200f., so you have a warm place to keep the waffles until you are ready to serve them.
2.   Remove the waffle batter from the fridge, and mix in the baking soda, and toasted nuts, if using.
3.   Brush the waffle iron with melted butter, and pour in 1/4 – 3/4 cup of batter (depending on the size of your iron). I like to use an ice cream scoop to make things easy.
4.   Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions, or to desired doneness. Keep cooked waffles on a wire rack in a warm oven until ready to serve. Serve with a small smear of maple butter, real maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!


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20 Responses to Yeasted Pumpkin Waffles with Sage Maple Butter

  1. Hari Chandana November 27, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Looks absolutely perfect and delicious.. gorgeous clicks too :)

  2. mimi rippee November 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! And great photos, too!

  3. Amy @ Elephant Eats November 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Haha, i totally unbutton my pants at the end of the meal- no shame! I do the same as you do now…eat a sensible breakfast and lunch, and then I try not to overdo the meal itself, knowing there will most likely be leftovers so I can have whatever i missed the next day. That sage butter sounds insane and these just look really amazing in general. Love the shot of the syrup pouring! :) Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    • Willow Arlen December 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Heheh, glad to hear I’m not alone, Amy! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Mallory Frayn November 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving. I love adding the savoury aspect to these waffles by putting sage in the butter!

  5. movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Basically, I don’t button my pants anymore. Believe me, it solves a lot of problems…

  6. Grandbabycakes December 1, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    These waffles might truly change my life!

  7. RawInTheMiddle December 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Yum, yum, yum. Gorgeous photos, too.

  8. Gintare @Gourmantine December 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I love the whole sweet and savory thing going on in that butter, it would work so well in many other recipes, seriously countless possibilities!

  9. Erin | The Law Students Wife December 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I’ve only attempted yeasted waffles once, and it was a disaster! I think I need to try your version instead. Love that they are pumpkin and whole wheat too!

  10. shannon weber December 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    you make waffles how i make waffles! meaning, smaller so they don’t fill up the entire square. i LOVE that. :) i’ve never made a yeasted waffle, let alone a pumpkin one, but i really would like to: it’s on my list of winter breakfast experiments. and the sage maple butter? girl, please. YES. i love sweet/savory things.

    • Willow Arlen December 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      You know, it’s weird… I don’t like the shape of square waffles. If I had a round waffle iron, I would probably fill it all the way to the edges (maybe not all the time, but most of the time). I don’t know why, but I just prefer the ragged edges of not-quite filled ones instead of square. *shrug*
      Here’s to not-quite-filling the waffle iron!

  11. Laura Dembowski December 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Yeast waffles with pumpkin? I’m so in! Love the hit of flavor with the butter too!

  12. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes December 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Oh man these are so beautiful! We like to eat a light breakfast in the morning too, typically vegan “egg” sammies – super easy and quick with minimal cleanup…..I still tend to eat waaaay to much and stuff myself- my secret is stretchy pants or leggings and an over sized sweater/flowy shirt, no worries on having to unbutton the jeans!

  13. Sab December 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    I love this all!! The pictures and taste idea. One question…what waffle iron did you use?

    • Willow Arlen December 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Thanks, Sab! The waffle iron I have is an old villaware (the specific one isn’t available anymore). They’re newer ones have decent reviews, though!


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