I don’t know about you, but breakfast at home during the working week is a very hurried affair. A lot of times, it means a cup of coffee or tea on the go, and maybe a yogurt parfait packed the night before. I know breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and during grad school, I was one of those that skipped breakfast routinely as a way to save time, which meant that by 10:30 I was absolutely famished! Somehow, when grad school was over, I started making sure that at least I would pack something for breakfast, even if that meant eating it at the desk, and I found that I did a lot better energy-wise throughout the day, even if breakfast was as simple as an apple, a cup of tea, and some peanut butter. But the real lesson about the importance of breakfast came to me when I went out to brunch.
Here in the Twin Cities, it was the thing to do, a local obsession rivaling hockey, and the hippest meal of the weekend, not just because you can sleep in, and eat with your family or friends’ crew for lunch, but because there are so many wonderful choices in Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Who isn’t into brunch, anyway?) After trying multiple places, we developed our favorites. Dan used to love the fried chicken and savory waffle served at Birchwood Café, a great example of high-quality weekend cuisine right there in the neighborhood, featuring locally-sourced ingredients and cozy flavors. Another of Dan’s favorites was the pork shoulder sandwich at Harriet Brasserie, fusing together Brazilian, French, and American influences in a lot of their menu options, always prepared in a simple yet elegant way. As for me, I used to love going to Barbette in the heart of Uptown, where brunch is served until 4pm, which is perfect for me as a late-morning person (haha). I like everything about Barbette: the laid-back Bohemian ambience, the sinuous shape of the bar, and the mouth-watering French bistro food. My favorite things are the buckwheat strawberry crepe and the roasted Ferndale turkey sandwich. Of course, all of this was before the pandemic struck. Even though since winter 2020, most meals have been at home, I can’t forget the lesson those brunch outings taught me: the importance of eating a delicious, protein-rich dish as the first meal of the day. Armed with a nutritious brunch, pre-pandemic, Dan and I would go on and conquer the day, visiting different local events, art fairs, concerts, or whatever the entertainment fare was for that day, and usually didn’t have to think about eating anything until dinner, which meant more hours of fun. In this way, it dawned on me, no pun intended, that brunch could be the rise of breakfast, combining two meals into one, making this first meal of the day a fun one, and the first highlight of the day. I usually make eggs of some kind: omelets, fried eggs, scrambled eggs. Sometimes there is homemade bread of some kind, like quarkbrotchen, or croissants from Patisserie 46 (I haven’t yet tried making croissants from scratch—it’s on my list!). Icelandic yogurt with fresh fruit is another good option, too. Rashers of bacon and sausage from the co-op are more of a treat for Dan, but not so much for me; and finally, pancakes and waffles are great for special occasions.
These waffles are exactly that: a special food for a special occasion, and they will make all of your brunch dreams come true. The miniature waffle maker was an anniversary gift from Dan, and it has made me an absolute fan of making brunch at home, because who wouldn’t love bunny-shaped waffles, also known as buffles?? It’s for the kid in all of us! I love these miniature bunny-shaped waffles because they are so quick to put together, and you have a bunny-shaped treat in just minutes. Traditional waffles usually contain yeast, but this batter is simplified and has baking powder as the leavening for that fluffy interior. They are light, soft, slightly sweet, buttery, and the fun shape guarantees they will hop out of the plate and into your mouth in no time. They will make you hop out of bed for sure! They are the right kind of sweet and not too heavy and they go great with maple syrup, clouds of whipped cream and fresh fruit, yet also provide a nice, sweet balance if you decide to pair them with savories like bacon, eggs, or fried chicken. Because the recipe is no-fuss and simple, I would try and use high-quality ingredients, particularly the butter and milk, because those flavors will really shine through in the buffles. Even if this recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, it is guaranteed to make your brunch a little bit more special and your weekend a lot more fun. So don’t skip breakfast! You will definitely want to make these waffles every day of the week, but failing that, why not for brunch on the weekend? You know you want to. Hop to it!
“Buffles” (Bunny Waffles)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 4 mins per waffle
Servings: 8 miniature bunnies plus 6 bunny rounds, or 2 adult servings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp melted butter, plus more for coating the waffle iron
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Mix the egg and milk into the melted butter until well-combined.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Strain to remove any clumps.
- Coat the cooking surface of the waffle maker with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
- Pour in 1.5 tbsp to form a bunny, or 3 tbsp to form a round. Close the waffle maker and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes each. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve with whipped cream, Icelandic or Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey if desired, or serve as a side to your protein dish of breakfast sausage, fried chicken, bacon, or eggs.
© 2021 Carol’s Baking Adventures