Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Cornmeal Waffles
Photographer: Iain Bagwell, Food Stylist: Erin Merhar, Prop Stylist: Mindi Shapiro
Yields5 ServingsCook Time45 mins
AuthorTanya Holland

These light, crisp, nubbly-textured waffles, by themselves or with fried chicken, are a mainstay on the menu at Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen. Chef Tanya Holland, fresh off Season 15 of Top Chef, shared the recipe with us, along with her famous apple cider syrup (adapted here from (Chronicle Books, 2014). She threw in a couple of extra toppings, just to be nice.

How to Make It

Waffles
1

Sprinkle active dry yeast over 6 tbsp. warm water (120°). Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2

Whisk cornmeal with flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk to­gether egg, egg white, and milk; then whisk in yeast mixture. Gradually whisk in dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Whisk in butter until just combined. Chill batter overnight.

3

Heat oven to 250°. Heat a waffle iron and brush with vegetable oil.<

4

Whisk baking soda into batter, then cook waffles ac­ cording to your iron’s instruc­tions. Set wire racks over 2 baking sheets. Transfer waffles to baking sheets as they’re done and put in oven to crisp and keep warm.

Apple Cider Syrup
5

In a 10-in.-wide pot, bring brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, cinnamon stick, and 2 tbsp. salted butter to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until just starting to foam and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard cinnamon and serve warm.

Rosé-Steeped Strawberries with Vanilla Whipped Cream
6

Slice strawberries into thin wedges and gently mix with 3 tbsp. sugar. Let sit 10 to 30 minutes, then pour in rosé. Let sit 10 minutes, then strain juices into a saucepan and reduce over medium heat until deep pink, slightly syrupy, and flavorful (4 to 7 minutes). Let syrup cool, then pour over strawberries.

7

For the cream, whip cream with remaining 1 tbsp. sugar and the vanilla extract.

8

Spoon strawberries and syrup onto waffles, pancakes, French toast, or crêpes and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.

Praline Bourbon Bacon Syrup
9

Simmer brown sugar with 2/3 cup water until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pecans, and bacon. Stir in a splash of bourbon if you like, and serve warm.

Ingredients

Waffles
 1 tsp active-dry yeast
 ½ cup medium-grind cornmeal
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 ¾ tsp each kosher salt and sugar
 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
 1 ½ cups whole milk
 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
 Vegetable oil for the waffle iron
 ¼ tsp baking soda
Apple Cider Syrup Topping
 ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
 2 cups apple cider, preferably unfiltered
 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
 2 tbsp salted butter
Rosé-Steeped Strawberries with Vanilla Whipped Cream Topping
 1 lb strawberries, stemmed
 ¼ cup sugar, divided
 1 cup dry rosé
 ½ cup whipping cream
 1 tbsp sugar
 1 tsp vanilla extract
Praline Bourbon Bacon Syrup Topping
 1 cup dark brown sugar
 1 tsp lemon juice
 ½ cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans
 ½ cup crisp-fried diced bacon (from 6 oz. raw diced bacon)
 1 tbsp bourbon (optional)

Directions

Waffles
1

Sprinkle active dry yeast over 6 tbsp. warm water (120°). Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2

Whisk cornmeal with flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk to­gether egg, egg white, and milk; then whisk in yeast mixture. Gradually whisk in dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Whisk in butter until just combined. Chill batter overnight.

3

Heat oven to 250°. Heat a waffle iron and brush with vegetable oil.<

4

Whisk baking soda into batter, then cook waffles ac­ cording to your iron’s instruc­tions. Set wire racks over 2 baking sheets. Transfer waffles to baking sheets as they’re done and put in oven to crisp and keep warm.

Apple Cider Syrup
5

In a 10-in.-wide pot, bring brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, cinnamon stick, and 2 tbsp. salted butter to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until just starting to foam and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard cinnamon and serve warm.

Rosé-Steeped Strawberries with Vanilla Whipped Cream
6

Slice strawberries into thin wedges and gently mix with 3 tbsp. sugar. Let sit 10 to 30 minutes, then pour in rosé. Let sit 10 minutes, then strain juices into a saucepan and reduce over medium heat until deep pink, slightly syrupy, and flavorful (4 to 7 minutes). Let syrup cool, then pour over strawberries.

7

For the cream, whip cream with remaining 1 tbsp. sugar and the vanilla extract.

8

Spoon strawberries and syrup onto waffles, pancakes, French toast, or crêpes and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.

Praline Bourbon Bacon Syrup
9

Simmer brown sugar with 2/3 cup water until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pecans, and bacon. Stir in a splash of bourbon if you like, and serve warm.

Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Cornmeal Waffles, with Three Toppings
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