Gluten-Free Almond Waffles

A waffle for everyone
We invited some friends over for brunch over the weekend who are fish-eating vegetarians with a child who has Celiac disease and is on a gluten-free diet. My husband T doesn’t eat any dairy products, and my own kids want nothing but pancakes and bacon for breakfast on Sunday mornings.

What to do? Trying to find the perfect menu on occasions like this is challenging, to say the least.

But I take it on with relish (no, not the kind with pickles). Figuring out the right formula of foods that will please everyone can be like solving an intricate puzzle, kind of like completing the Sunday New York Times crossword. Not that I ever attempt crosswords; my own problem-solving skills come directly from the right side of my brain.

I felt satisfied with my choice to make Belgian waffles, because everyone likes them, but I needed to make them acceptable to those avoiding wheat and dairy.

Because I’m now in the business of cooking for people, (look at my new DinnerStyle website!) catering to each of their personal dietary needs, restrictions and desires is also my business. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to test a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free waffles.

Fellow blogger Sheltie Girl at Gluten A Go Go recently posted a recipe for hazelnut waffles that looked delicious – I decided to give them a whirl.

I ended up playing with the recipe quite a bit (which always manages to drive T a little crazy – he’s a left-brained instruction-follower sort of guy), because I didn’t have exactly the ingredients that Sheltie Girl calls for in her recipe.

There was a spine-tingling moment just minutes before our guests arrived when I thought the experiment was a dud – I was this close to sending T out for bagels, but the batter came together and baked up into big, beautiful waffles with a crisp outside and tender inside. Success!

I served them with warm maple syrup and a big bowl of fresh fruit.

Gluten-Free Almond Waffles

Makes about 6 Belgian-style waffles

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup almond flour or meal
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat waffle iron to medium-high and spray with nonstick spray if necessary.

Mix flours, flaxseed, baking powder, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Stir in the egg yolks, soy milk, oil and extracts and whisk until smooth. Let batter stand 5 minutes to allow flaxseed to gel.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer or with the whisk attachment of an immersion blender (my favorite method for beating small amounts of egg whites) until soft peaks form; fold egg whites evenly into batter.

Pour batter onto waffle iron and bake about 5 minutes, or until steaming stops. Remove waffle carefully and transfer to a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven to keep warm.

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