The most requested weekend breakfast item in my house in the past few weeks has undoubtedly been waffles. After months of not pulling out the waffle irons (I have a standard and a Belgian), I craved the crunchy edges only a waffle can deliver. Turns out the kids craved it, too! This recipe is a family favorite. I remember when I was photographing the waffles, I had to hold back the family from grabbing them. I don’t blame them. You definitely want to eat these hot out of the waffle iron when the cheese is still warm and gooey. You may even want to have enough ingredients on hand for a double batch. These savory waffles make for great sandwich bread, too, especially if you cook them in a standard waffle iron.
So where did the idea of putting the flavors of jalapeño poppers in my waffles come from? That’s easy. I’ve had an addiction ever since I bit into my first jalapeño popper at college-town diner in New Paltz. To get that crunchy coating, I just sprinkle the batter with rice cereal crumbs before closing the waffle iron. In just minutes, I get the subtle spice from the jalapeños and melty pockets of cheese.
4 ounces cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, cut or torn into small pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or dairy-free cheddar-style cheese, plus more for sprinkling
3 medium jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 cup gluten-free rice cereal, finely crushed, for sprinkling
Generously grease a Belgian waffle iron with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the pancake mix, salt, milk, oil, egg and cream cheese. Fold in ½ cup of the cheddar cheese and the jalapeño; stir until blended.
Preheat a Belgian waffle iron to medium-high heat. Pour a heaping 1/3 cup batter into each waffle iron square. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon cereal crumbs and cook until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, cheese and cereal crumbs.