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Liege Sugar Waffles with Pearl Sugar

Serves Makes about 4 7-inch round waffles     adjust servings

Liege waffles are yeast waffles that are studded with pearl sugar. Pearl sugar is basically a small sugar cube that holds its shape as the waffles cooks, leaving you with gloriously crunchy bites of sugar. They are a seriously delicious treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water (105 F)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup pearl sugar *

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of yeast. Turn on your faucet and let the water get nice and warm, but not hot to the touch. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and the salt. Stir and then set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the spooned and leveled flour into the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, pour into the well and mix with the paddle. (Or a sturdy spoon). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.
  4. Pour in the melted butter with the mixer on, or while stirring. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. The batter should be thick and very sticky. It also is lumpy. This is not the kind of waffle where you want to barely combine everything--you want to beat it up pretty good, but there will still be some lumps, which is great.
  5. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes. Fire up the waffle iron. (Use a Belgian waffle maker. The pearl sugar won't have as much of a chance to shine in a regular waffle iron.)
  6. Spoon a 2-inch ball of dough into each segment of your waffle iron. Spread it out a bit, the dough is so thick that it needs some help. Waffles will take about 3 to 5 minutes to bake. They are pretty forgiving. Just make sure you don't burn them. They should be a caramely brown on top. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream!

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