You may have noticed that here at SE we've become a wee bit obsessed with waffling. You read that right—waffling, not waffles. As in the act of putting an object in a waffle maker, clamping down the top, and blasting the heat. Almost anything that might fit in the waffle machine, we've given a go. (You can see some here in our handy tag, Will it Waffle?)
But that doesn't mean we don't love waffles in their classic iteration: i.e. the sweet breakfast treat made from a quick batter made with flour, sugar, and eggs. If you're looking to make them more interesting, try out some new toppings (I hate to admit it but even delicious, pure maple syrup can get old). From spicy caramel to seasonal fruit preserves, here are some favorites.
Pear Cardamom Caramel: This caramel, folded with cooked down pears, has a lush, fudgy texture. Ginger and cardamom lend their herbaceous, spicy flavors which, alongside a generous pinch of salt, make for a sophisticated sweet.
Spicy Tamarind Caramel: This caramel pairs tangy tamarind with sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper for a twist on flavors found in tamarind candies from Thailand and Central America.
Dulce de Leche: This Latin American sauce is made by caramelizing sweetened condensed milk. It's so good you might want to eat it by the spoonful, but save some for your waffles, too.
Other Sweet Sauces
Speculoos Spread: Traditional spiced Belgian speculoos cookies are turned into a dangerously addictive sweet spread. (Yeah, we're topping our waffles with cookies and we're loving it.)
Apple Butter: This basic fruit butter recipe that will work with apples, stone fruits, or pears.
Chocolate Pear Jam: This jam would make even rice cakes taste like an indulgent treat, but the combination of rich chocolate, juicy pear, and nutty almond, really elevates plain waffles. Also, it's not as thick as Nutella, making it easier to spread.
Raspberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam: Crystallized ginger melts into this tart raspberry-rhubarb jam, providing unexpected hints of heat and spice. The flavors are big and bold, so it works well with the plain waffle base.
Raspberry Lime Chia Jam: A bright, sweet, quick jam to brighten your morning, and add a little nutritional boost.
Pear and Ginger Preserves: Sweet pears partner with spicy ginger to create a preserve that will liven up your waffles. We also like how it's just chunky enough to add texture and get caught in the waffle's nooks and crannies.
Blueberry Peach Jam: When summer's here, we're all about this preserve, which yields a velvety purple spread punctuated with softened blueberries.
Bourbon Peach Jam: This simple jam is full of ripe, fresh peach flavor with hints of bourbon, cinnamon, and vanilla. On waffles, it's a great addition to your boozy brunch.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios