Crispy Homemade Waffles aka My Graceland Waffles

waffle recipe

Bookmark this page for Sunday morning because I know you're going to want to whip up a batch of these crispy homemade waffles!
I wish I had a perfectly crafted end result photo of these waffles for you but I don't because as soon as they hit the table, they were gobbled up. You see, waffles are big in my house. It all started almost 15 years ago on a trip we took with our boys to Memphis, TN. What does waffles have to do with a trip to Tennessee?

Well it goes like this - We took our boys aged 4 and 1 on a road trip to Tennessee for March Break. We left the Smoky Mountains after a few days and we were supposed to stay the night in Nashville. This was back before the days of organizing your entire trip online. There was still a bit of "book and hope for the best" going on in the travel world. Well, the hotel we booked for Nashville turned out to be on the wrong side of town and the hotel was scary. Like there were five or more deadbolts on our hotel room door and an abandoned house next door was on fire.

Also, the entire hotel and parking lot was fenced in razor wire. I'm telling you, it was scary. With no plan and no cell phone to help find another hotel, we left the hotel without a refund and continued driving to Memphis. The plan had always been that we'd stay in Nashville for a day and then head to Memphis for two but that experience just put us off finding anything else in Nashville, we hoped we'd have better luck in Memphis finding a replacement hotel.

We had really wanted to stay at the Heartbreak Hotel since we were headed to Memphis to visit Graceland (we're huge fans of Elvis in this family). We tried booking with the Heartbreak Hotel before we left but since it was March Break they were all booked up. We ended up making reservations just down the street (I think it was a Days Inn) and they had told us how busy they were and that we were lucky to get those two days.

So here we were, leaving Nashville with nowhere to stay, knowing that all the hotels were booked solid. We honestly had no idea what to do, which is a scary prospect when you're driving around a country that isn't your own with two young boys back in 2003 (try to remember a time before you had a computer in your pocket. It was a SCARY time where we relied on the kindness of strangers 😀).

We drove three hours to Memphis and pulled into the parking lot of the Heartbreak Hotel. We let the kids run around outside for a few minutes to burn off some energy, then went into the hotel and told the front desk about our tale of woe. Those amazing people worked their magic and we got a room! Southern hospitality is no joke! They knew we were in a tight spot and they moved heaven and earth to get us a room. And what a room it was! All decked out in Elvis artwork and a tv channel that was nothing but Elvis movies. We were just the happiest people alive and we made sure to thank every single staff member we encountered (they just loved us Canadians with our non-stop thank yous)

I know, this story is running long so let's skip ahead to the next morning. Breakfast was included in our stay. It was a continental breakfast, southern style. Generous amounts of breads and pastries, made to order eggs, breakfast meats and waffles. At the time the only waffles my kids had ever had was a few eggos. These were the largest and most tasty waffles you've ever had and you got to pour the batter yourself into the waffle maker. My kids were in heaven. I can't even tell you how many waffles they ate because I lost count! The Oldest, at only 4 years old, had a very big appetite and was probably the most outgoing kid I knew. After breakfast we went back to our room where he made one of us take him back to the lobby to make another waffle. I'm guessing it was every 15 minutes. The staff got to know him really quick because he talked to everyone, front desk to housekeeping, about his waffles.

Obviously, such a great memory for my family so I wanted to capture that at home. After we got home from Memphis (I'll add that Memphis is an amazing city and I can't wait to go back someday and stay at the all new Guest House at Graceland) I bought a waffle iron and tried six or so recipes until I found one that was as close those Graceland Waffles. Yup, after that trip our waffles took on the special name of the place we were there to visit.

I've made these waffles ever since that trip in 2003. I would make double batches on Sundays and freeze the leftovers in ziploc bags. On mornings before school the kids would just pop them in the toaster and they had their Graceland Waffles.

It had been some time since I whipped up a batch of waffles for the boys and a few weeks ago they requested their Graceland Waffles for a weekend breakfast. I was happy to do it because they really are a delicious way to spend a morning on the weekend. The only downside is I broke the waffle iron but thankfully it broke on our very last waffle!

Gather up the following supplies, along with some sliced strawberries, powdered sugar and some fresh maple syrup ('tis the season!) and enjoy these crispy homemade waffles that my family calls our Graceland Waffles. Come up with a name of your own for them and make a new happy memory with your family. Enjoy!

Crispy Homemade Waffles aka My Graceland Waffles


Feel free to rename them something special for your family!

waffles

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separate the whites from yolks
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

waffles

My waffle iron broke right after this batch. But I'm not sad, it lasted 10 years! I'll be adding this new waffle iron to my kitchen very soon.

Prep - Turn your oven on to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet on the middle rack. This is how you will keep all the waffles warm while you cook. 

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Add milk, oil and eggs yolks to a mixing bowl. Whisk wet.
3. Add wet to dry and mix until large clumps disappear.
4. In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. I use my KitchenAid mixer or a small handheld to complete this job.
5. Fold half the egg white batter into the waffle mix until large clumps are small, now add the remaining egg whites and fold until fully mixed in.
6. Spray a warm waffle iron with Pam cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup of batter (I use my mixing cups) to the waffle iron. Cook until crispy and brown 5-7 mins depending on your waffle iron.
7. Place on cooking sheet in oven until ready to serve.

The waffles will be crispy on the outside, great for holding maple syrup, and light and fluffy inside. It's the addition of egg whites that help keep the exterior crispy.

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