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Cornmeal-Bacon Waffles with Thyme-Infused Maple Syrup

Cornmeal waffles dotted with smoky bacon bits are reminiscent of cornbread hot out of the oven. Top them with slightly savory maple syrup perfumed with fresh thyme and black peppercorns, and you may just get requests for extras.–Tara Duggan

LC Face-Plant in a Plate of Waffles Note

Ever done a face-plant in a stack of waffles? Neither had we–until we encountered this waffle recipe with thyme-infused maple syrup. We have a hunch you’ll want to get to know them up close and personal, too.

Special Equipment: Waffle maker

Cornmeal-Bacon Waffles Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 4 to 8 waffles

Ingredients

  • For the thyme-infused syrup
  • 4 small sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • For the cornmeal-bacon waffles
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, or 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

  • Make the thyme-infused syrup
  • 1. Pull off most of the leaves from the thyme. Place both the leaves and the stems in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, peppercorns, and water. Place over very low heat and bring to a very gently simmer. Let it bubble for 10 minutes to infuse the syrup with thyme. Strain the syrup into a pitcher. (You can make the syrup up to 3 days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate, then gently reheat over low heat just before serving.)
  • Make the cornmeal-bacon waffles
  • 2. Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, turning once, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let stand until cool enough to handle. Crumble the bacon into small pieces. You should have about 1 1/4 cups.
  • 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper, if using. Make a well in the center of the cornmeal mixture, then pour in the egg mixture. Whisk until the batter is mostly smooth with just a few lumps. If the batter is too thick, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Gently fold in the bacon.
  • 4. Preheat your waffle maker.
  • 5. Ladle the batter into the waffle maker, using 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter per batch and spreading the batter so that it almost reaches the edges. Cook until crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, remove the waffles and serve hot or place on a baking sheet in a single layer in a 200°F (95°C) oven for up to 20 minutes while you make the rest with the remaining batter. Drizzle with the warm thyme-infused syrup. Feel free to face-plant in your stack. We did.
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