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The Ruby's Caramel Pecan Waffles

This is Chris's favorite. Toasted pecans appear twice in this delicious dish. They are added to the rich warm sauce and folded into the cinnamon-scented waffle batter to create a satisfying taste sensation accented by the smooth whipped cream! Makes 8 - 10 waffles.

Caramel-Pecan Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

Pecan Waffles
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Whipped cream, for topping

Prepare the sauce:
1. In a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the granulated sugar without stirring for about 3-5 minutes, or until it melts and is just beginning to color.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until all the sugar is melted and it becomes a clear golden color.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream in a slow steady stream, stirring carefully until well blended. (The caramel will bubble and steam as you add the cream. If it stiffens, return the saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted.)
4. Stir the corn syrup, butter, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the pecans. Keep warm.

Prepare the Waffles:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Preheat the waffle iron.
2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. In another medium-sie bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, egg yolks, and butter. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a few quick strokes to form a lumpy batter.
4. In another medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer set at high, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently and thoroughly fold the egg whites into the batter.
5. Lightly spray or grease the grids of the waffle iron. Pour appropriate amount of batter into the waffle iron. Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the waffles are golden brown, their edges look dry, and they do not stick to the oven, placing them directly on the rack so they will stay crisp. Repeat with remaining batter.
6. Transfer the waffles to warmed serving plates and top each serving with warm caramel-pecan sauce and whipped cream.