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house of powderhounds

Recipe: huckleberry waffles

I told someone recently that we aren’t powderhounds – the types who drive around from mountain to mountain chasing down winter storms to ski the best powder. Clearly, one could do it. I follow a lot of Western ski resorts on Instagram, and some mountain somewhere is getting the goods on any given day. We just happened to get lucky a handful of times and then the rest is tracking weather forecasts for our local mountains. After our fun (but not snowy) weekend in Crested Butte, we returned home to Nederland just as – wait for it! – a snow storm dumped 11 inches on our local hill, Eldora. Is it luck or is it constant vigilance? You can mull that over while I ski the powder.

the morning commute looking pretty good

it was hip deep (for telemark) in some places

Powder days are not limited to human enjoyment. In fact, I’m pretty sure Neva loves her powder more than we do. She is just SO happy in the snow – bouncing and pouncing and digging and rolling and running and crashing. This is why we’re working so much with her this season to get her used to traveling with us into the backcountry – so that she can enjoy the snow with us, and safely.

puppy gets first tracks on the soccer field!

a little backcountry ski training with neva

skiing out on fresh powder with longs peak in the distance

All of this outdoor activity means Neva has been taking a lot of car rides. We have been working with our vet to try different medications and combinations – slowly getting closer to a solution. She is no longer vomiting, and I think that is in large part due to dramamine – or rather meclizine (which is dramamine 2), but she doesn’t like traveling in a vehicle – period. Neva’s anxiety goes through the roof when she is in the car (aka the torture-mobile), so we have a sedative for long car rides which helps her to just sleep through it. But for short drives to local trailheads, we just give her a meclizine about an hour before we leave. As we were packing up our gear for the ski tour, we found her chillaxing in the sun, on the stairs… sort of.

feeling pretty mellow

I really like that little girl. Not only does Neva share my love of snow, but she also shares my love of huckleberries. Whenever I make something with huckleberries, she always gets a few. If I empty a bag of frozen huckleberries, I’ll turn the bag inside out and let her lick the juices. So it was when I emptied a bag of frozen huckleberries last summer for a kitchen experiment. I wanted to see if there was a difference between huckleberry waffles made with fresh huckleberries versus frozen huckleberries. But really, I just wanted huckleberry waffles.

butter, flour, buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, cornstarch, eggs, frozen and fresh huckleberries

fresh hucks on the left, frozen on the right

If you were to ask me to rank waffles, pancakes, and French toast, I would place pancakes at the bottom. The first bite always tastes great and then it goes downhill from there pretty quickly. I find pancakes to be heavy and sleep-inducing and a little dull. French toast comes in second place with that nicely browned eggy exterior and a more complex texture and flavor than pancakes. But waffles… I love waffles because they are crisp outside and steamy soft inside. I love them for their mesmerizing geometric pattern. I love that they are light and airy. Now add some huckleberries and I’ve pretty much lost my mind.

mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt

beat the eggs and buttermilk together

stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients

stir in the melted butter

Fresh berries in a waffle is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, huckleberries cannot be had fresh year-round. I only get them fresh for a few weeks at the end of summer, so obviously, I freeze the majority of what I forage. I wanted to compare waffles made with fresh and frozen berries while I had fresh hucks available to me. Could I possibly enjoy this magical marriage of yum (waffles) and yummer (huckleberries) in the off seasons? This applies to blueberries if you can’t get your hands on huckleberries. The smaller the blueberry, the better. It helps to toss the frozen berries with cornstarch which acts to absorb any excess moisture so the berries don’t bleed into the waffle batter. Whichever berry form you use (fresh or frozen), fold them into the batter last, and do so gently.

toss the frozen berries with cornstarch

they should be completely coated

fold the frozen berries into the batter

or fold the fresh berries (you lucky duck) into the waffle batter

I have a standard waffle iron for regular waffles, but purchased a Belgian waffle iron for fruity waffles. The smaller waffle grid of my standard waffle iron means more crushing of berries. With the Belgian waffle grid spacing, I get fewer berries bursting and oozing and sizzling on the iron. I mean, it still happens, but it isn’t as catastrophic for the berries. In the end, both versions of the waffles were equally good. The frozen berries bled more color and juice into the batter, but the flavor and texture were as excellent as the fresh berry counterpart.

ladle the waffle batter onto a hot waffle iron

browned and crisp

fresh berry waffle on the left, frozen berry waffle on the right

This result is good news, because it means I can make huckleberry waffles all year long. Top the waffle with a pat of butter and some huckleberry syrup and you’ve gone to snurple purple berry heaven. Isn’t it great when you can combine favorite things into a vortex of awesome?

good morning, vortex of awesome

i might have to marry this waffle

little pockets of huckleberry syrup on the huckleberry waffle

Huckleberry Waffles
[print recipe]
from this recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup huckleberries (fresh or frozen), or substitute blueberries
1 tsp cornstarch if using frozen berries (if fresh berries, omit the cornstarch)

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the beaten eggs and buttermilk together. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. A few lumps are okay. Stir in the melted butter. If using frozen berries, toss them with the cornstarch until completely coated. Gently fold the berries (frozen or fresh) into the waffle batter. Pour about a half cup of the waffle batter on a hot waffle iron (or whatever amount your waffle iron says to use) and cook to desired crispness and brownness (about 5 minutes). The heat will make the berries pop and their juices will sizzle on the iron. Remove the waffle from the iron and serve with confectioner’s sugar, butter, maple syrup, huckleberry syrup, or with fresh berries on top. Makes 8-10 waffles (depends on the size of your waffle iron).

more goodness from the use real butter archives

waffles huckleberry lemon sweet rolls huckleberry scones huckleberry syrup

10 nibbles at “house of powderhounds”

  1. LePetitCochon says:

    Neva is gorgeous. How do her paw pads do out in the snow on long hikes?

  2. Kristin says:

    I really can’t stand traditional pancakes. I often like cornmeal or multigrain pancakes, but straight flour? Ugh. Ditto with French Toast. But waffles….they are the best! We have always been in the separate your eggs, beat the whites, and fold them in camp, but your waffles look great (maybe it’s the berries!). How would you describe the texture? I would imagine the buttermilk helps make them light. That picture of Neva on the stairs is just as funny the second time around!

  3. Sue says:

    What waffle maker do you use? I’m looking to purchase one and yours looks like a perfect size.

  4. farmerpam says:

    11 inches of fresh powder. Sigh.

  5. Joyce says:

    That waffle is one handsome dude and worthy of marrying! You need a waffle harem so you can share with all of us! :-) If I skied, I would probably kill myself for looking at the beauty around me as I slid down the slope. Then I would make these waffles and eat five of them!

  6. Tegan says:

    I’m sure this is delicious. But I wanted to point out the amusement of the first paragraph where you mention huckleberries, (at least on my browser) every first word of every line was “huckleberries”. It was like DIDJA WANT SOME HUCKLEBERRIES CAUSE WE GOT ‘EM! :-P

    … And now I want to make waffles. Hmm…

  7. Deb Kelner says:

    Oh Jen, why must you torture me so. I do love huckleberries and I’m your “neighbor” here in North Boulder but unlike you I don’t have a stash of huckleberries in my freezer! Are they available commercially? Can I come raid your freezer? WHERE do I find these gorgeous, wonderful delights??? I love huckleberries.
    I love catching up on Neva’s exploits. (and I must file away your notes about medicating the carsickness for future use. Our 9 year old girl has fortunately recovered from her carsickness issues… but there likely will be future puppies) Give that sweet puppy belly a rub (and a kiss) for me.

  8. jenyu says:

    LePititCochon – she does quite well. The only problem she encounters is if the snow is very deep and fluffy because she has very thin hair on her belly (we keep waiting for it to grow it, but it hasn’t – just peach fuzz). She’ll get chilled if we’re out in deep snow for long and standing around (i.e. not running like a maniac).

    Kristin – oh, I’ll have to give those a try (the pancakes with different flours). That might be part of my pancake indifference problem. I’ve done the waffles with whipping and folding egg white – very nice. These worked just as nicely. They are light, but not as crisp probably because of the berries, which add a lot of moisture. Still yummy!

    Sue – Mine is strange. It’s a NordicWare stovetop Belium waffle iron. You heat it on the stove top and then add the batter and flip it on the stove top. I like it because it stores away nicely and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space like other waffle appliances.

    farmerpam – xxoo

    Joyce – oh, we usually stop and take in the view – then we ski :) Safer that way!

    Tegan – ha ha – Jeremy mentioned that when he was proofreading. I left it in because HUCKLEBERRIES! :)

    Deb – I think you can purchase frozen huckleberries from various online sources (mostly in Oregon, Montana, Idaho). Just do a google search and you’ll find plenty of places that supply them. As for where to find them… the mountains. But the season is short and the labor is intensive and huck hunters don’t give away their patches :) We’re almost as bad as mushroom foragers ;)

  9. Abigail says:

    Oh my world! These waffles were absolutely delightful! I had just gone huckleberry picking and got around 5 cups and really wanted to make waffles, but I also had some buttermilk I had to use up. This recipe was to die for! I think this will always have to be my waffle base recipe – huckleberries or not haha

  10. Rosie says:

    We are in the middle of our lowland evergreen huckleberry season here in Western WA. I just brought home 3 HUGE baskets full. I’m not sure but at least 30 lbs. I’ve tried a lot of huckleberry and blueberry (subbing huckleberries) waffle recipes and this is my new favorite! We have a shallower waffle iron which we prefer. Other recipes can sometimes puff up too much or be dry. But this is a great recipe. We’ve tried it with gluten-free flour (Namastes brand from costco) and it worked fine. I would suggest letting it sit for maybe 30 min if possible to fully soak up liquids which can be slower with gluten free flour. We also tried with duck eggs. And we’ve tried it egg-free, subbing with the flax meal egg replacement. It’s always a bit drier going egg-free so I’d up the butter a bit more myself. Anyhow, it’s very good.

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