Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

Here’s a quick list of things that cure any and all of my problems.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

Most of them are disgraceful, so bear with me.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

In no particular order:

Any Real Housewives marathon, always enjoyed with a gallon of hummus and a bag of pita chips that could feed a family of five.

Spending money. Usually on bags I can’t afford, shoes I don’t need, or clothes that are one size too small, because I’ll lose those 5 pounds eventually.

Wine.

Netflix.

Wine AND Netflix.

And of course, WAFFLES.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

Waffles are one of those memory-laden foods that I absolutely adore, but for one reason or another I never really let myself eat them. As a kid I ate waffles and ice cream for breakfast every time I stayed at my grandma’s house, which was usually pretty often. She’d make them out of the Aunt Jemima mix and on her griddle from 1832, but even with these basic components (including the store-brand Neapolitan I’d lavishly scoop on top) to me they were the BEST damn waffles in the whole wide world – Five Michelin Stars, James Beard award-worthy, yada yada. At the time it was literally the most gourmet, sophisticated meal ever, and yes I seriously thought these thoughts.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

But these days my waffle consumption is decidedly rare – I’m either on a diet, pretending to diet, or eating my usual routine of eggs, fruit, or toast. So when I do get around to eating waffles, it is straight-up ON. I want them big and fluffy with crispy golden outsides and pillowy soft insides ready to sop up butter and syrup and whatever else I throw on ’em.

And in this case that whatever is an insane bacon-apple chutney.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

If you’re a sweet and savory hound like myself this chutney is going to change your freakin’ life, so listen up! It’s a simple combo of apples and bacon, yes, but the flavors are so potent, and the preparation SO easy, you will honestly be making this for everything.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

It all begins with basic bacon prep – Dice up raw slices, cook ’em up till crisp, done. Next, in the same skillet as the bacon sauté the diced apples (any sweet + mild variety is fine) with butter, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The apples will soften quickly, and soon after a thick, syrup-y sort of marinade develops that smells SO good, you’ll probably lose consciousness. Once you awake, simply stir in the cooked bacon and revel in the chutney magic – The sweet and peppy apple (the vinegar lends a nice tang) bounces off the crisp, salty bacon beauuutifully, and the binding buttery sauce laps it all together. This absolutely MAKE the waffles (seriously, it’s a must) but will you be thinking about it the next time you roast a chicken or cook pork tenderloin?

Yes, you will! So keep this chutney recipe handy for whenever possible.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

But the real reason we’re here is waffles, amirite? Blissful, beautiful waffles.

Waffle making is basically idiot-proof these days thanks to no-peek waffle makers like this Calphalon one that I got for my engagement. If you don’t have one of these you can still crush this recipe, but if you’re in the market for a maker this one is definitely your best bet – Set the temperature setting, close the lid, and the griddle handles the rest.

But no matter how fancy the gadget a great waffle needs a great batter, too. And this one?

Clearly major.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

I prefer a thick, almost dense waffle that still manages to be fluffy, and this recipe delivers exactly that. The batter itself is modeled off a standard recipe, but with simple swaps (like brown sugar instead of white) and complimenting additions (nutmeg, cinnamon) to harmonize the added pumpkin puree. And rather than stop at a standard pumpkin waffle, I took this one step further and sprinkled in a hunk of shredded white cheddar from Cabot, because hello! Cheese.

The batter for this is really thick, so you’ll probably need to spoon it onto your griddle rather than just pour it over – That’s okay! The thickness is a result of using just two eggs instead of three, and like I said before these end up being wonderfully dense-yet-feathery, so don’t let the batter fool you – You’re not baking up hockey pucks!

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

It’s important to note that the pumpkin cheddar flavor is subtle, but evident – You can taste it, but it’s not overpowering. In particular, the cheddar gives the waffles a sweet ‘n’ savory flavor profile that is on point with the bacon-apple chutney, giant messy forkfuls that spread across your face are strongly encouraged. And I love how this is adventurous while still being tame enough to fit most palates – It’s an exciting mouthful, but when you break it down this recipe is really just a bunch of awesome flavors everyone loves, only presented in a unique, waffle-y way.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

And lastly? Top with candied pecans (texture!!) drown in maple syrup (make it rain!!!!) and eat until you’ve got no worries (or pants that fit). 😉 x

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

  • WAFFLES:
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups Skim Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 tbsps Salted Butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup White Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used Cabot)
  • Bacon-Apple Chutney (see below)
  • Candied Pecans for garnish
  • Maple Syrup for serving
  • BACON-APPLE CHUTNEY:
  • 1 cup Bacon, diced (approx. 8 – 10 slices)
  • 2 tbsps Salted Butter
  • 2 cups McIntosh or Braeburn Apple, diced (approx. 2 medium apples)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Cooking spray to grease

Directions:

  1. Begin by preparing the chutney. In large, lightly greased skillet, cook bacon over medium-high flame for 10 minutes until browned and crisp, stirring as needed. Transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined bowl to cool/drain, then set aside.
  2. In the same skillet the bacon was cooked in (you don’t need to wash it out!), add 2 tbsps butter and melt over medium flame. Once butter is melted, stir in the apples, sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and vanilla, mixing until well combined. Allow all ingredients to simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until caramelized, then turn off flame. Stir in cooked/drained bacon, then leave chutney in skillet until needed.
  3. Preheat your waffle iron to just past the “Medium” setting.
  4. In large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, dark brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring thoroughly until smooth. Lastly stir in the cheddar cheese, again mixing well.
  5. Pour batter onto the heated waffle iron, starting at the center of each grid then spreading out as needed. Close the lid and wait until finished cooking, ~2 minutes per batch. Repeat until all ingredients have been used, transferring cooked waffles to wire cooling rack as you go.
  6. When ready, serve waffles with a heaping of bacon-apple chutney, a sprinkling of candied pecans, and as much maple syrup as you like. Chutney can be reheated on low flame as soon as the first batch of waffles is cooking in your iron.

>> The batter will be somewhat thick, but that’s okay! The results are incredibly crisp yet fluffy, so fear not.

>> I use the Calphalon “No Peek” Waffle Maker, which is amazing! If you have an older waffle maker, cook your waffles until perfectly crisp and golden, which should still take about 2-3 minutes per batch, as directed.

Pumpkin Cheddar Waffles w/ Bacon-Apple Chutney & Candied Pecanshappy foooood.

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