If the way to a person's heart is indeed through their stomach, then this waffle recipe just may be the pathway to romantic bliss. This Valentine's Day, go for the big sweeping romantic gesture and make your partner—or yourself—a batch or two of these red velvet beauties, plucked from the pages of restaurateur and Chopped judge Chris Santos's just-released cookbook, Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table ($25; amazon.com). The 304-page tome features over 100 big platter and small plate dishes perfect for the communal dining he's popularized at his New York City restaurants Beauty & Essex, Stanton Social, and Vandal.
Read on for his picture-perfect breakfast recipe, and stow it away after V-Day has come and gone.
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups whole milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea or table salt
¾ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons red food coloring paste
1 teaspoon distilled vinegar
Vegetable oil, for the waffle iron
How to Make It
To make the sauce:
1. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and ¼ cup room temperature butter together in a large bowl until the mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoonvanilla. Beat in about 2 tablespoons whole milk, enough of the milk to make a smooth, opaque sauce with a drizzling consistency—the sauce should not be thin or transparent. Set aside at room temperature.
To make the waffles:
2. Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, 1 cup whole milk, eggs, butter, food coloring, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and vinegar together in another bowl, being sure to dissolve the food coloring. Pour into the dry mixture and whisk just until smooth. Do not overmix.
4. Lightly oil the waffle iron grids. Spoon the recommended amount of batter into the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the waffle to an oven rack (not a baking sheet) and keep warm in the oven while making the remaining waffles.
5. Cut the waffles along their grid lines into individual portions. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the sauce. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce passed on the side.