“Whether you are having a group of friends and family, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace of the whole day,” says Susan Branch from her book Days of the Heart of the Home.

And what better way to start the day (and the weekend!) than with a hefty serving of waffles? This breakfast staple is best served swimming in (real or flavored) maple syrup, sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with fruit or jams, served with whipped cream, honey, peanut butter, chocolate, or, as the Good Housekeeping staff discovered during the “French Kissed” photo shoot in the May 2013 issue, crunchy yet melt-in-your-mouth slices of bananas. Check out the recipe below!

Crispy Waffles with Crunchy Bananas
Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes four servings

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
Butter, as needed
Oil for frying

Procedure:

1. For the crunchy bananas: Slice four bananas and coat with 1/4 cup cornstarch. Fry with very little oil. Cook both sides until golden brown. Keep warm.

2. Pre-heat your waffle iron to its hottest setting.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4. Beat the egg yolks thoroughly. Whisk in sugar, milk, oil, and vanilla (optional). Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix gently until combined. Don't over mix. Set aside.

5. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until thick and foamy. Gently fold into batter.

6. Spread butter on both surfaces of your waffle iron.

7. Ladle 1/2 - 3/4 cup batter onto the iron and close it. It's not unusual for a bit of batter to seep out of the edges of the iron. If there's excessive leakage, use less batter for the next waffle.

8. Cook until the waffle iron's indicator light shows that the cooking is done, or until there is no more steam. The waffle should be golden brown and crispy.

9. Lift the waffle out of the iron with a pair of tongs and either serve right away or transfer to the oven to keep warm. Serve the waffle topped with crunchy bananas, whipped butter, and homemade pancake syrup.

(Photograph by Miguel Nacianceno. Recipe courtesy of Portia Baluyut of Isabelo Garden Restaurant. Art Direction by Kara Ballestros. Shot on location in Isabelo Garden Restaurant, Marikina.)

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