Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Waffling Leftovers: Donuts, aka, Waffluts.

Today's story combines two of my favorite things: donuts and waffling.

It begins with leftover donuts.  When this crazy "problem" happens, most people throw them out.  Day old donuts are always stale and sad.  Sometimes a fritter can make it a second day, particularly if you warm it up, but, in general, donuts just don't keep.  We've all learned that.

I usually try to stash extra donuts in the freezer before they get to the stale state, or, I turn them into donut bread pudding.  But the other day, I had a day old donut.  I didn't have the motivation to make bread pudding, or donut french toast (another common answer to the "what do I do with stale donuts?" question).  So I waffled it.

I'm surprised it took me this long to think of waffling my leftover donuts, honestly.  I've put everything else in my waffle iron, as you've been reading about for months now.  Plus, these days, donut hybrids are all the rage.  Why haven't we heard more about donut waffles?  Wonuts? Doffles?  Waffluts?

Anyway, rambling story short: Leftover Donuts?  Will they waffle?  ZOMG yes.

I've previously declared waffled leftover pizza to be my biggest success, but I think these go in the same category of game changing discovery.  I can have one biggest savory and one biggest sweet success right?

Just like I haven't ever looked at leftover pizza the same way since discovering waffling, I'll never look at leftover donuts the same way.  My freezer stash is going to stop growing.  And, just like with pizza, I think I actually prefer the waffled version over the original, no matter how good the original is.

I'm ridiculously excited about continuing my waffluts adventures, as I think many varieties of donuts would work great.  And cinnamon rolls.  And fritters.  So. Many. Possibilities.

Oh, and in case you think donuts and waffles are just breakfast food, they don't just need to be waffled for breakfast.  Add a scope of ice cream or whipped cream, and they make for an amazing dessert too.  (Heck, add those things at breakfast time if you want, you know I did!).

Trial #1: Glazed Donut

The first variety I tried was a simple glazed donut, day old.
Sad Day Old Glazed Donut: Before.
Yes, this looked pretty unappealing.  It was kinda mushed.

I tried a few bites of it, but, well, it was a day old donut.  It was kinda stale, and tasted oily.
Glazed Donut: Almost there!
Into the waffle iron it went.

No extra steps here.  Insert donut, close iron, walk away.

So simple.
Glazed Donut-Waffle Success.
After a few minutes, I pulled it out.

Extraction was simple too.  It released easily, and left very minimal mess behind.

And ... it was magic.  Not only did it transform the sad, stale, flat donut into something I liked, I actually liked it more than the original, even when fresh (and this was a very good donut, from Bob's, to start!)

All the contact points where the donut touched the waffle iron became crispy and caramelized, like a Li├Ęge waffle or kouign amann.  Inside stayed moist, fluffy, and doughy.  It was the best of both worlds.

It was fine as finger food, but even better when I added whipped cream and ate it with a fork and knife.  Think french toast or decadent waffles.  I'm sure it would have been great with a scoop of ice cream too.

It reminded me of the crazy crueller french toast served at Lou's in Hanover, NH.  This is a signature item there, made with their glazed cruellers turned into french toast, served with syrup and whipped cream.  When I had it at Lou's, I discovered that I really liked it with their homemade jam on it.  Which of course made me think ... jelly donuts!

Update:
The next time I had a glazed leftover jelly donut, you know what I did.  It went into the waffle iron the next morning without hesitation.

The exterior result was the same as the glazed donut.  Crispy, caramelized, awesome.  And then inside ... molten jam.  Once I got past the shock of burning the inside of my mouth from hot jam, I loved it.  The glazed donut was a success, no question, but the jelly donut?  Even better.  I somehow failed to take a photo though, as I was too busy devouring it.

Trial #2: Glazed Crumb Donut

Glazed Crumb Donut: Before.
Ojan had a glazed crumb donut, and I convinced him to let me waffle half (half was the compromise, he's sick of me waffling everything, and really just wanted his normal).
Glazed Cake Donut: Waffled!
It waffled just like the others.  The cake crumbs on the outside were pretty lost though, it became indistinguishable from the plain glazed.  Which wasn't a bad thing.

Ojan of course preferred it unwaffled.  Sigh.

Trial #3: Maple Glazed Bar

Maple Glazed Raised Bar (half).
I didn't take a photo of the full size bar, but, it was massive.  I ate a big chunk of it the first day I got it, gave Ojan a big chunk, and still had this much left.

The next morning, I ate another chunk, but it was certainly worse for the wear.  The outside was crusty in a way it wasn't originally (both the glaze and the donut itself) and although it wasn't oily originally, it seemed more oily and stale tasting on the second day.

I saved the final chunk for later that day, with plans to waffle it of course.
Maple Glazed Bar: Waffled.
It looked pretty much like all the other glazed donuts when waffled.  It got a fantastic crispy exterior from the glaze, although much of the glaze did run out into the waffle iron (creating a maple candy that I was thrilled to extract before it cooled too much!)
Maple Glazed Wafflut Sundae?
Since it wasn't breakfast, I decided it was totally acceptable to turn it into a sundae, topping it with whipped cream, sprinkles, and little chocolate balls.  I loved it.
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