Pecans and Pumpkin with Waffles. Perfect.

It was a very special Saturday morning at my house. You see, when golf season has ended and the weather becomes a little too cool for a Saturday morning bike ride, it means my husband and I are both at home on weekend mornings. Finally, we can enjoy leisurely weekend breakfasts together. Today was the first Saturday moring of no golf for him, no biking for me, both home for breakfast.

Waffles are a favorite of mine. This morning we celebrated fall and our first Saturday breakfast together in a long time with waffles. Not just plain old, everyday waffles. These beauties were studded with chopped pecans, and topped with a big chunk of butter and warm Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce.

A small amount of cornstarch is added to the waffle batter. This helps the waffles stay crisp on the outside, yet perfectly light and airy on the inside. One beaten egg white folded into the batter also contributes to the light texture of the waffles. When the cooked waffles are ready to come out of the waffle iron, I carefully transfer them to a warm oven, placing the waffles directly on the oven rack. Piling hot waffles on a platter causes them to get soft and leathery. I prefer crispy.

I’m using up the last couple of bags of big, beautiful pecan halves that I bought last year at this time from the Soroptimists in Fargo. I was a member when I lived in Fargo and still support their largest fundraiser of the year by ordering several bags of the fresh pecans. I’m so spoiled by these huge, flavorful pecans that I have to be sure to order enough bags each November to get me through to pecan-sale time the following year. The small, dark-colored pecans that are typically found in the grocery store just don’t measure up for me anymore.

Since I’m making room in the freezer for my next big order of fresh pecans, I needed to use up the last couple of bags stashed in the upright. I added a generous amount of pecans to the waffle batter after toasting them in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes, just until fragrant. I love the rich flavor and crunchy goodness toasted pecans add to waffles and pancakes.

Fall is all about pumpkins and squash, so a sweet Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce was just the perfect topping for Pecan Waffles. I still use butter, letting it melt into the waffle before I spread Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce over the top. The sauce fills in each little square indentation on the waffle.

Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce isn’t just for waffles. Try it on pancakes and French toast, too. Stir it into vanilla ice cream. Wow!

Pecan Waffles with Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce — can’t think of a better way to use up the last pecans in my freezer. And can’t imagine a better breakfast to celebrate fall and the start of Saturday morning breakfasts with my favorite guy.

Oh, if you love the combination of pumpkin and pecans, you might want to try the Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Maple-Pecan Topping that I’ll be making for Thanksgiving dessert this year. You can go to the recipe by clicking here.

Pecan Waffles with Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Preheat waffle iron.

Combine flour, pecans, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, milk and egg yolk. Use an electric hand mixer to whip the egg white in a medium bowl until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, then beat in the vanilla. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk together just until incorporated. Gently fold in the egg white.

Pour a generous 1/2 cup of batter (more or less depending on the size of your waffle iron) onto the preheated waffle iron. Close the waffle iron and cook until waffle is well browned and cooked through. As each waffle is cooked, set it directly on the oven rack to keep warm while cooking the rest of the waffles. Do not stack the waffles or they will be soft rather than crispy. Once all the waffles are cooked, serve immediately with Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce. Makes about 5 waffles.

Pecan-Pumpkin Sauce

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin

Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toasted. Stir in syrup and remaining ingredients. Simmer mixture for 4 minutes, stir occasionally. Serve warm over waffles. Store sauce in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 4 cups.