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Liège Waffles!

On my work trip to Brussels last week I was introduced to the liège waffle, a type of waffle that is denser and sweeter than the common “Belgian waffle” that I’m used to in the States. They were delicious! So when I got home there was no possible option but to find a recipe and try making them myself.

When you go search through the multitude of online recipies for liège waffles, you find that the secret ingredient for these things is pearl sugar — a compressed form of sugar bits smaller than sugar cubes, roughly the size of mini M&Ms. So, I ordered some from Amazon, printed off this recipe, and got to work.

Pearl sugar in a bowl
Pearl sugar

With liège waffles you don’t really have a waffle batter – it’s more a waffle dough. It’s sort of a brioche, more similar to cinnamon roll dough that I’ve made than to pancake batter. Threw it all in to the KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook and kneaded it for 5 minutes, then threw it into a warm oven to let it rise for an hour.

Nicely risen and ready to add the sugar

Once the dough has risen you knead in the pearl sugar, which gives you a strange mound of dough that crunches when you cut it up into pieces.

Dough with pearl sugar kneaded in
Dough balls

Throw these guys into the waffle maker and they cook up very nicely! I used a medium heat that turned out to be just right to caramelize the sugar, giving the waffles a nice shine and a nice crisp surface.

You can see the shine!

The caramelization is, of course, a little more work to clean up…

Might scale the pearl sugar back by about 20% next time but otherwise this recipe was great! Not quite to the level I got from the pros in Belgium but for sure a good Saturday morning breakfast. These were a hit with the family and we will definitely be making them again.


  1. roncjzmsncom roncjzmsncom

    Ah, Chris, you bring back pleasant memories. Just off the town square one morning in Bruges, we came across a short line making its way out of a bakery. We noticed quite a few people walking out eating a waffle-like thing with just a light powder sugar dusting. We immediately got in line and found these items were indeed waffles (liege?) … and needed no butter or syrup. Their style was more of a rounded flat rectangle. After the first bite it was evident why one needed nothing else. What a delight. Black coffee and we were transported!

    Have you ever been to Bruges? It was quite a surprise. Waffles, food, beer, chocolate, lace (surprisingly affordable) and the canals all were quite an experience. There are quite a few European cities known as “Venice of the North.” Bruges is one of them. I’d recommend a canal tour. You’ll get a great history lesson.

  2. roncjzmsncom roncjzmsncom

    BTW, you inspired me to make naan. Sadly, no one would characterize my effort as soft/supple.

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