Saturday, January 16, 2010

Liege Waffles

There is a restaurant called Bruges Waffles & Frites here in Salt Lake City that makes these waffles.  They are to die for, but kind of expensive so I decided to learn how to make them myself.

What makes these waffles extra special is the pearl sugar (also known as nib or hail sugar).  Pearl sugar melts at a higher heat so it doesn't burn as quickly as regular sugar and is often used in baking.  I found pearl sugar at The Old Dutch Store here in Salt Lake.  It is imported by Chicago Importing Co. and this link lists the stores that carry their products.  You can also find it at some specialty baking stores, Scandinavian or Dutch stores (just do a search for your area), and I've also heard about people who have been able to get it from IKEA and Whole Foods.

Belgian pearl sugar (about .7") is larger than Swedish pearl sugar.   Belgian size is traditional for these waffles, but I would like to try the Swedish sugar next time (tried it and it wasn't as good, stick with Belgian pearl sugar).   The Belgian sugar makes yummy pockets of caramelized sugar, but be warned: it is very very rich!
3 1/2 cups flour
1 (1/4 oz.) package dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 sticks melted butter (8 oz.)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla or 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla sugar (optional)
cinnamon (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 cups pearl sugar

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Put flour in the bottom of a large bowl and make a well in the middle.  Gradually add all ingredients to the flour, except the pearl sugar. Let dough rise until it doubles in size (approx. 30 minutes).  Gently kneed in Belgian pearl sugar.

Divide dough into small patties about 3 to 4 oz. each.  Bake in heated and greased waffle iron.  It is better to grease the waffle iron with butter rather than Pam because the waffle will be dry with Pam.  Any waffle iron will work, you don't need anything special.  Caution: the melted sugar can be on the surface of the waffle and is very hot.  Be careful when removing the waffle and wait a minute before serving.
Serving Suggestions:
The Belgian pearl sugar box says, "In Belgium, sugar waffles are eaten at any time of the day - breakfast, coffee breaks or dessert.  Sugar waffles taste great and remain crispy either cold or warm.  Serve plain or drizzle with warm melted chocolate or caramel.  Also try them with a dollop of whipped cream."

My favorite way to eat them is warm with homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries.  The tart fruit is perfect with the sugar.


  1. These look delicious!! I LOVE breakfast foods. I will have to find me some of this fancy pearl sugar!

  2. thanks for this, it's awesome. i love that waffle shop.
    did you know you can buy that pear sugar at ikea?
    it may be a bit cheaper. i am going to try this soon. :)

  3. Yeah, I've heard that some people have bought pearl sugar at IKEA (not sold at every location though) and Whole Foods. I got an 8 oz. package for $4.95 at the Old Dutch Store. I'm not sure how much it is at other places...

  4. I made these the other day... they are really good. Totally different than any other waffle I've ever had. I got the pearl Sugar when I was at Ikea... I think it was $3.95.

    Also, you are right about the hot sugar crystals... Greg burned his finger!

  5. Update:

    We tried these with the Swedish pearl sugar. I didn't like them as much as Belgian pearl sugar, but everyone else thought they were just as good.

  6. FYI, Ikea no longer sells the pearl sugar!