These Copycat Waffle Love Liège Waffles are made from a rich, yeast-based brioche dough with Belgian pearl sugar kneaded into it to create a crunchy, caramelized sweetness around the individual pockets and ridges of each waffle. Top them with Biscoff cookie butter, a big scoop of freshly whipped cream, raspberries and sliced strawberries for an incredible dessert or a super decadent breakfast!
I’m guessing many readers of this blog may have already heard of or even tried a Liège waffle at one of any number of food trucks in foodie meccas like NYC, LA or Provo (hmm, maybe Provo is only a foodie mecca for BYU alums but I’m going with it). If you have tried one, then I’m guessing I don’t need to sell you on how incredibly delicious and amazing these yeasty, sugary waffles are and you are welcome to jump straight to the bottom of this post where you can get the recipe. But if this is the first you are hearing of liege waffles, stick with me!
I fell in love with Liège waffles a few years ago when I was visiting Utah and stopped by the Waffle Love food truck to see what all the hype was about. Because I was hearing about them all over Facebook and Instagram. As near as I can tell, the Liège waffle craze in the U.S. started around 2007 in New York with a waffle truck called Wafels & Dinges which still serves up both Brussels and Liège waffles in the NY area. Then Waffle de Liège truck started up in 2010 and Waffle Love followed in Provo in 2013. Now there seem to be waffle places in most major cities and at least in San Francisco there are a number of brick & mortar stores where you can get your Liège waffle fix.
A Liège waffle (also known as gaufre de liège) is a chewy, dense waffle totally unlike American waffles. Where American waffles (and even the so-called Belgian waffles that you can get anywhere in the U.S.) that are made with a batter that is poured into a waffle maker, Liège waffles are made from a rich, yeast-based brioche dough that raises for an extended period of time to develop a unique flavor, then has Belgian pearl sugar kneaded into it before cooking each waffle in a Belgian waffle iron. The Belgian pearl sugar is absolutely essential to true Liège waffles – they create little pockets of crunchy sweetness and some of them melt to create a caramelized coating around the individual pockets and ridges of the waffle. It’s easier to get your hands on that you might think, too. You can always order it on Amazon (affiliate link, if you purchase through this link I would earn a small commission at no extra cost to you) but I can pick it up at Sur La Table, so if you have one of those close by you might check there.
The Liège waffles are delicious all by themselves, maybe sprinkled with a little powdered sugar, but I’m obsessed with the “Red Wonder” version from Waffle Love where you spread some Biscoff cookie butter over the hot waffle, top it with a big scoop of fresh whipped cream and load on the raspberries and sliced strawberries. Paul liked the churro version which is just sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. These copycat Waffle Love Liège waffles can be topped any way you want!
I have tried making copycat Waffle Love Liège waffles over the past few years but they haven’t turned out just the same as the ones from Waffle Love. The recipe I used was based off the back of the Belgian pearl sugar box and while they were okay, they just weren’t quite what I knew they could be. So after our most recent trip to Utah and a date night at Waffle Love with my BAE while my sister watched my girls for us, I decided I had to try again!
And guys, these Copycat Waffle Love Liège waffles are just like the ones you can get at Waffle Love (or Wafels & Dinges in NY or Waffle de Liege in LA or Bruges in Provo). I’ve got to give credit to Chef In Training for her Liège waffle post because my research for a better recipe led me to her post which had such a perfect copycat recipe that I can’t think of anything that needs to be adapted or changed other than a few clarifications in the instructions.
The dough gets mixed in a stand mixer and then kneaded until it is a nice, smooth ball. After raising for 3 hours on the counter, you punch it down and then stick the dough in the refrigerator to slowly rise at a cold temperature for another 6-8 hours (or longer, if you need it). After the slow rise in the fridge, you knead in the Belgian pearl sugar and divide the dough into small clumps. If you are planning on having these for breakfast, start them the night before. If you want them for dessert, make your dough first thing in the morning and you will be good to go.
Copycat Waffle Love Liège waffles take a little preparation, but none of the steps to make these waffles are difficult and they are completely worth it. And really, they are perfect if for entertaining because you do the bulk of the work ahead of time. I even get them to the point where I knead in the pearl sugar and divide the dough into individual portions then stick it back in the fridge so that when we are ready for dessert it’s just a matter of cooking the waffles, which doesn’t take long at all. Then everybody gets to top their own however they like!
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