The Brussels waffle, which debuted at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, is the forefather of the popular Belgian waffle. But they aren’t the same—the Belgium capital’s is more of a snack, often covered in strawberries and whipped cream or chocolate. The yeast version (the one we usually get is yeast free) is available at any waffle stand but is best fresh off the iron at 187-year-old Maison Dandoy on Rue au Beurre—Butter Street (www.maisondandoy.com).
East of Brussels, in Belgium’s southern, French-speaking Wallonia region, waffles lose the square shape to become an amorphous pressed-dough delight called the “Liège waffle.” The recipe, also yeast-based, is infused with pearl sugar that forms a crispy caramelized coating in the waffle iron. Pollux, a café off the Place de la Cathédrale, melts a chocolate bar right into the batter, but the plain sugar option is just as tasty (Place de la Cathédrale 2; +32-4223-6781).
Small, buttery waffle cookies are known by a few names depending on the region: lukken, good luck cookies, or nieuwjaarswafeltjes, New Year’s cookies. Recipes are passed down through family, and the treat is traditionally served on New Year’s. They look like their larger cousins on the surface but are thin and crunchy and, if two are put together, hold fillings like caramel, chocolate, ice cream, or almond paste.
Appeared in the July 2016 issue as “Batter Up in Belgium”.
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