chai waffles with sautéed pears and berries



The gifts are wrapped. Our school work is finished. Mark is home, and yesterday marked the final Sunday of Advent, meaning Christmas is merely four sleeps away. Our family welcomed this week with a leisure breakfast of Chai waffles with sautéed fruit, softly scrambled eggs with pesto, and coffee of course. I’m entirely grateful for the rich meaning of this season, a celebration of Hope in the weary earth. I’m grateful for the break in routine, the rest for weary bodies. I’m grateful for my own childhood home, which taught me these celebrations call for more time lingering together and delicious food. In terms of holiday breakfasts, these waffles have stolen the show.

Although they appear to be fancy, these waffles are the simplest to make and could easily be adapted to your own pancake recipe, too. I tripled the recipe and there was more then enough left over for the six of us. If you’re looking for a special breakfast this week, try making the waffles ahead of time to leave in the fridge.  You can toast them under the broiler Christmas morning while you sauté the fruit. They are only slightly sweet, which I tend to prefer, and easily complement savory sides of meat or eggs. I lightly dusted the waffles afterward with powdered sugar, but they would be incredible with a cinnamon-maple syrup whipped cream, too. Either way, below you’ll find the recipe to enjoy in your own way. Merry Christmas!

CHAI WAFFLES    Serves 4

1 1/2 cups milk
7 chai tea bags, or 12oz of tea concentrate (Dona Chai is a current favorite)
2c all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, yolks separated


4 Bartlett pears, washed and sliced
1 c. blackberries, washed and patted dry
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a drizzle of maple syrup


  1. Bring milk (and tea concentrate, if using) to a simmer over medium heat. Turn heat down to low and steep chai tea bags for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chai-steeped milk, cooled butter, vanilla, and egg yolks.
  4. Combine and stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Beat the egg whites using a mixer until stiff peaks form. (I prefer using the stand mixer so I can do other things in the meantime.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Pour waffle batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.
  8. Serve with sautéed fruit, powdered sugar, whipped cream, or maple syrup.


  1. Toss the sliced pears with lemon juice until they are ready to cook to prevent browning.
  2. Heat butter over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pears and cinnamon to the pan, and drizzle them with maple syrup. Toss and cook for about 5 minutes. If you prefer them softer, turn heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, remove promptly to a serving dish.
  3. Add a bit more butter to the warm pan, and lightly toss the berries over low heat just until they are warmed and soft.  Promptly remove to another serving dish (or the plates themselves).

(Recipe adapted from Kara Lyndon.)

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