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I find myself wandering into the kitchen more and more as the days are shortening, a slight nip can be found in the breeze, and my body begins to crave warm comfort food. The lingering evenings filled with late night swims and too many fruity drinks are fading and I begin to notice myself crawling into bed earlier and waking up ready to devour something delicious.

This is the time of year that you find people talking about pumpkin-flavored everything but I tend to divert my attention to the delicious and nourishing apple. I’ve always grown up fascinated with the apple and it’s not just because of it’s nutritional benefits (which are stellar). Growing up in a Midwest suburb in the 90’s, growing your own food was not trendy and was left to the chain grocery store down the street. My mother saved all of her precious garden space for varieties of flowers and shrubs but nothing edible was to be found. My father wasn’t much of a gardener but had planted 3 apple trees when they moved in decades earlier and I was completely obsessed with those towering trees. I had imagined by parents young and watching the sunset in the corner of our yard as my father discarded an apple pit that grew into that micro-orchard. I was fascinated with the idea of needing an extra apple for a recipe and that I could just run out to the yard to get it for my family (this was in the same way that I was so fascinated by the kids who could walk to school while I had to take the school bus). My friends and I would pick apples while playing in the yard and pretend like we were farmers getting ready to sell them to grocery stores. I don’t still live at that house with my parent’s but I do often times think about those trees and them being the reason why I love apple picking so much. I blame them for needing to start off my fall with dragging anyone in sight to the local apple orchard for an afternoon of strolling in and out of rows and picking dozens of apple varieties.

This recipe is not like your usual waffle recipes. The batter of this recipe has the components of biscuit batter which makes the end result flaky, buttery, and just the perfect amount of crispy. I also folded the apples into the batter but don’t worry if a few of them are sticking out when you cut the dough into squares because those bits of apples will caramelize and crisp up in the waffle iron for an extra flavorful bite. Also, if interested in making this recipe vegan, just swap out the milk for a non-dairy variety and replace the butter with Earth Balance.

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Spiced Apple Biscuit Waffles

Recipe perfect for 2 – double if you are looking to feed 4

For the filling:
+ 1 apple (any variety), cored and thinly sliced
+ 1 Tablespoon butter
+ 2 teaspoons cinnamon
+ 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
+ 1 Tablespoon cane sugar

For the biscuit batter:
+ 1 cup all-purpose flour
+ 1 Tablespoon cane sugar
+ 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
+ 2 Tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small chunks
+ 1/3 cup buttermilk (or add 1 Tablespoon to 1/3 cup whole milk and let sit for 3 minutes)

+ Maple syrup, for drizzling
+ 1 extra Tablespoon of butter for buttering the waffle iron between batches

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan or cast iron skilled over medium heat. Once melted, add in the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar and sauté for about 3-5 minutes or until the apples are slightly soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (I usually just use my clean hands) until a coarse meal has formed. Next, slowly incorporate the buttermilk using a spatula to bring the mixture into a wet dough but not overworking it. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle. Place the filling mixture over half the dough and gently fold the other half over so that the apple mixture is now in the center. Press gently around the side of the seems to get the apples incorporated and then use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 4 squares (I actually made mine mini and did 8 squares but it’s totally your call how you want to handle them!).

Preheat your waffle iron according to the instructions and grease it with a tiny bit of butter. Working in batches, place each square in your waffle iron and cook for 3 or so minutes each (this will also depend on your waffle iron so check the waffles often to see if they’ve crisped up). Repeat with the rest of your batter.

Serve warm with maple syrup, orange juice, and perhaps some cinnamon dusted over the top. Enjoy!

Photos and article by Shelly Wester of Vegetarian Ventures.

Shelly is a Midwest girl sharing vegetarian and vegan recipes with a twist of adventure and inspiration. She works with indie music during the day and blogs at night and created VV as an attempt to inspire everyone to get creative and dance in the kitchen with her. Read more about Shelly on her incredible blog, Vegetarian Ventures.