One of the effects of recent events is that people are spending more time at home than ever, and in turn, cooking more meals than in recent memory. As old-fashioned comfort foods, both cookies and waffles are popular dishes to cook at home. But can you combine them by putting your favorite cookie dough in a waffle maker?
You can put cookie dough in a waffle maker, which can produce a delicious finished product. In fact, there are unique cookie recipes that use this method of cooking. However, you may need to alter your recipe to accommodate the difference between irons and ovens and get the best results.
This article will go over the following:
- Why you might want to put cookie dough in a waffle maker.
- How to put cookie dough in a waffle maker.
- How using a waffle iron will affect the texture of your cookies.
- Examine the similarities and differences between baking cookies in an oven and using a waffle iron.
- You’ll get some tips to try while baking cookies on a waffle maker.
Cookies Baked on a Waffle Iron Have a Great Texture
Here’s the best reason to bake cookies on a waffle iron: if you do it right, the cookies will have the crispy-chewy texture you love.
Think about it this way: for most of us, the normal use of a waffle maker is cooking a special waffle or pancake batter. The finished product has a crispy outside, with a fluffy interior where there aren’t any indentations.
In addition, many people love how the cavities in a waffle hold maple syrup or some other delicious topping.
With cookie dough, you have a similar phenomenon. Because the cookie dough is pressed into those grooves and indentations on the waffle maker, your finished cookie will have a similar shape.
Most people don’t put enough dough on one griddle section to fill it, but the section used still molds the dough. In return, you have thick and thin sections of cookies that are chewy or crispy based on thickness.
Cookie Dough “Rises” While Cooking Like Waffles or Pancakes
In baking, three basic substances are used to make dough or batter rise when cooked.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Both cookie dough and waffle batter use baking powder as ingredients.
Using baking powder for dough or batter lets it quickly “rise” or fill with bubbles, in turn giving you that fluffy texture in waffles. The end product is heavier for cookies, but it still “rises” when cooked on a griddle-like appliance or in the oven.
This Rising Action Allows the Waffle Iron To Shape Cookies
In a traditional waffle maker, cooks pour batter over the top of each griddle section, then close the clamshell top. Batter fills the deeper wells in the waffle maker surface while staying shallower over the opposite areas.
While the batter cooks, the rising action of the baking powder lets it fill the top plate of your waffle maker. In this way, the batter has its “rise” regulated by the segments with a higher or lower surface.
What do we get when the cooking time of a waffle is up? Those distinctly shaped sweet treats that everyone loves. Waffles are crispy on the outside and in thinner areas and fluffy inside the thick portions where the batter was allowed to rise.
Cookie dough is similar, except that it’s much heavier than waffle batter. This difference is one of the biggest reasons people aren’t sure if they can use a waffle iron for cookies.
In order to bake cookies in a waffle iron, a dough ball is placed in the middle of each plate section, then the top and bottom plates are pressed together. However, because the dough is thicker, it typically doesn’t fill the whole plate. So instead, you’ll get large cookies that look like part of a waffle.
Cookies Get a Mixture of Crispy and Chewy Texture
Cookie dough that rises while cooking in your waffle maker develops a pleasant mixture of chewy and crispy bits. Similar to waffles, the thickness differences mean that some parts of the cookie are thin and brittle.
At the same time, your thick sections have a nice chewy texture, or they’ll be gooey, mainly depending on the type of cookie and your baking time.
Warm chocolate chip cookies are famous for this!
Let’s look at this in the context of baking your cookies in an oven. Most of us are familiar with how a cookie will expand on the sheet during baking, which is partially horizontal and sometimes vertical, depending on the recipe and baking methods.
Either way, though, the edges of your cookie are usually thinner than the center. Likewise, your edges tend to be crispier than the center.
With cookies baked on a waffle maker, this effect is more pronounced. After all, there are many thick and thin sections within the same cookie. It’s almost like you have many edges to the cookie and several “center” sections.
But if you love cookies that are a mixture of crisp and chewy, you’ll enjoy this baking method.
Waffle Makers Bake Cookies Just Like a Cookie Sheet
When you place cookies into an oven, whether it’s a full-sized range or a toaster oven, they are on cookie sheets. Metal cookie sheets do more than keep your cookies from making a mess in the oven.
Instead, their primary purpose is to evenly distribute oven heat around the base of your cookies so that they cook more efficiently. Properly maintained cookie sheets are best at baking a product that’s baked through rather than having undercooked cold spots.
At the same time, most of us notice that the cookie’s base is often crispier than the top and that the bottom is flat, which is similar to the shaping action of a waffle maker’s plate.
Here there’s no regulation of shape from the top, and the bottom surface only allows for the expansion of your cookie from the middle. As a result, you’ll typically end up with rounded tops on your oven cookies.
Likewise, the purpose of waffle iron plates is to distribute heat evenly across the surface. However, unlike a cookie sheet, there are two plates, meaning that the dough can only expand into those grooves and cavities that form the plates.
In this way, your waffle iron produces more crispy edges on cookies. As a result, chewy sections are smaller and more distributed.
Practical Challenges with Using Waffle Irons for Cookies
Unfortunately, just because waffle makers can bake cookies in similar ways to an oven and baking sheet doesn’t mean the process is without challenges. One reason for this, of course, is the difference in texture between cookie dough and waffle batter.
At the same time, ingredients and cooking temperatures can cause headaches.
Cookies Harden After Baking
One difference between waffles and cookies is the degree of hardening after the item is baked. As a general rule, waffles remain somewhat flexible after baking, while cookies typically harden.
Plus, several cookie sections will be very thin due to the waffle plate shape. This effect means that you need to remove cookies from your waffle maker carefully to avoid breaking them. Experts recommend doing this as soon as the dough finishes cooking.
Waffle Maker Temperature Is Hard To Regulate
For most waffle makers, there are relative heat settings, such as “medium-high” or “high.” If you’re using a traditional cookie dough recipe, the writers will recommend a specific temperature. And, of course, every time you open the waffle iron, you’ll lose heat.
Fortunately, this problem is relatively easy to counteract.
Most owner’s manuals give you a temperature range for each setting. Select the most appropriate temperature setting, and monitor the baking process.
Typically, baking cookie batter at the wrong temperature will lengthen or shorten the baking time, or result in doughy or burnt cookies. Over time, you’ll get a better sense of what setting works best.
Cleaning Your Waffle Maker Can Be Difficult
Cleaning your waffle maker can be difficult after baking cookies with it, which has two main causes: fillings and sugar content.
Remember, waffle batter typically doesn’t have much sugar in it because you’ll add those flavors later. Unfortunately, sugar melts and then carmelizes on your waffle plates.
If it isn’t properly cleaned up, you can get a hard glaze on your iron that’s hard to remove later.
Similarly, some items like chocolate chips and oatmeal can make a mess. The former, of course, is a waffle classic and needn’t be a cookie at all. But, on the other hand, oatmeal doesn’t usually get added waffles.
So if a piece of oats gets in the wrong place, it can end up toasted like your favorite bread. And as most cooks know, if it also sticks, then cleaning up could be difficult.
Some Cookie Recipes Don’t Perform Well When Baked With a Waffle Maker
Perhaps the biggest reason people aren’t sure that they can make cookies in a waffle maker is the high number of failures.
When the dough was cooked with it, they ended up with a big mess. On the other hand, other recipes were successful on the waffle maker.
Special Cookie Dough Recipes For Waffle Irons
Now that waffle irons have become more popular there are plenty of recipes for non-waffle items available, such as “waffled” cookies.
These end up being similar to a desert waffle in that they have more leavening agents in them, and the ingredient proportions optimize the overall firmness of your dough.
Recipes are available on many cooking sites, including Martha Stewart and Food Network.
Note: Placing refrigerated or frozen dough on the waffle maker seems to help, which many chefs, including professionals, have noted. While we don’t know why this works, it’s reasonable to assume that refrigeration helps keep the cookie dough from spreading out on the waffle plates. Until they’re closed, that is.