The panwaffle is here to tell you don't have to settle. It wants you to know that just because something is convention does not make it best. And that, yes, you can dare to put pancakes and waffles together, pour syrup on them it, and go about your day happy (yes!), proud (yes!), and full (we hope so!).
As the panwaffle's creator, our Test Kitchen Manager and baking aficionado Erin McDowell, writes in the recipe's headnote:
I'm a big fan of The Tonight Show and was delighted by a diagram Jimmy Fallon drew a few weeks back describing his ideal "meta breakfast" invention. It was a waffle surrounded by a pancake. Since then, I've made more than a few batches, and I can attest Mr. Fallon is on to something. One batter. Two textures. The best breakfast mash-up since breakfast burritos.
The panwaffle isn't hard to execute either. Simply make a waffle, add it to a greased skillet, and ladle pancake batter around it. Let it cook, then flip! You even use the same batter for both the waffle and pancake. (Merging a pancake and a waffle? Genius. Making two batters? Now, that's just crazy—and too much work.)
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There are, however, a few tips for panwaffle success, which we learned from watching Erin make a panwaffle on Facebook Live (see the video here). Here's what you need to know to ensure you get a fluffy on the outside, crispy on the inside panwaffle:
Use a shorter waffle iron (no Belgian waffles). This will allow for the pancake batter to surround the waffle.
Cook the waffle until it's set, but not too brown—you're going to cook it again on the stove. Feel free to open your waffle iron to check! This waffle should still feel spongy.
You'll need at least a 9-inch (or even a 10- or 12-inch) skillet to accommodate the waffle and its surrounding pancake ring.
Put the side of the waffle that's less-cooked onto the skillet, since it will spend the most time being re-cooked.
Wait for the bubbles in the pancake batter to die down before flipping the panwaffle.
Flip with confidence! It's exactly like a pancake (albeit a very large one). If you have a really big spatula, use it. If not, a fish spatula and cake spatula combination work well, too.
And while, of course, you could top your panwaffle with maple syrup and call it breakfast, you could also top it with something a little extra, like one of the following. (It's a panwaffle after all! This is a celebration.)