At Costco? Really?
The first day we were in Belgium five years or so ago, cousin Jan took us into Brussels on the metro and introduced us in the Grande Place to Belgian waffles, hot off the waffle iron, redolent of vanilla and sugar and butter. The addiction was instant. We had at least one waffle daily for the two weeks we were there.
We've tried to find a good recipe for Belgian waffles ever since and have tried making them at home more than once. Jan even brought us pearl sugar from Belgium on a subsequent trip so we could approximate the real thing.
The real thing takes time and extra work, but it's worth it.
Still, you can imagine that the idea of true Belgian waffles, already baked for you and only in need of heating, sounds like an idea I can get behind! Jan found these at Costco. Costco? Really?*
They are called Julian's Recipe waffles and they come individually wrapped in cellophane in a larger plastic clamshell. All you do is warm them in the oven at 350 for two or three minutes, in the toaster on low setting until crisp and warm, or in a microwave on high for 15 seconds. I did mine in the oven since I have lots of time and they were darn good, sugary and toasty and scented lightly with vanilla, similar to the ones in the Grande Place.
Having said that, there is something awfully special about receiving the real deal wrapped in a little square of white parchment paper and dusted lightly with sugar from a guy who happily tells you all about his batter and his waffle iron while the fragrant steam lifts into the cold air of Brussels, surrounded by the stunning architecture of the Grande Place. That first amazing bite, when the waffle is crisp on the outside and almost creamy on the inside - it may just be the ambiance but there is nothing like it in the world.
But Julian's Recipe ain't half bad - next time you are in Costco and in need of a treat, look for these. At Costco? Really?
*I fear my snobism is showing.