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President Kennedy’s Waffles



I’ve always loved making President Kennedy’s waffles. First and foremost JFK knew a good waffle when he ate one, it’s a really good recipe. And secondly if you messed them up and anyone complained . . .

‘I didn’t realize JFK liked his waffles ‘blackened’.

you always had the perfect out . . .

‘Shut your pie hole, if they were good enough for President Kennedy, they’re good enough for you’.

To be fair I doubt President Kennedy’s chef had to use the same waffle iron my Dad gave me as a gift in the 70’s, an odd square affair that doubled as a sandwich press (at least by description). It had 3 settings, Off, Too Hot, and Scalding. The basic design survives to this day (hopefully it works a little better, but I wouldn’t count on it). Nowadays I have this little Cuisinartthat does a great job for me, although I’d have something that made more than one waffle at a time if I cooked for more than a few people.

I originally got Kennedy’s recipe from one of my first cookbooks, ‘Kings In The Kitchen’ by Gertrude Booth (1961), a Christmas gift in the mid-70’s from a friend who knew of my love for food and history.

One thing to mention is that the recipe requires beaten egg whites (which I expect will be made much easier with our new mixer). It is VERY important to fold them in to the batter a little at a time and very gently with the goal being to keep as much air in the batter as possible. There’s a nice little ‘tutorial’ here about midway down the page. Its also important to wait until right before you’re ready to start cooking before folding them in.

Air beaten in = fluffy egg whites = fluffy waffles. That’s how that goes. Its a little more work but well worth it.

Simple and classic, here is Kennedy’s waffle recipe.

JFK’s Waffles
Kings In The Kitchen’ by Gertrude Booth (1961)

1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
7/8th cup milk
1 cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
pinch salt
2 beaten egg whites
4 tsp baking powder

Cream sugar, butter and add the yolks

Add flour and milk

When you’re ready to bake fold in the egg whites and baking powder.

Wikipedia on Waffles

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