I grew up in Belgium where a lot of small local bakeries around the corner offered daily fresh bread, pastries and different types of sweets. Most of my breakfasts consisted of a small sandwich made with fresh farmers bread and topped with either homemade jelly, honey, eggs or cheese. Occasionally and mostly on Sundays, we enjoyed pancakes or croissants. But we never ate waffles for breakfast. Instead, we rather enjoyed them as a hearty or light sweet snack in the afternoon.
Most people that think of Belgian waffles, probably think of the famous Brussels or Liege waffles. Although they both have their subtle differences (real waffle connoisseurs will argue that their differences are very distinct), they are mostly very sweet and are more of a treat than a snack. The waffles I remember eating as a child and which my neighbors often offered in their warm kitchen are thick and heavy, squared and chewy, and full of goodness. They were more meant to be eaten like a cookie, and since the chosen flour with which to bake them was often a buckwheat or a full whole wheat flour, one waffle was incredibly filling.
These lightly sweet buckwheat waffles resemble the taste of the waffles I remember eating in my old hometown, and although we now sometimes enjoy them for breakfast or brunch, they are perfect as a hearty or sweet afternoon snack. Instead of dark brown sugar, we use date sugar and add black raisins. We use the warmth of cinnamon spices and vanilla extract to complement the aroma of these waffle cookies. They smell heavenly! And although you can easily substitute the coconut oil and coconut milk for real butter and milk, it gives an extra crunchiness to them without any hint of coconut flavor once baked.
At home, I often offer them as an afternoon snack or after school snack. My daughter grabs one in her hand as she goes into the backyard to play. But I also sometimes make them hearty for lunch or brunch by topping them with an egg sunnyside up and slices of my favorite hard cheese. Kids also love them as a sweet snack with warm strawberries or blueberries and a tad of maple syrup or honey.
For the flour, I use toasted buckwheat groats and grind the groats into flour. Using toasted and ground groats instead of regular buckwheat flour give these waffles a more nutty and aromatic flavor. Especially when you are not used to baking with buckwheat flour, using the buckwheat groats will make all the difference in taste.
Let the waffles cool down before storing them in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Based on preference, reheat them either for a couple of seconds in the microwave or a toaster and enjoy!