One day, last summer, the idea of a vanilla-orange waffle popped into head — seemingly out of nowhere. I’d never had anything along those lines, much less seen a recipe.

It was around that time that I’d also been working on a Kugelhopf recipe, obsessing over the rum in which to drench it. Maybe it was my frequent rum-runs to the liquor store that had Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao at the top of my mind, but I instantly thought it would make the perfect addition to the waffle. It was an excellent way to achieve the orange flavor without introducing all the waffle-softening sugar inherent in orange juice. The alcohol content, too, was likely to provide some textural benefits.

For the final recipe, I settled on using tangelos in place of oranges. There’s a quality to the zest that works well for the overall flavor. Also of note is the use of Burro di Parma, which is a very mild Italian butter — bringing plenty of creamy mouthfeel without also dwarfing other tones in the piece.

To top these, I use a tangelo-maple blend. It has a great zing from the tangelo juice merged with a hint of maple flavor, thanks to Andersonville’s light amber.

Note: These are unequivocally my favorite waffles. You can practically eat the scent of them streaming out of the iron, and the actual flavor and texture need to be experienced to be believed.

Mexican Vanilla Curaçao Waffle

makes 2 round American-style waffles

62g egg (heated in a very warm water bath and then lightly beaten)
4g Mexican vanilla extract
140g whole milk at ~43°C/110°F
80g Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

Preheat the waffle iron to 191°C/375°F

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. Scrape the vanilla beans to yield 1.2g of paste, and add it to the dry ingredients, along with the tangelo zest, butter, egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Stir to blend.

3. Add the Curaçao, and finish blending the ingredients. The batter will be of a fairly thin consistency.

4. Pour the mix into the preheated iron and cook for 3 minutes 35 seconds.

Remove the waffle from the iron and place on a wire rack to cool. When the waffle has cooled below 49°C/120°F, place the waffle back into the iron to cook for 10 seconds longer. Serve immediately.