The waffle iron has long been considered the quintessential "back of the kitchen cabinet" gift, only dragged out for that one time every few months you bother to make waffles from scratch, but thanks to the folks at Chow, it doesn't have to be. After all, what's a waffle iron but a pair of heating elements with a small space between? That's perfect for waffle-shaped brownies, muffins and yes, even crispy fried hash-browns, just the way you like them.
Image: J. Chris Vaughan.
This might be old hat to some people, and indeed we've mentioned how to make cookies with a waffle iron in the past.
The principle for brownies and muffins is much the same as cookies -- you just need low heat, the right batter and about five minutes of cooking time (Chow has recipes, if you're already eager). Hash browns are similar, but you'll need more heat, some oil to keep the potatoes from sticking while they cook and more time, especially if you like your hash browns nice and crispy. Either way, and whichever recipes you use, it doesn't take too much effort to make your waffle iron an appliance worth keeping on the counter-top instead of buried in the back of your pantry.
Have you tried any of these tricks? Have any more waffle iron hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below.