Someone commented yesterday on my blog photo entry of the pumpkin waffles cooling. It seemed odd to them to cool waffles, when one would presumably want to dig in immediately. But I’d suggest you resist the temptation. Why? Well . . .
Like a fine bread, pumpkin waffles aren’t truly done cooking until they’ve reached room temperature. It’s in that time that the flavor of the batter becomes fully developed, excess moisture wafts away as vapor, and the spices’ oils fully infiltrate their surroundings. If you eat the waffle on-the-spot, it will taste good, but the flavor won’t be nearly as complex or profound. I’d estimate the flavor to be at about 40% if eaten directly after baking. When you let it cool and then put it right back on the waffle iron for about 30 seconds (or in the oven for a few minutes), it is a completely different experience. Trust me; after all, I’m the guy obsessed enough to have a blog about his pumpkin waffle recipe.
If you choose to freeze the waffles to enjoy later, it’s also important to bring them down to room temperature before popping them into freezer bags. That keeps too much condensation from forming on the inside of the bag while they freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy the waffle, days or weeks later, just put it on your counter for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (flip it over to its other side after 30-45 minutes, to get uniform defrosting) and then pop it into your iron for 45-60 seconds (or in your oven for a few minutes).