On Sunday morning, I took a 73-degree walk and came home dreaming of fall and of creating the season’s inaugural pumpkin confection, which I decided should be waffles, because then the inauguration could start right away.

These waffles would be diabolical enough with maple syrup, I will have you know — crisp cinnamon-scented things that made our kitchen smell of nutmeg and spice. But my sister messed with my mornings forever when she made homemade buttermilk syrup on our family vacation and served it, at breakfast, to my fiance. Who now knows that it exists — that his waffles could be coated in a substance that tastes like caramel.

(All the people on Pinterest calling this stuff “buttermilk” syrup are lying to themselves. It’s caramel, blessed amber goo.)

Tyson wanted to help and made the syrup himself. The waffles are easy — 10 minutes of work that begins with a mix and ends with a pretty, October-colored breakfast.

The syrup is simple, too — all it requires is a pile of sugar and butter.  (Yikes.) Also: buttermilk and vanilla.

It cooks down into this — which would be glorious over vanilla ice cream and peaches or bananas. Or eaten with a spoon for a 10 pm dessert, while standing in a dark kitchen with only the light of the fridge to witness your shame.

And for all my whining about the maple syrup — everything is better when covered in caramel. Especially pumpkin. (Caramel apples were born in October for a reason.)

RECIPE: Pumpkin Waffles with Buttermilk-Caramel Syrup

2 cups Bisquick (you betcha)

1 1/3 cups milk

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

the zest of 1/2 lemon

Stir ingredients together. Batter will be lumpy. Bake in waffle iron according to your iron’s instructions. I use the hottest setting and leave them in for an extra minute or two, since they’re best when extra crispy. Top with syrup (and butter, if you are Tyson and have the metabolism of a four-year-old boy).


Tyson followed this recipe — use high-quality vanilla, and add a serious pinch of salt. Don’t cook it quite as long as it says to, or it will be too thick.

My waffle iron is heart-shaped (a gift from my mother, because I love waffles — and I love that I think of her whenever I make them now). It was from Williams-Sonoma and is no longer available, but this one is similar.

What is your favorite pumpkin treat? I’m going on an orange-colored binge.