Gaufrettes are thin, crisp, fan-shaped wafers made with a waffled pattern on their surfaces.
They are cooked in a round shape on a special gaufrette pan (often referred to as an “iron”) which gives them the waffle pattern.
Gaufrettes have a rich, buttery taste rather than a sweet taste.
Gaufrettes crisp up as they cool.
They can be curled while still warm and soft into ice cream cones called “waffle cones.”
They can be made as small rounds, for a filling to be put between the two rounds. Or heart-shaped ones are often made: they are baked in a stove top or electric mould and then broken into 4 triangular pieces, each having a point on one end, and heart bulges at the other end.
The heart-shaped ones are often stuck into a serving of ice cream or gelato.
On their own, they are often served with wine.
Gaufrettes are somewhat similar to an Italian “pizzelle”, and like pizzelle, are often made at Christmas.
Literature & Lore
“Baked like any waffle, the gaufrette comes hot from the grid to be cut into halves, each half folded into pie-wedge shape, thinly pointed it is, sharp enough to jab into ice cream, which is one way to serve it. A graceful sweet to pass with a macedoine of fresh fruit, pleasant with tea, a love with hot chocolate. Maurine Cotton introduces the gaufrette to America, making it here as he made it before the war in his factory in Lyons, where it was baked by the hundreds of dozens to sell throughout France. Here Mr. Cotton started his business in a pocket-sized shop, helpers three, wife, daughter, and son. His first machine was his own design, and eight-griddle affair, revolving full circuit once every two minutes, just the time it takes to bake a waffle to honey-brown tones.
Six years ago, the Cotton factory considered it a good day’s work to turn out 600 gaufrettes. Now it boasts 60,000 as daily production. Since October, Lucien Poirier has come in as a firm partner, handling sales and expanding retail outlets. The wafers are selling in New York City at Maison Glass, 15 East 47th Street, Hicks and Sons, 660 Fifth Avenue, and John Wanamaker’s. But ask in the delicacy stores of your city. Distribution soon will be national, $1.15 to $1.50 a box for 50 gaufrettes.” — Paddleford, Clementine (1898 – 1967). Food Flashes Column. Gourmet Magazine. February 1949.
“Gaufrettes” means “little waffles.”
The word “Gaufrettes” is also sometimes used to mean what Americans call “Belgian waffles.”