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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

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Most people fall into one of two sweet breakfast food camps: pancakes or waffles. For years, I preferred the fluffy taste of pancakes (the way my mom made them with chocolate chips!) — until I met my boyfriend.

Once we started dating, we went out to breakfast regularly and started splitting a chocolate chip waffle along with the rest of our meal. Waffles quickly started to outrank pancakes in my book.

So, when my sister bought me the Black + Decker Belgian Waffle Maker for Christmas last year, I was beyond psyched. It is truly a great, inexpensive gift for anyone who loves food.

Black + Decker Waffle Maker, $17 (usually $20), Amazon

Before getting the waffle maker, I often made pancakes. But honestly, I’ve never been that great at it. I always over or under-cooked them and broke them when they'd flip. Sad, I know. So the concept of a fail-proof machine that would make me perfectly shaped and evenly cooked breakfast food was pretty appealing.

How does it work?

The waffle maker heats up quickly — you know it's preheated when the "ready" indicator light comes on. Then, it cooks waffles to golden perfection in a mere three to four minutes. Both sides are always evenly cooked — unlike my sad attempts at pancake making — and you can heat them a little longer if you like waffles a bit crispier.

My waffles are always cooked to perfection with this waffle maker!Courtesy of Chrissy Callahan

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It's non-stick and easy to clean

Upon first use, you’re supposed to grease the non-stick waffle plates to make sure nothing sticks. After that it’s as simple as pouring in the batter every time and not worrying about prep work or major cleanup. The most I ever have to clean this waffle maker is when I’m a little bit overzealous with my pouring and spill some batter over the side. In those cases, I simply wait for the waffle maker to cool down and scrape off the hardened batter with a paper towel. Easy peasy!

In case you do need or want to thoroughly clean out the waffle maker, that's easy too, because the waffle plates slide out.

It's small enough to stow away

I have a pretty small kitchen, so even though this waffle maker is relatively compact, storing it on my countertop isn’t an option right now. Once I upgrade and expand my counter space, though, I definitely will be displaying this gem right out in the open! For now, I just wait for it to cool and store it in its original box in my pantry.

It’s been almost a year since I got this waffle maker, and my love for it is still going strong. Having an appliance that makes delicious food quickly and in a mess-free manner saves me so much time and stress, I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. When my sister gets her own home, I think I'll repay the favor too, and get her one of her own! That's how you know it was truly a great Christmas gift.

Black + Decker Waffle Maker, $17 (usually $20), Amazon

Finding the perfect present can be a challenge, but Shop TODAY's up to the task. No matter who you're looking for, we've got gift guides for everyone on your list, including:

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