Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gingerbread Pancakes

This may come as a surprise to you, but even though I have mastered difficult recipes, like croissants or spanakopita, there are lots of things that I have never tried.  Easy things.  Things like pancakes.  Or French toast.  Apparently just breakfast foods.  But really, it's weird that I am the kind of girl who bakes for fun, and yet I've never made pancakes.  Don't worry: as of Christmas morning, I am now a pancake expert.

Back to the pancakes.  Before Christmas, Mark worked so much that I never saw him.  I am only slightly exaggerating.  He went weeks without a day off, and many days worked at both jobs.  Finally, Christmas Day was his first time to relax.  Obviously, he slept late, so I took advantage of the extra time in the morning to make him a special Christmas breakfast.  I came up with the idea of gingerbread pancakes; it felt Christmas-y and exciting and would make the house smell nice!  I found a recipe and had everything I needed, so I got to work.

These pancakes are flavored with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, brown sugar, and molasses.  They turn into fragrant, dark, spicy pancakes that are just perfect for a special morning like Christmas.  By the time Mark got up, the oven was keeping a nice platter of gingerbread pancakes warm, and we were able to sit down and have our first Christmas breakfast together.  I think it will probably become a tradition for us.  Maybe next year I will tack French toast :)


gingerbread pancakes
from Williams Sonoma
makes 8 pancakes


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
3/4 cup cold water


1) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, molasses, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and the water.  Add the brown sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  There will still be some small lumps.

2) Place a large griddle or fry pan with low sloping sides over medium heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle and then immediately evaporate.  Brush with some of the remaining melted butter.

3) For each pancake, ladle about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot surface.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until small bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, about 4 minutes.  After 3 minutes, lift a pancake to check if the underside is done; do not let the pancake darken too much.  Carefully turn the pancakes over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 1 minute more.  transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm; do not cover the pancakes or they will get soggy.  Repeat with the remaining batter and butter to make about 8 pancakes, each about 4 inches in diameter.

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