Archive for: pancakes
Thick, fluffy pancakes are always a good way to start any morning. I will sometimes squeeze a batch into a weekday morning, but I usually reserve them for the weekends when I have time to sit around and savor my pancakes. The weekends also give me time to play around with the flavors and ingredients in my pancakes a little bit, and these Fluffy Lemon Yogurt Pancakes are the result of a little (very successful) experimentation in the kitchen.
The Lemon Yogurt Pancakes are made with thick, greek-style yogurt in the pancake batter. The yogurt gives a very subtle tanginess to the pancakes and adds a nice thickness to the batter, which makes the finished pancakes that much taller. I prefer to use a plain yogurt when I cook or bake with it, so that I can add in sugar and other flavorings, like vanilla, myself. The tanginess of the yogurt was the perfect backdrop for a little citrus and so I flavored these pancakes with fresh lemon juice and zest. The lemon zest gives them a subtle, but delicious, lemon flavor that is a great change of pace from your average buttermilk pancakes.
You could top these pancakes off with maple syrup, honey or even with lemon curd if you want to highlight the lemon flavor even more.
The messiest part of baking is not always the mixing process, but the process of getting your batter into the pan that you are going to bake in. It is difficult to transfer muffin batters and cupcake batters into small muffin cups without getting drips all over the place, especially when you are working with runny batters. Many people will use measuring cups or ice cream scoops (or other specialty scoops) to try to make clean transfers and to try to get the same amount of batter into each cup, but even these tools are not foolproof. The more experienced you are, the neater and quicker you can work, but it can still be a challenge.
One tool that can actually make the job a lot cleaner is Norpro’s Batter Dispenser. This measuring cup as a 4-cup capacity and dispenses batter through a funnel at the bottom of the cup that opens with a squeeze of the handle. The funnel lets batters through smoothly and cuts off the flow exactly when you want it, without drips. The cup is also clearly marked with measurements in both cups and ounces, so you can determine exactly how much batter you are using with each squeeze. It is especially handy when working to fill very tiny molds, such as mini cupcake or donut pans, or specialty pans where you really want to direct the flow of the batter into every crack. It also works beautifully with pancake batters to give you perfectly round pancakes every time. It will work best with batters that are somewhat viscous or fluid, rather than batters that are as thick and scoopable as cookie dough
Easter is a holiday that I like to celebrate by having brunch with family and friends, but sometimes it’s nice to celebrate on a smaller scale. One way to do this is to whip up a batch of Easter Egg Pancakes, rather than big batches of baked goods meant to serve a crowd. These are your basic buttermilk pancakes that are dressed up for Easter with a little bit of food coloring intended to give them a “decorated Easter egg” look.
To make these, you simply add food coloring to a small amount of your standard pancake batter. The colored batter is piped onto the top of regular pancake batter after it is added to a hot griddle. By putting the colored batter into small ziploc bags with one of the corners cut off (or piping bags), you can get more detailed with your decorations and you have a little bit of time to work before the pancake batter sets. I kept my basic batter plain, so that the colors would stand out more, but you could even tint the basic batter for a brighter (and even more appealing to kids) look. Use leftover colored batter to pipe a few extra decorations – a strip of grass, small “eggs” or even little bunny shapes – and garnish the plate before serving.
If you cook your pancakes at a lower-than-normal temperature for a longer time, you can can cook them all the way through and preserve even more of the brightly colored batter. Personally, I still want my pancakes to be nicely browned and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of color in my finished product as a result. That said, be sure to make your colored batters nice and bright (gel food colors will give you a darker result) so that as much color as possible comes through. Even if your pancakes don’t look as good as your dyed Easter eggs, don’t worry because they will taste delicious and will still be festive no matter what!
Fruit often winds up on top of a stack of pancakes, rather than inside the pancakes themselves, both in the form of whole pieces of fruit and incorporated into a syrup or topping. This is usually because classic buttermilk pancakes are pretty darn good on their own and it’s easy to simply make plain pancakes and put the fruit on top. This is a great option, of course, but it’s nice to mix things up by putting the fruit inside of your pancakes from time to time for a little more flavor. These Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes are a great example because they have chunks of sauteed apple inside of every pancake, adding more flavor and texture to every bite of breakfast.
I start off this recipe by dicing up some apples and sauteeing them in a little bit of butter and sugar until they are tender. Just about any kind of apple will work, so use what you have on hand. The pancakes themselves are not sweet (except for the syrup!) so I would recommend sweeter apples as opposed to tart Granny Smith types. Next, a cinnamon and buttermilk pancake batter is prepared and dolloped onto a hot griddle. I add the apple pieces into each pancake as it’s cooking, placing the pieces on the top of each pancake before it has “set.” The apples stay in place when the pancakes are flipped and pick up a little extra caramelization from the hot pan.
The finished pancakes are fluffy and light, with a nice cinnamon flavor and plenty of pieces of apple. The apples are tender, but not mushy, so they add a little texture to the pancakes and while guaranteeing that your breakfast is going to have a good apple flavor. Maple syrup is a fantastic compliment to the apples and cinnamon in the pancakes, so definitely splurge on the real thing when serving these.
A big stack of homemade buttermilk pancakes is a wonderful way to start a weekend morning, especially when they’re topped off with a generous amount of maple syrup. You may have noticed, however, that syrup tends to get absorbed into fluffy pancakes in a matter of minutes. This means that you need to reapply the syrup as you eat, or simply pour it as you go on small portions of the pancake. Some get around this problem by keeping their syrup in a small bowl and dipping their pancakes. Still others may decide to use Pancake Plates. Designed by John Wyle, these plates have one slightly raised edge that creates a slight slope and allows syrup to run away from your pancakes and into a built-in pool on the edge of the plate. Pancake lover-Wyle felt that this design would prevent soggy pancakes by giving users a dipping pool of syrup that would form after pouring syrup onto a fresh stack of pancakes. You could use it for other foods as well, but this plate is really going to shine with pancakes, waffles and french toast.
As a side note, these plates are also great for food bloggers because having one raised edge can allow you to get extra light on the top of your plate – whether you’re eating pancakes or not – and you will be able to take some great food photos with this as a prop!