pancakes with panache: Take a walk on the wild side

Ah, pancakes – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I love thee for thy crust and texture light,
I love thee for thy flavor – buttery bright,
I love thee purely, syrup on the side,
I love thee with a passion only you provide,
I love thee…

Oh, heck. My apologies, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. There’s a better way for me to list The Top Ten Reasons I Love Pancakes:

1. They’re not HOT or COLD, but pleasingly warm, perfect for any season.
2. They’re soft, moist, and a gentle way to get your appetite in gear for the day.
3. Pancakes remind me of being about 9 years old.
4. They’re the ideal vehicle for melting butter and maple syrup.
5. You can scale them up or down, according to appetite or diet: single, short stack, tall stack.
6. There’s no flavor combination quite so fine as salty bacon and syrupy pancake.
7. You can make a whole-grain pancake that’s out of this world. Really.
8. A superior diner pancake is one of God’s gifts to hungry humans.
9. They’re a special treat when you serve them at dinner. Unlike a bowl of oatmeal.
10. There are so many ways to gussy them up, you wouldn’t have to eat the same pancakes twice in a month of Sundays.

Witness these gems:

img_0203.JPG

OK, not winning any beauty contests, granted.  But tasty? Well, as they say in Maine – Mmm-MMM, I tell you, Mr. Man, these are SOME good.

And, if I still lived in Maine, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time waxing eloquent about pancakes when I could have gotten out my flour and eggs and milk and butter and whipped up a batch.

So enough with the palaver. Let’s make pancakes with panache – Pancakes Gone Wild.

img_0160.JPG

Malted milk powder is the secret ingredient in these pancakes. It adds that certain something…

img_0087.JPG

…as do all of these cool things you can add! Here we have (front to back) chocolate mini chips and cinnamon Flav-R-Bites; candy-coated chocolate chips and toasted coconut; butterscotch chips and crystallized ginger mini bits; and cappuccino chips and diced walnuts.

If you choose one add-in, you’ll need about 2/3 cup. For multiple add-ins, just lay out a selection, and let everyone select one (or more) to sprinkle atop their cakes as they cook.

img_0167.JPG

Start by whisking together 1 large egg, 2/3 cup milk, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

img_0168.JPG

Whisk in 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons malted milk powder (or 1 tablespoon sugar).

img_0169.JPG

If you’re using just one add-in, stir 2/3 cup into the batter. For two types of pancakes, divide the batter in half, adding 1/2 cup chips, nuts, etc., to each half.

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, while you heat your griddle to medium-high, about 350°F. Or, if you don’t have an electric griddle, heat a frying pan over medium heat.

img_1824.jpg

Dollop the batter onto the hot, greased griddle. A scoop works very well here. A cookie scoop will make kid-friendly (or diet-conscious) 2 1/2″ to 3″ cakes. A muffin scoop, full-sized 4″ to 4 1/2″ cakes.

If you’ve stirred in “enhancements,” you may need to use the back of the scoop or a spoon to spread the pancakes a bit.

img_1825.jpg

Let the cakes cook for about 90 seconds, or until they start to show a few bubbles on top. Check the bottom to see how brown they are; if they’re browning too quickly (say, in under a minute), reduce the temperature of the griddle or pan. If they’re taking longer than 2 minutes to brown nicely, increase the temperature.

img_1826.jpg

Here’s one of my cinnamon Flav-R-Bite pancakes. I’ve just flipped it; what a nice color!

img_1822.jpg

Now, here’s what happens when you add candy-coated mini chips to pancake batter. The color runs, and you get PURPLE PANCAKES! Kids might enjoy these, but they were a little too funky looking for my taste.

img_0173.JPG

If each person wants to add their own enhancements, have them sprinkle a tablespoon or so on top of the pancakes, as soon as you pour them onto the griddle. (Since the batter without add-ins isn’t as thick, the batter for these cakes will pour, rather than needing to be scooped.)

img_0172.JPG

Flip the cakes over when they’re brown on the bottom.

img_0231.JPG

Pile on a plate. Put them “goodie side up” to identify what’s in each pancake. Drizzle on the syrup; butter, too, if you like.

img_1853.jpg

Here are the pancakes with mini chocolate chips stirred into the batter, rather than sprinkled on top.

img_1841.jpg

And here are the cakes with cinnamon Flav-R-Bites. Pause a moment, and imagine with me just how good these taste. Warm pancake, a touch of syrup, soft pockets of cinnamon. Ahhh…

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Pancakes Gone Wild.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Little House of Pancakes, Pigeon Forge, TN: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, stack of 3, $6.95

Make at home: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, stack of 3 full-sized cakes, 82¢


PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Lynne

    Can you substitute NON DIASTATIC MALT POWDER 1# for the Malted Milk powder? Thanks!

    Yes, Lynne – slightly different flavor, but it should work just fine. PJH

    Reply
  2. dick

    My mother used to make an Amish savory pancake when I was a kid. She woudl crumble crisp bacon and then quickly saute fresh corn in the bacon fat just to get a little color on the corn. Then she would pour out the pancakes and the sprinkle the corn and bacon and sometime little bits of onion onto the pancakes. A little butter and a little syrup and heavenly. Even better if you heat the syrup a wee bit. Haven’t made them for years.

    Boy, doesn’t THAT sound good, Dick. I think you’d better break out the bacon and corn this weekend… PJH

    Reply
  3. Dana

    Hi,

    Thanks for a wonderful blog, I love reading it, and learning things (eg differences between the yeasts, or kosher versus regular salt), and getting inspired! A quick question though – between a few days ago and today, the recipe for the whole grain pancakes seems to have disappeared from your site. The link in this entry takes me nowhere, a search of the KAF recipe site brings me to a summary page, if I click on the link there, it again takes me nowhere… Any chance of getting it back?

    Thanks for a wonderful blog, and for taking me along on great baking adventures, Dana

    This is an ongoing problem recently, Dana – recipes just “up and disappear.” We’re trying to figure it out. In the meantime, thanks for letting us know, and I’ll get it back when I get into work this morning- PJH

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *