Pancakes

OMG these pancakes!! Let me back up…

Do you ever lay in bed and crave a warm cinnamon roll topped with gooey icing? Of course you do. That’s a silly question. If you’re experiencing such a craving, and know good and well there’s no time and energy for such an involved baking project, look to a stack of these.

They’re fluffy, light, laden with cinnamon and have the perfect amount of tang thanks to the buttermilk. The entire stack is topped with a few spoonfuls of sweet glaze. These pancakes ‘ll make you forget all about cinnamon rolls, I think

(Recipe after the jump!)

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I spent this past weekend making homemade huaraches. I had some a few weeks ago and came home determined to make them by myself.

If you’re not familiar with them, let me lure you in. They’re made with an easy mixture of corn flour (masa), warm water and a dash of salt. After the dough rests you roll it into a cigar-like shape and create a cavity. THEN you spoon a bit of refried beans into the center and roll them out. Throw them on the griddle until brown and then finish them in some hot oil. They’re like this crispy, refried bean fried tortilla. The topping opportunities are endless; everything from carnitas to sauteed vegetables. Hi deliciousness!

Now that I’ve convinced you they’re awesome, I’ll let you know that there’s no huaraches recipe today.(SAD!) But I did have a bunch of corn flour leftover and figure I’d throw some in a batch of pancakes.

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Food exists for every occasion. Birthday cakes for birthdays (obvi). Casseroles for cold nights. Chicken soup to rid a cold. Bacon wrapped jalapeños for pot lucks. Cookies for the holidays. Salads for getting cute and healthy…and then…and then there’s heartbreak food.

You know…food for when your heart actually hurts. And you need something to hug you and tell you it’s gonna be okay. And tell you that it’s actually for the best. And that despite life being hard, good things are on their way. Because they are.

So yeah…there’s food for this occasion, too.

Chocolate pudding is pretty popular for this type of situation, as is a pint of ice cream while calling home to mom. Or the first row in a package of oreos. And maybe the second.

But I…I personally recommend pancakes. These specifically.

There’s carbs (requirement!), chocolate (double-requirement!), pumpkin (it’s fall), all while swimming in a pool of warm maple syrup (triple-requirement!).

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Not sure if you can see it, but there’s a crust around that piece of syrupy brioche. Do you see it?

Yeah, that thing is called French toast coated in a thin pancake batter. Breakfast craziness, that’s what that is.

So take your eyeballs over to PW’s Tasty Kitchen to see the entire thing go down with step-by-step photos. Oh yeah, and you’ll get the recipe there, too.

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Two days ago I got the sickness.  All that ran through my head was that I had the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, I’M SO SICK, OMG, (!!) I HATE THAT STUPID NYQUIL COMMERCIAL thing going on.

No biggie. I put on my happy sick face (it’s cute, seriously!) and embraced it.

I made a stack of pancakes, threw on some sweats, curled up on the couch and watched Wet Hot American Summer for the thousandth time. Best remedy for a cold ever.

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I kinda wanted to make pancakes. And then I wanted to make bread pudding. And then I found a way to make both..in one. These pancakes are what dreams are made of. They taste like bread pudding and Christmas morning all in one bite.  Amazing, right?

It all starts with cutting up some good white bread and soaking it in milk, vanilla extract and a little cinnamon. You can add some booze in there too, if you like. I think that’d a great idea.  Maybe some bourbon? Maybe some rum? Maybe Grand Marnier? Shut up. Why didn’t I add this?!

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Let’s talk pancakes. I love pancakes. I mean, what’s not to love about them. They’re cakes…for breakfast. These pictured are actually considered  healthy. They use a combination of whole wheat flour, all-purpose and a bit of cornmeal for some good texture. They call for honey rather than sugar, and only the egg whites from two eggs are used.  They’re healthy.  When I hear/read things like that I take it as license to eat double the intended amount. And with these said pancakes, that’s exactly what I did.

I love pancakes so much that I wanted to share some tips on how to make them nearly perfect.  Oh, and if you have any other awesome tips on pancake making that I didn’t include, leave it in the comments.  I love new knowledge.

Tip #1 – Check your baking powder to make sure it’s not past its due date.

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I never had “cool” cereal growing up.  My parents jumped on health-freak bandwagon in the early 90s and never looked back.  They bought a juicer, and soon we were drinking lunch; they started boiling cabbage and making these weird soups; we never had real milk anymore, it was all rice and soy milk.  Obviously, at that moment, I knew the potential for mornings filled with Captain Crunch and Corn Pops were long gone. It really put a cramp in my sleepover style since the morning after all of us girls were subjected to a few boring options: Kelloggs plain, boring as hell corn flakes, or my Dad’s buckwheat pancakes.  Yeah, not bisquick with Aunt Jemima syrup, but buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup.  Now, as an adult, I’d leap at the latter, but when you’re nine and donning Care Bear PJ’s with three of your best girlfriends, the former is where the fun is at.   So when I picked up Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, I was a little hesitant.  Is everything gonna taste mealy? Is it going to taste too grainy, and all “healthy-like”? Are the muffins going to weigh 10 lbs? I’d baked with whole wheat flour and oat flour before, but my experience was really limited, and associated those types of flours with being healthy, something that of course I’m concerned with, especially in the month of May when the possibility of being in a bathing suit is one wretched heat wave away.

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When I think of spring, the first thing that comes to mind is that scene in Bambi where all the birds are singing and being really lovey-dovey.  You remember that scene, don’t you? And Bambi, Thumper and Flower are all confused as to what’s happening and the owl starts to explain what being twitterpated means, but they totally don’t understand.

Looking back, what surprises me the most was that Thumper didn’t know what it was. If anyone out of the group would’ve known, it should’ve been him. I mean seriously, he’s the kid that grew up waaaay too fast and knew waaay too much about everything. Remember him egging poor, scared Bambi out onto the frozen pond? Remember how smooth of a skater he was with his hands behind his back just skating along?  He’s the type of kid that pushes your kid in the closet with a girl/boy, gives your kid their first cigarette, first joint or first sip of alcohol. He’s the kid no parent wants their kid to hang out with. Total bad apple.

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I have a dream.  Not, like, an important dream mind you–well to me it is–but to no one else.  It goes something like this:  I live on a farm, in the middle of nowhere, like …oh…I dunno, say Colorado, and I have a husband and he’s awesome and I probably have kids and they’re awesome too.  But the part of the dream that makes me most excited is that I have a pet pig. A really cute pet pig.  And his name is probably something really proper like Howard…or Franklin, and me and this…Franklin are inseparable.  We go for swims in the pond, he waits for me by the front door when I go and run errands,  he sleeps by my bedside, we play in the mud together, and when no one’s looking, I give Franklin kisses. Because that’s what I do with animals I love…I kiss them, even if other people think it’s gross.

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