Recipe: chocolate gingerbread pancakes
People react to tragedy in different ways, and we were reminded of this on Friday morning when shock and despair rippled through our collective consciousness. I shed tears for people I didn’t know – victims, survivors, families, a community – and later more tears for my friend whose little nephew was lost in the shooting. You can do something or you can do nothing, but we all have a choice here and my hope is that we will think carefully and clearly about that choice.
I have experienced loss, but I am no expert. I seek solace in nature, a place so cold and indifferent and yet almost painfully beautiful. The world continues around you, no matter what has happened, and I find comfort in that. It helps me to pick myself up and continue. I thought I’d share some of the beauty in my corner of the world from a weekend that left so many of us heartsick.
an especially bright meteor from the geminids shower early friday morning
two meteors within 30 seconds of one another
a lovely red fox hiding out in the yard
We spent the weekend hosting a dear high school friend of mine and his wonderful wife at our house. It’s so nice to spend an entire evening catching up and sharing with people you love and admire, but rarely get to see in person. We curled up on couches under warm quilts, eating dessert, bonding over any topic and every topic. The following morning was Mitch’s birthday and Shannon clued me in on his favorite breakfast treat – pancakes. Imagine this Harvard-trained world-traveling consultant-do-gooder gourmand sitting down to a stack of pancakes and clapping his hands together like a little kid. Just one of many reasons why I love Mitch.
happy birthday, sweetie
I am not a breakfast person, and I think most of you knew that. But isn’t there something awfully special about pancakes? I sort of feel that pancakes bring out the kid in all of us. They are like breakfast presents for children – both the small and the big children. Morning happiness on a plate. An act of love. I’m thinking Saturday mornings in your pajamas eating pancakes with sticky syrup and watching favorite cartoons with nary a care in the world. I equate pancakes with childhood… precious childhood. Let’s make some pancakes.
eggs, molasses, brown sugar, spices, flour, chocolate, butter, buttermilk, leavenings
While I don’t indulge in pancakes very often, I do enjoy a fluffy buttermilk pancake from time to time – preferably with fruit inclusions. But sometimes you have to go a little wild and change things up. As I flipped through my copy of Desserted, my eyes locked onto a recipe for chocolate gingerbread pancakes. How Decemberish!
mix the dry ingredients
mix the wet ingredients
add chocolate (i swear this isn’t dessert)
The spices drew me in more than the chocolate, but I rather like the combination of ginger and chocolate. How could it be bad? Generally, making pancakes from scratch is easy. I’ll bet the majority of people who make pancakes from mixes don’t even realize just how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch (a topic of discussion we had at Mitch’s birthday breakfast). This recipe has the extra step of separating the eggs and whipping the egg whites to be folded in. Just slightly more effort than your standard buttermilk pancake.
stir in the dry ingredients
fold the whipped egg whites into the batter
When I first started making pancakes, I always flipped them too early. Now I know to wait until the bubbles begin to appear and burst on the top before flipping the pancake. They cook up dark because of the molasses and spices and chocolate, but take care not to burn them (because that would be sad). A good dose of maple syrup really brings each bite alive with festive, rich flavors.
see the bubbles start to appear on the surface
serve hot (keep them warm in a low oven while the others cook)
most excellent with maple syrup and some bacon
The house was filled with the aroma of the holidays. These pancakes are a nice change from the standard buttermilk cousin, although I think chocolate gingerbread is more of a special occasion pancake. But sometimes we need special occasions for no reason in particular.
chocolate and gingerbread in your breakfast
Chocolate Gingerbread Pancakes
from Desserted by Kate Shaffer
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
3 tbsps butter, melted, plus more for the skillet
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsps dark brown sugar
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a medium-sized bowl. Mix the yolks with the buttermilk, melted butter, molasses, and brown sugar. Stir the chocolate into the wet mix. Beat the whites until they hold a peak, but not dry (dry will appear crumbly rather than smooth when you break the peak). Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the egg whites. Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat and melt a little butter in pan, coating the whole surface. When the oil is hot, add a 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake and cook until the surface of the pancake(s) begins to bubble and becomes dry along the edges. Flip the pancake(s) and cook for a few minutes until done (the center should spring back when you poke it with your finger). Makes 12-16 pancakes.