December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Pancakes

Yesterday morning I tried my hand at making a Gingerbread Pancake recipe I'd written up after consulting a number of such recipes.  The trick in designing the recipe was to come up with pancakes with a gingerbread flavor and somewhat denser-than-usual texture without the result being too heavy.  Different published recipes attempted to achieve that result in different ways.  Some of them called for unusually large amounts of baking powder (including one on that called for 6 tablespoons!) while others clearly sacrificed flavor for texture, with results that would end up tasting more like typical pancakes with a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon.

One recipe I found online had a feature I liked - incorporating finely-ground nuts into the batter.  This would give the pancakes some chew without weighting them down too much or risking the result being more like a thin sheetcake than a pancake.  Several used molasses for the same reason - it would add a denser sweetness than sugar, while still adding moisture, plus it would contribute a deep color - and I knew I wanted to incorporate that as well. 

The results were quite flavorful, denser-than-usual pancakes that deliver intense gingerbread flavor without being too heavy or dry.  They were good on their own, but they really shone with syrup.  Syrup is, thankfully, something with which we are well-stocked.

With the addition of some maple sausage, these pancakes made for a tasty, hearty breakfast... just the thing for a cold, blustery day.

Gingerbread Pancakes

2       cups all-purpose flour
3       tablespoons ground almonds
1       tablespoon baking powder
2       teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1       teaspoon baking soda
1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2    teaspoon nutmeg
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1/4    teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2       eggs
4       tablespoons molasses
         butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

In a large bowl combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ground cardamom seeds and cloves.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.  Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour mixture, add molasses and stir together until just combined (the batter will still be somewhat lumpy; do not over-mix).  Set aside about 10 minutes.

Spray large skillet or griddle with nonstick spray over medium-high heat (375 degrees for electric skillet or griddle).  Pour 1/4 cup of batter at a time into the heated pan, leaving a couple inches of space between each, and cook about 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then flip and cook another 1 1/2-2 minutes. 

Repeat with remaining batter and serve.

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