January 17, 2011
The new issue of Cook's Country (February/March 2011) arrived a few days ago. Like the previous issue, this one was packed with great-looking recipes. Interestingly, the first three articles to really grab my attention were all written by the same author, Erika Bruce. I ended up making all three of those recipes last weekend. I'll write about the other two - Easy Chocolate Pudding and Fairy Gingerbread Cookies - in their own posts, but this time around I'm writing about the first of the three I made: Heavenly Hots.
Heavenly Hots are small pancakes with an airy, delicate texture resembling a souffle more than a typical pancake. They consist mostly of sour cream - a single batch includes two cups of sour cream, compared to a mere 1/4 cup of flour, a few tablespoons of other dry ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and soda) and a couple eggs. This makes them quite delicate, but it also gives them a wonderfully tangy flavor, enough that while you can serve them with syrup (Juli and I both found we preferred fruit syrups with these), they're really quite tasty topped with nothing but a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
The printed recipe makes about 32 pancakes, and specifies 8 per serving, but neither Juli nor I could eat a full serving. This is not because they weren't tasty - in fact, they were delicious - but because they were so rich! This shouldn't be surprising, given that one serving includes a half-cup of sour cream, plus sugar, egg and vanilla extract, but we were both surprised how filling they were. After having these for breakfast, we weren't really hungry again until mid-afternoon.
If I make these again, I'll make only a half-recipe, as the one as written makes way, way too many for two people and their delicate texture means they don't hold up to reheating. Since we love our leftovers, that means I'm probably not going to make these very often - compared to the prep time, I get much more payoff by making up a batch of Blueberry Pancakes or Best Blueberry Muffins (both Cook's Illustrated recipes) - but if you're wanting to make something both delightfully different and quite rich for breakfast, you might want to give these a try.