Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Simple Pumpkin Pancakes: Hello Fall

Ok fine it isn't really fall just yet, but it's close enough!  Sure, we are still getting summer rains and the leaves are more green (or dead already) instead of pretty oranges and yellows, but it is September, and I wanted to kick off my fall early.

I used to hate pancakes.  I mean really despise them.  I finally thought about it one day though and pinpointed the exact problem I had with them.  As it turned out, it was twofold:
  • I cannot stand flavorless blobs of batter.  Even white cake has vanilla in it and is therefore yummy.  Pancakes? Original pancakes just taste like a sponge.  And that reminds me of dishes, and I HATE doing dishes (yet never seem to end up in an apartment with a dishwasher...)
  • I hate fake syrup.  This one took me a little longer to realize that it was my main issue with pancakes.  But I really just do not care for syrup at all.  Or at least that's what I thought, until I bought the real maple stuff.
I bought a light amber maple (organic) from Target this weekend.  It was super expensive and I almost didn't buy it, but what sold me was the ingredient lists.  I have a big issue with syrup's first two ingredients being high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup (seriously) and maple not even being mentioned other than "natural and artificial flavors" which sort of umbrellas it.  So I shelled out 3 times more in cost to get real maple.  And I don't know if thats what did the trick or if it was the fact that I chose light over dark, but I love it.  I really am not a fan of dark brown sugar, it tastes burnt to me, and I am wondering if perhaps maple syrup runs parallel to that. 

Regardless, here is what you need for easy pumpkin pancakes (about 7 or 8 smallish ones)
-1 c Buttermilk Pancake Mix (I used Krusteaz)
-1/2 C Water
-1/4 C Almond Milk (or water, or milk, something liquid)
-1/2 C Pumpkin (mine was canned, there is no way I am making homemade)
-A handful or so of craisins, raisins, butterscotch chips, pecans, or whatever you want (I used craisins)
-Cinnamon Sugar Mixed** (I used a healthy dusting over my batter)
-Ginger** (about 5 shakes of your bottle)
-Nutmeg** (A solid 2 shakes of your bottle)

**Note, this is actually a lightly spiced recipe, so taste your batter.  I am not a big fan of heavy spices, and especially not while it is still warm, so you might want to double the ginger and nutmeg and add more plain cinnamon to your batter.

You are simply going to mix all of your ingredients together until they are incorporated.  If your box is like mine it will tell you to not overmix, which gets on my nerves.  Ok well what do you consider overmixing Mr. Unclear Box Directions? I usually don't follow directions anyway, though, so I suppose I should not complain.

This is another instance on which fortune favors the owners of an electric griddle.  First, you can nearly make all of the batter on it at once depending on your griddle size.  I did mine in batches of 6 and then 3 because my griddle is long but narrow, so I guess this recipe really makes about 9.  I used a 1/4 C scoop to put my batter onto a BUTTERED hot griddle (about 300 degrees, mine seems to get much hotter than the one I use at home) and they turned out fairly uniform.

Pancakes are nice in the sense that they basically will tell you when they are ready to flip.  Their edges start to round up and they start to lose some of that runny shine they have.  You only need to flip them once, and it only takes a few minutes on each side.  They might have a more creamy center in them than what your plain ole pancakes will, and that is mostly due to the fact that pumpkin (which is already cooked) takes a lot of time and other ingredients to get it to the point where it sets up like a pie. 

On a sidenote, this is a good reason to not try to put pumpkin inside crescent rolls in a college oven.  I did this last year hoping that they would be delicious...uh no.  The centers did not get done and I ate one anyway and am pretty convinced I nearly killed myself from roll poisoning haha.  No but seriously don't do it unless you find a legit recipe and someone can tell you exactly how you need to operate.  And don't ever do it in one of those kitchenette sized ovens.

Back to pancakes.  Pour, flip, cook, plate, repeat.  That is all you need to do.  Again, taste your batter because by some of your standards and ideas of fall tastes this will be underspiced.  I am a picky picky soul when it comes to spices, despise cloves to the ends of the earth, and so I do not like to get heavy handed with them.  I enjoy the taste of things like sweet potatoes and pumpkins without ODing on cloves.  But I must admit, when I make these again, I will absolutely be adding some extra cinnamon in the batter, the cinnamon sugar (though tasty) did not quite have that cinnamon kick I needed.  But I do recommend the cinnsug still because I do think the recipe needs a little sugar to offset the pumpkin.

As you can see, I cut one of mine in half to see if it was done.  I have never actually made pancakes before this venture (typical me, make flavored before original), and wanted to make sure I did not have a gooey mess on my hands, circa stupid crescent roll fiasco of 2011.  I think these would be delicious with a cream cheese drizzle.  Or as I would create, a honey ginger cream cheese drizzle...why did I buy syrup again??

Add real butter and real maple syrup and have a real tasty breakfast treat!

And as an added bonus (because I am unhappy with my steampunk ornament and am therefore making it up to you and myself) I give unto you an odd combination of epic deliciousness:

Make sugar free peach jello with big red zero.  I am serious.  It tastes like a candy peachy-O but better.  And it definitely does NOT taste sugar free.  Even though it is. Sounds like the weirdest thing on the face of the Earth, I completely realize that, but it is fantastic.

May the crafts be ever in your flavor (haha!). Pin It Now!

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