What better way to begin a cold winter day than with a warm stack of pancakes? Grab a griddle. Fetch a frying pan. Stock up on syrup. It’s National Pancake Month.
“Pancakes are yummy! They feel homey to me,” described Annamarie Chestnut. “Not only do they taste good, they remind me of my mom at home making pancakes for me.”
Now Chestnut’s the one making plate-sized pancakes for hungry customers at her Royersford restaurant called Annamarie’s. The pancakes are so big, in fact, she launched a “pancake challenge.”
“If you can eat three, you get them free,” Chestnut said. “We’ve had about 21 or 22 people who’ve done it in 19 years.”
Even though most people stick with one pancake, the numbers add up fast. On a recent Sunday, she used more than 11 gallons of batter. Flavors have included snickerdoodle, cinnamon swirl, tropical, carrot cake, oatmeal raisin and Reese’s peanut butter.
“It’s a peanut butter pancake with Reese’s peanut butter cups in it and dark chocolate drizzle over it,” Chestnut explained. I have to admit. They are good.”
Another good combination: chocolate pancakes with Almond Joy syrup, a special at The Casual Gourmet in Limerick.
“It came from a customer. It was made with love for her family,” said chef and owner Renée Snow, who also offers plate-sized pancakes.
“What do I love about pancakes? They’re sweet, filling and warm,” she added. “There’s a lot you can do with pancakes. They’re versatile.”
Chef Jonathan Amann of Amani’s BYOB in Downingtown agrees.
“We always try to take things that are familiar and classical and put our own creative spin on it,” he said.
Last fall, Amann introduced pumpkin pancakes for Saturday and Sunday brunch. They were such a hit that they’re still on the menu.
“I like the texture. They’re very fluffy. They’re not overly dense. The flavor’s spot-on,” he noted. “We serve them with a cinnamon crème Anglaise and a vanilla bourbon maple syrup.”
At Northbrook MarketPlace, located 5 miles west of West Chester in Pocopson, Sunday brunch wouldn’t be complete without chocolate chip banana pancakes.
“It’s a nice twist on pancakes,” said co-owner Christine Boone. “It’s a favorite. Especially the kids love it. My kids always ask for pancakes for breakfast.”
So do Annamarie Chestnut’s. Her 5-year-old daughter enjoys red velvet with cream cheese icing swirl.
“And my son, he likes plain. He’s no frills,” she admitted.
2 cups cake flour
1 ¾ cups whole milk
4 tablespoons vanilla
4 tablespoons raw sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all dry ingredients together. Add in vanilla, butter, eggs and milk. Mix until combined.
Heat oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Pour batter into pan (about ¼ cup per pancake depending on the size you prefer).
For added toppings, you are only limited by your imagination. Try bananas, chocolate and peanut butter chips, marshmallows with chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers, or chocolate and shaved coconut.
Cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup. Makes 8 servings.
(Recipe courtesy of Annamarie’s)
Chocolate Pancakes with Almond Joy Syrup
1 ½ cups flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups milk
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup real maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
Prepare electric griddle. Set to 350 degrees and let it warm up while making batter. In a mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, melted butter and milk. Beat well. In another small bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the milk/egg/butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Batter should be the consistency of chocolate cake batter. Ladle ¼ cup portions onto griddle. Pancakes will start to bubble. This is a good sign they are ready to be turned. Remove and serve immediately. Makes 22 to 24 servings.
For syrup, combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into a cup to serve. You can also warm the syrup in the microwave.
(Recipe courtesy of The Casual Gourmet)
3¾ cups flour
6 tablespoons sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ginger
1½ teaspoons nutmeg
1½ teaspoons salt
3 cups buttermilk
18 tablespoons pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons melted butter
Mix all dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Melt the butter and mix into the wet ingredients. Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Cook on a buttered griddle or nonstick pan.
(Recipe courtesy of Amani’s BYOB)
Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set to the side. In medium-sized bowl, mash bananas. Add eggs, milk and oil. Mix thoroughly. Add the liquid and banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until the liquid is well incorporated. Do not overmix.
Put frying pan on medium heat and pour a little splash of oil into pan. When oil is heated, pour ¼ cup of batter into pan. Cook until bubbles appear on surface, flip with spatula and cook until browned on other side. For an added touch, top with sliced strawberries and sprinkle with powder sugar. Enjoy!
(Recipe courtesy of Northbrook MarketPlace)
How to make perfect pancakes
For fantastic flapjacks, follow these tips and tricks from Aunt Jemima:
• Overmixing toughens pancakes. Don’t beat out the characteristic lumps.
• Turn pancakes once when they begin to bubble and the bottoms are golden brown. Too much handling toughens them.
• To keep pancakes warm: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Arrange pancakes in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet and cover lightly with foil. Place in oven for up to 10 minutes.
Source: Aunt Jemima