Beautiful Day

Monday, December 26, 2011

Candy Cane Pancakes

On a recent walk we were discussing food.  Food is a popular topic this time of year, after all.  Since Christmas Eve would be on a Saturday, we were thinking of creative breakfasts.  Saturday is our usual pancake-or-waffle-type day.  They take various forms and flavors from week-to-week or season-to-season.  And on most Saturdays my Tender Warrior even makes them.  Nowadays he even gets help from Young Warrior.

Our favorite pancake recipe has been in use for over a decade now--ever since I began milling my wheat and storing whole grains, and a like-minded friend in the South shared her recipe with me.  I've since adapted it some.  And I smile as I look in my recipe box and see how I've expanded the recipe to make enough for our growing family as they eat more and more pancakes.

 So I had this thought....what about Candy Cane Pancakes?  How should we make those?  I didn't want them TOO sweet, but I thought some kind of chocolate and peppermint flair was in order.  So of course I did an internet search.  I saw a few kinds of red and white pancakes--even ones in the shape of candy canes.  They really do look striking.  But I am not keen on red dye in my food.  Nor do I generally eat white pancakes.  I love my multigrain pancakes too much and I do prefer to eat something nourishing.  So here's where I landed---pancakes with a chocolate-peppermint syrup and chopped candy cane pieces on top.

This was my plate and it's true that I am usually sparing with the syrup so that it's not too sweet.  These were very tasty and I think they will make it into an annual tradition along with the Gingerbread Pancakes.  You could probably put candy cane bits in the pancakes if you so desire.  I think I would prefer to try them with those Andes Peppermint Chips sometime!

Multigrain Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
4 cups golden wheat flour
1 cup oat flour or other flour (cornmeal, barley, buckwheat, etc)
4 TBSP Rapadura sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Wet Ingredients:
4 cups buttermilk
up to 1 cup milk, as needed
4 eggs
4 TBSP coconut oil or Spectrum shortening, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together to blend.  In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients until well combined.  Cook them on a griddle on medium heat, flipping when the edges look dry and there are bubbles on top.  Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Chocolate-Peppermint Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup organic light corn syrup or brown rice syrup
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2.6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. peppermint extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, syrup, and cocoa powder.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the bittersweet chocolate and peppermint extract.  Let cool a little to thicken for serving.

Serve pancakes with the syrup and crushed candy canes on top! 

I hope you might enjoy a new Christmas-time treat. It was a fun and productive experiment in our home!  Candy canes and chocolate or not, these pancakes are yummy all year-round!  

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