We seriously believe in birthdays in this house. OK, *I* seriously believe in birthdays, and so my kids do now too. I am not sure John had a huge say in the matter. But anyway, that explains why it does not phase me in the least to cook for 4 different birthday celebrations per kid. Why 4? A family dinner, a dinner with my in laws, who live in D.C., a party with my family, all of whom live within 2 hours, and a party or get together with each girl’s friends.
So anyway, that explains why you will see more references to Sammy’s birthday over the next few weeks, as I get around to sharing various dishes made for her birthday. I definitely plan to share the fantastic chocolate pancakes we had as part of her breakfast-for-dinner birthday request tonight!
But I digress. The point being my girls just made me so happy tonight that I had to share. Alex–totally on her own, with no prompting from me–suddenly declared that she was making something for Sammy’s birthday (this was a few days ago). I suspect it was a craft she had read about, as she took to our yard to find a pinecone, which she then painted vivid green all over and then dark brown at the stem. It is meant to look like a miniature Christmas tree. She wrapped it herself and everything! And then Sammy rather blew my mind when, faced with a rather large stack of presents from her parents, the gift she wanted to open most was the one from Alex!
Yes they squabble, but the fact is they have both started school and have good friends of their own, but each remains the other’s best friend in the world and this makes me happier than I can say.
So about these pancakes. They actually came from a night that one of the kids had requested breakfast for dinner, and of course I did not read the recipe as carefully as I should have, and when I got to the “chill for 3 hours or overnight” line there was a lot of cursing from Mommy. Ooops. So it became a doctored tortilla soup night (best last minute dinner ever: 2 cans of Wolfgang Puck tortilla soup plus 1 can of Amy’s black bean soup plus 1/2 cup of Garden Fresh Gourmet Jack’s Special medium salsa plus 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder and 1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder. Heat and serve with sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese and tortilla chips.)
But hey it meant we had a fabulous
breakfast brunch the next morning. You know, after Mommy woke up (hey it was a Saturday!). These pancakes were fun slathered in maple syrup and whipped cream, and they were also fun shmeared with honey sweetened cream cheese, rolled up, and eaten on the go the next day. Either way you cannot go wrong–as long as you remember to plan for the chill in the fridge!
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 3/4 t salt
- 1 t cassia cinnamon
- 3/4 t ground ginger
- 1/2 t ground cloves
- 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 t orange zest I used a few drops of orange oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 T unsulphered dark molasses
- 2 cups minus 2 T whole milk measure by adding molasses first
- 2 t vanilla
- 3 T melted unsalted butter
Whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk together the egg, milk, molasses, vanilla, orange zest and melted butter. Pour into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined--the mixture will be quite loose, almost like a crepe batter. Some lumps are fine. Cover with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Heat a nonstick pan or griddle on medium heat. Melt a little butter--about 1 teaspoon--on the pan per pancake. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan when it is hot. Cook for around 2 minutes--the pancake is ready to be flipped when the edges starts to dry out and brown and little bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. Cook the other side for approximately another 2 minutes. Serve immediately on a warmed plate.
We enjoyed these pancakes best 2 different ways: with maple syrup and whipped cream (which is pictured) or spread with sweetened cream cheese.