Thursday, February 14, 2013

oatmeal chocolate chip pancakes

The best part of Valentine's Day is the chocolate. Well, after your special someone that is! Or maybe it's a tie. Whatever. Chocolate is great and when you can have it for dinner and get away with it, then it's a win. Pancakes are easy and chocolate is delicious so it's a win-win.
Dah dah dah dum! Introducing my new stone! Given to me by my parents for Christmas this year, it has a wavy bottom that crisps food up. Really nice for cooking bacon or chicken, reheating fried food or, toasting oats! Oats have a decent flavor on their own but they get a toasted nutty flavor when roasting in the oven. You can speed up this process by cooking them on the stovetop for a few minutes, but it's really only a 10 minute wait for the oven method.
My grocery store was out of complete pancake mix- that's the one that only requires that you add water. So, I had to add eggs and all the other jazz it needed to complete. I added some granola-ish spices to the batter to make the pancakes a little more, well, granola-ish. Vanilla and cinnamon added that touch for me.
I like to use the mini chocolate chips. Don't ask me why, but I like them better. Maybe it's because you can get alot more of them in one bite, although you're really getting the same amount of chocolate. Anyway, you really want that consistency of this to be thicker than regular pancake batter, and most of that will come from the oats. If you prepare the pancake batter according to the back of the box and add the oatmeal, you'll be at that thickness.
For those who don't know, panqueque means pancake in Spanish, and it's a word I became very familiar with when I was working at PJ's Pancake House in Princeton, New Jersey along side the Guatemalan cook staff. I ate a lot of pancakes that summer, and one my favorites were the oatmeal raisin. They have since expanded their menu, but pancakes still remain king there, and I ate many a panqueque after working until after midnight feeding hungry Princeton students. These come together quickly, a slight spin on a classic and perfect to satisfy multiple cravings at one time. Happy Valentine's Day!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes
8 oz. mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup instant or rolled oats
Pancake mix
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread oats out onto an un-greased cookie sheet and toast until golden brown. Allow to cool before adding to pancake mix. Prepare pancake mix according to directions on the back of the box (approximately 12-18 pancakes). Mix the chocolate chips and oats into the mix. Cook in a non-stick pan over medium heat. These pancakes will not bubble like normal pancakes because of the oatmeal, so be vigilant. Top with extra chocolate chips to melt and enjoy!