Wednesday, November 27, 2013

carrot cake pancakes

I've been in a pancake mood lately. They're so easy to make. Kind of like brownies, I really didn't believe there was any way to make pancakes other than a box for a very, silly long time. I was convinced that there was some kind of secret ingredient that made it possible to make brownies and pancakes from a box with only the addition of oil or water. There's no going back for me now. Both brownies and pancakes have changed for me forever!
These particular pancakes are inspired from an issue of Cooking Light that I was perusing at the office while on lunch. I've definitely fattened them up a bit, namely with flavored butter. What you see above is about to become Cinnamon Honey Butter. With orange zest. Amazing.
It's pretty imperative you use unsalted butter. The flavor will be weird if you don't.
Just like the berry butter we made a couple of weeks ago, this is going to be wrapped up and chilled for a while. Creaming room temperature butter with honey makes it pretty loose.
Perfect. Toss this into the fridge for about 1/2 an hour. Then start working on the pancakes. They come together super fast!
So, normally a carrot cake would have walnuts in it. Well, fun fact. I am allergic to walnuts so I avoid them like the plague. Nothing too serious, but I get itchy and scratchy and my mouth feels like sandpaper. So no walnuts for the Dog Mom. Pecans just get better when they're toasted, so go ahead and take the extra 10 minutes to do it. You'll be glad you did.
Easy, easy, easy. This is your basic pancake mix (flour, baking soda, salt) but instead of using white sugar, use brown sugar, add some cinnamon, ginger, fresh grated nutmeg and some orange zest.
Liquids to include vanilla, milk, eggs and vegetable oil. Whisk to combine and stir into the flour mixture.
 At this point, your pecans should be toasted and slightly cooled. Chop them up and toss 1/2 a cup into the mix. Leave a little to sprinkle on top.
Don't forget the carrot! Fresh grated carrot is essential- they will be softer, sweeter and more supple than store grated carrot.
Pour a ladle-ful of that mix into a greased pan over medium heat. Here's how you know when to flip- when the edges start to curl and form up and you see little bubbles coming through, it's time to flip!
Perfect! Good luck trying to avoid making the pancake "flip trail". I've never been able to figure out how not to do that. Cook them up- you should either get 12 small or 6 large pancakes. You can keep them warm in a 190 degree oven without cooking them too much more- but make sure you serve them with plenty of that Honey Cinnamon Butter!
Carrot Cake Pancakes
1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of an orange, divided
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and grated

In a small bowl, cream together butter, honey, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and half of the orange zest. Place mixed butter on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Seal both ends and refrigerate to set up and keep cold until use. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, remaining salt and orange zest, ginger, nutmeg and brown sugar. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together beaten eggs, milk, vanilla and vegetable oil. Pour liquids into dry ingredients and mix to combine until smooth. Add in grated carrots and toasted pecans and combine. Pour 1 ladle of batter into a preheated greased skillet over medium heat. When bubbles appear in the pancake, flip to cook other side. Remove from heat and keep warm in a 190 degree oven. Repeat until all pancake batter is gone. Enjoy with Cinnamon Honey Butter!