It was the clear choice since, along with Valentine’s Day socks, several cooking magazines, chocolates, and fancy baking cups, my mother sent me this festive spatula and heart-shaped mold in my Valentine’s Day box:
Since I had this cute new mold, I wanted the pancake recipe to be perfect; especially since pancakes are something I’m notoriously terrible at and the last time I made some they turned out like this – clearly thin and sad and not at all how pancakes should be.
So I searched and searched for a recipe. And I just wasn’t happy. Clearly the only option was to make up my own recipe, combining all the things I wanted in my perfect pancakes. I was intrigued by the idea of using brown sugar but the problem with brown sugar is that it doesn’t mix into flour like white sugar, especially the brown sugar I had in the cupboard, which was the last hard little chunk at the bottom of the package. Instead of mixing it with the dry ingredients, I decided to dissolve it in the wet. And what goes better with brown sugar than brown butter? BEST decision I’ve EVER made.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
First brown the butter. Put it in a frying pan on medium heat. Swirl the pan at intervals until the butter is golden brown. It helps to use a pan with a light bottom so you can see the color but you’ll smell when it’s done.
Immediately pour the butter into a large heat proof bowl or a large measuring cup and add the brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar dissolves. This is my favorite part. It’s basically caramel in a cup.
Let your caramel cool while you whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and make a well in the center.
Make sure your caramel mixture isn’t too hot still because you don’t want to scramble your egg. Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla and stir well.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until they are just barely combined. DO NOT OVER MIX! I always want to keep going but resist the temptation. I promise.
I always have to experiment to get my pan the right temperature and Zeus almost always gets his very own pancake. I ended up cooking these over very low heat (2/10 on my stove dial.)
Use plenty of butter in your pan. It’s worth it. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. When little bubbles form and pop on the pancake, flip it. You want it to be perfectly golden brown on both sides.
This recipe makes about 20 pancakes.
Per 3 inch pancake: 55 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1.5 g sugar, 2 g protein, .5 g fiber.
If you’re using a mold like mine, use less batter than you think you’ll need and gently spread it out to fill all the way to the edges. The best part about this mold is that, when it’s time to flip, the edges of the mold start to pull up from the pan.
The problem of course, is that you can only make one pancake at a time. I got impatient pretty fast and made plain round pancakes with the rest of the batter.
These were so good I almost preferred them without syrup.
Update: They were also great frozen and reheated. 30 seconds in the microwave, another 15 in the toaster.
Happy Valentine’s Day!