Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Butter Pecan Pancakes

I always mean to be posting to The Messy Apron far more often. In fact, in the last couple weeks I made three new and delicious things that I wanted to tell you about. The problem is, I keep goofing things up. I made a delicious caramelized onion tart with a crust flavored with Gruyere cheese. I even took a few pictures of it. (Actually, I think the photos were of the leftovers.) I didn’t write down the recipe as I went along, or at least I can’t find any notes if I did, but it was pretty simple, so I wasn’t too worried. There were a few procedural details I forgot, however, and then I never seemed to get around to writing the whole thing up, and then weeks went by and still no post. I also made a really nice white bean dip with sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic. I’ll be darned, however, if I can remember whether I included any olive oil in the recipe. Again, no post.

Yes, I’m pretty busy and often tired and sometimes just want to make something simple and familiar rather than try something new, but something must be done about the fact that my habits seem to be so ridiculously messy. I don’t know what that something might be. Anyway, thanks for listening. Let’s talk about pancakes now.

The real reason I have a post ready for these pancakes is that they’re a simple variation on the plain but good buttermilk pancake recipe I regularly apply to leisurely breakfasts. These just have some melted butter (I usually use oil in my pancakes) and a good handful of chopped toasted pecans. Pretty simple. Pretty delicious.

These pancakes are not quite as light and fluffy as plain buttermilk pancakes, with the pecans making them a bit bumpy and a little heavier. I thought, upon eating at least my fair share, that this recipe would be a good place to try a bit of whole grain flour, and I think next time I make them, I’ll go that route. Really, since these are a variation of a simple recipe, they could be varied themselves in many ways to suit many tastes.

If you like one of those variations, however, I would highly recommend writing down the details and keeping those notes someplace you can find them. I’ve heard that works for some people. I’ve never been able to nail down the habit myself.

Butter Pecan Pancakes
I think these pancakes would also be nice with some whole grain flour or some warm spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

¾ cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk

1. Place the pecans in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to turn brown and fragrant, just a few minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat an electric griddle to 350 F or a large skillet on medium heat on a stove burner. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. (Or melt the butter in the microwave if you prefer.) Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk or sift together until well-mixed. Set aside.

4. In another medium-size bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the cooled melted butter until well-blended. Whisk in the buttermilk.

5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until almost all of the flour is moistened. Stir in the pecans being sure not to over-mix the batter (some lumps are okay.)

6. Spray the heated griddle or skillet with cooking spray or grease it with oil or butter. Pour the batter in ¼-1/3 cup portions onto the griddle. Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are golden brown and a few bubbles appear in the top. Flip the pancakes over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Keep warm in a 200 F oven if desired. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Makes 2 generous breakfast servings.


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