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Gingerbread Pancakes

I had big plans for the season this year, I really did. I tested holiday recipes and took pictures. I have a list of lovely recipes I’d like to post, and I will, but it will have to be in my own sweet time. It just isn’t going to happen before Christmas, at least not this year.

At this point in the season my big plans have been downsized and I am trying to focus on accomplishing what is necessary. In the process I am feeling busy and behind. Still this is a season of grace and wonder and moments of irresistable charm have a way of interjecting themselves here and there.

I have to think that was why, on a weekend with a long list of to-dos, I managed to sleep an hour or so later than usual and then to push away a mountain of shoulds long enough to indulge in a blissful gray morning that just begged for pancakes.

After finishing my first cup of coffee, which my husband had kindly made, instead of running to the mall, wrapping gifts, baking Christmas cookies, or finishing the laundry I made my way into the kitchen and came up with a recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes. It is a merger of several recipes I found taped in my old recipe collection binder. Spicy but not too rich, these were just the thing for a late December morning.

I still have a long list of things to do, but the things that need to get done will get done. Meanwhile, a few moments in the kitchen with flour and spices can be a great investment. As I began cooking my husband suggested I make Gingerbread Men shaped pancakes to post about. Then he buttered the cookie cutters for me and offered ideas on how to free the pancakes from the molds more effectively. We had fun and did something new together that I will remember. Had I been on task or more committed to my schedule it wouldn't have happened.

I'm not feeling all that eloquent today. At this point I am a little stressed about the expectations of the season like anyone. Still I do want to offer that it's the little things that often matter in the end, the unexpected opportunities that come from those moments when we are jarringly unfocused. So, in the midst of accomplishing those items on your to-do list, I encourage you to look around and capture the wonder of the season and, if at all possible, make time for pancakes.

Gingerbread Pancakes

1¼ cups flour
¾ cup of whole wheat pastry flour (substitute regular flour, if desired)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ginger
1½ teaspoons nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup oil
¼ cup molasses (substitute brown sugar, if desired)
1½ cups milk (I used a 12 oz can of evaporated skim milk)
¼ cup strong brewed coffee

In a large bowl thoroughly combine the flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, oil, molasses, milk and brewed coffee.

Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the egg mixture into the well and stir until smooth.

Pour ¼ to ½ cup batter (depending on size of pancake desired) onto heated and lightly greased griddle (A drop of water should skip and sizzle when the griddle is hot.)

Cook until top surface is bubbly and edges are dry. Turn and cook until golden. Remove pancake to a warm plate and repeat.

Serve with warm applesauce, syrup or honey. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired.

To make shaped pancakes there are three choices:

1. Coat the edges of a metal cookie cutter with butter. Set the cookie cutter, sharp side down, on a hot griddle. Pour pancake batter inside the cutter. When the pancake has browned on the bottom flip the pancake with the cookie cutter. Using a butter knife loosen any stuck edges gently and let the pancake fall to the bottom of the cutter to cook the other side.

(Note: This can be tricky. The cookie cutter is likely not to be evenly flat so batter will creep out under the edge. This will make it more of a challenge to loosen the pancake when it is flipped, and cause more fiddling with the butter knife to get the pancake fully and evenly cooked. I held the cookie cutter down with one hand, wearing an oven mitt, while I poured in the batter with the other. Still it leaked a little but the edges tuned out nicely. The less small details in the cookie cutter the better i.e. Christmas tree and bell shapes work better than gingerbread man shapes).

2. Buy fancy pancake shaping gadgets like these heart shaped pancake molds.

3. Make a pancake large enough to overlap the cookie cutter then simply cut out shapes once the pancake is done.

Serve and enjoy!


Cathy said...

Gingerbread pancakes and syrup, now that's a breakfast. Oh my, this sounds so good. I'm not a breakfast eater, but this is really tempting.

pam said...

Mmmm..I might just have to put these on my Christmas morning breakfast list!

Kathy Walker said...

Great post! Stopping to take in the moment is so important for us. Gingerbread pancakes would be a wonderful way to start the last week..I rarely make pancakes, in fact I have a tendency to always burn them. My daughters love them and I am going to try, once more to be successful!

Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing.

the southern hostess said...

These sound like the perfect way to start Christmas morning.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

These would be the perfect way to spend a leisurely breakfast with family and friends. I couldn't resist checking out the holiday penguins as well. Too darn cute. Have a wonderful Christmas and may your kitchen be filled with successes.

Michelle said...

OH MY...this is definitely something I would love! I love nothing better then gingerbread and gingerbread with butter and syrup is nothing short of heaven!

Cindy said...

I feel the very same way. Always torn between what I want to accomplish and what's actually possible. Glad to hear you're taking some time to enjoy the season. Those pancakes look delicious!

grace said...

forget all the treats of the season--this is what i want! okay, so i wouldn't mind some peppermint fudge for dessert, but this is my entree of choice! :)

RW said...

this morning I am doing the same thing. I have a long list of things to do - all requiring me to leave the house and yet I chose to make cinnamon buns instead.
the other stuff will get done.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your gingerbread pancakes are adorable and from looking at you recipe, this is truly a Christmas treasure.

You are taking the right approach. The season isn't about rushing around and getting stressed. Relax and enjoy!

theUngourmet said...

I do so love playing around with pancake recipes! I haven't done gingerbread yet. I think I'll make these Christmas morning! :0)

theUngourmet said...

Oh forgot to say...Have a beautiful Christmas!

KathyB. said...

Oh..I love this whole post! My life full of plans and projects, including my beloved blogging just had to give way this past week to enjoy the very special blessings around here that I do have, and often get too busy to savor and appreciate....your husband sounds like mine...my husband brings me my coffee the mornings I sleep in and he loves to work on baking or cooking projects with me. He loves to spend time with me and I have way too often taken him for granted...so again, thank-you for this post and this wonderful idea for fun pancakes!Merry Christmas you you and yours~