One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a fabulous cast iron grill pan from Wright. It has grill marks on one side and a flat surface on the other - perfect for pancakes!
I briefly mentioned my experiment with apple cinnamon pancakes a few weeks ago. Though they were certainly delicious, they were not nearly as wonderful as the version we made this weekend, on the new griddle. With much more surface area and no awkward sides to prevent smooth flipping, this new kitchen toy proved extremely valuable.
Truth be told, this winter was the first time I'd made pancakes without Bisquick. I'd never knock it, since I grew up eating delicious pancakes made with it, but I'd cut out a recipe for pancake batter from the New York Times Magazine a year or so ago, so I thought I'd give it a go. It was much easier to make than I expected (almost as easy as Bisquick!) and turned out to be delicious - especially as an apple cinnamon variation.
Simple Pancake Batter - makes enough to serve four
Adapted from Marion Cunningham, NY Times Magazine 10/9/08
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. Melt butter and milk together in a small saucepan, then set aside to cool.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Slowly beat in a small amount of the butter/milk mixture, then gradually add the rest.
4. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, just until combined. It should be a little bit lumpy and bubbly.
5. Do the usual pancake thing - butter the griddle, pour out the pancakes, flip when they bubble, etc.
For an apple cinnamon variety, replace one egg with 1/2 cup of applesauce (or one of those small containers), and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to the dry ingredients. Top with walnuts for further excitement!