Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fluffy Eggnog & Vanilla Bean Pancakes

Two weeks until Christmas.  For kids, this may as well be two-hundred years until Christmas.  At what point in my life did the Christmas Countdown bring on the stress in me?  Isn't Christmas supposed to be that wonderful time of year?   Truth be told, it is.  I just can't seem to get my act together, by starting on this in October.

Today is the day that I'm turning on the Christmas music and I'm going to decorate the tree.  I need to come up with my game plan to bake cookies (who doesn't love cookies as a gift? Raises hand. Then the other.)  I have some ambitious ideas for other edible gifts.  But, I'm not saying what they are.  Just in case I run out of steam.  If I don't accomplish my goals, well gift cards are a wonderful solution. But, first, I need a hearty breakfast so that I don't eat the cookies, I'm about to bake.
There are those who love eggnog, and those who don't.  My husband doesn't. My son said he's never had it. I'm right in the middle--I can take it or leave it. Years ago, I made it from scratch. It's a bit of work, takes a lot of eggs, but the bourbon spiked eggnog disappeared from the punch bowl.  Then it hit me-- eggnog in pancake batter, instead of buttermilk!

I've posted numerous pancake recipes, because I much prefer to make them from scratch.  Pancake batter takes about five minutes to put together.  This easy recipe uses flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt-- and I added some freshly grated nutmeg. Whisk it together.  In a large measuring cup, I added 1 1/3 cups eggnog (you could use buttermilk if you belong to the "I hate eggnog" camp).  I decided to add one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.  If you don't have any (I buy Singing Dog Vanilla Bean Paste at Whole Foods), use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

Whisk two eggs, and 2 Tablespoons of melted and cooled unsalted butter.  Add the eggnog and whisk, then add to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  NOTE: I don't overwork my pancake dough, because I don't want to build up the gluten in the flour. This makes pancakes lighter and fluffier.  The batter will be fairly thick.

I like to prep my griddle with a light coating of vegetable oil, then I melt a small amount of butter, for flavor.  I also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup so that my pancakes are evenly sized.  The bottom of the measuring cup helps to spread the batter evenly.

The batter is thick, and the pancakes will puff up pretty high.  I carefully watched the griddle, so that it was about medium hot, and let these cook until I see bubbles forming. The batter is thick, so it took a good 2 minutes, before flipping them.

 In the meantime, I like to preheat my plates in a warm oven. 

...another minute should do it.

Only Pure Maple Syrup can do justice to pancakes. I firmly believe that. And butter, too.

While I'm being honest, pancakes aren't health food.  They're pure carbs.  That's why the men in my life love them.  That's why I make them.  On occasion.

Food porn. Just sayin'.

The moment of truth...

VERDICT:  Texture-wise, these delivered as  I had hoped. They were fluffy, light and these babies soaked up the syrup like nobody's business.  Flavor-wise-- you can clearly taste all the notes of eggnog.  Vanilla-custard, slight background of nutmeg and a bit sweet.  The truth is, my husband didn't like them. He still doesn't like eggnog. My son ate them, but remains undecided if he likes eggnog.  Me?  I'm the one who doesn't love pancakes as much as they do.  I loved them. Every single bite. It took me back to that Christmas Eve, when my family sipped my homemade eggnog and went back for more.  

So, if eggnog is your thing for the holidays...  give these a try.  Otherwise, substitute buttermilk for the eggnog, and these will do the trick for breakfast.  A printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.

I'm turning off the laptop, because I have some Christmas chores to do.  Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la!

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Julie said...

I'm printing this out right now for supper tomorrow night...oh yeah :)

Healthy and Homemade said...

Oh my goodness!! Amazing!! These look so fluffy and wonderful, man do I wish I could have carbs! YUM!

Joanne said...

The only way I really like eggnog is in lattes or in baked goods. These pancakes totally count as the latter. I love that you used that paste in the pancakes! i use it for EVERYTHING and it adds some extra oomph!

Kathryn said...

Well, I'm with you--there isn't much that can't be improved with good eggnog (no matter what the rest of your family thinks!). Of course, that's coming from a true addict: this morning's breakfast was old-fashioned eggnog made with fresh whole eggs and cream and vanilla, maple syrup to sweeten, and a pinch of salt. Heavenly, and full enough of protein and fat to carry me right through from 6:30 am to 1 pm as needed! So these are definitely pancakes I'd love! Thanks for the post. :)

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Oh dear, look what you are tempting me with now! I'm not a breakfast eater, but the shots of the light, fluffy stacks of pancakes with that decadent maple syrup makes my mouth water. I love the flavors of eggnog so there is no question in my mind that I won't love these cakes.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

These look beautiful. What a great idea! I'm sure they were delicious.

I am someone who can only drink eggnog spiked. It's just too thick and sweet without the liquor to thin it out and tame the stickiness.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love egg nog and I love pancakes so this sounds delish to me! I can see guys not loving them as much..eggnog is either a love it or leave it flavor, but I think it's perfect for pancakes!

Military Spouse said...

These look delicious. My family loves eggnog, so I think I will be making these this weekend. I love the vanilla paste in the mixture. Thanks for a great recipe!

Kate said...

I am on board for these! I enjoy eggnog but don't buy it very often...