Carrot Cake Pancakes

Alas, I have returned.  To school, and to talking to you lovely people on the interwebs.  Hello.  Bonjour.  Здорово (Russian for sup, or if you place the accent differently, then it means cool).

I don't know if you've noticed that I've been absent from here for about two weeks now; if you have, I apologize.  I haven't really done much in the way of cooking recently - well, not interesting cooking anyway.  I've been a busy bee since I got back to Chicago, you know how it is.  And the weather is starting to be... Well... Wintry.  Finally.  Most people don't really view this as a desireable turn of events, but it's just not winter if there aren't snow and blustery winds whirling around.  Since snow-pocalypse occurred the year before I matriculated at UChicago, I feel like I missed out on something wonderful.  I've been waiting for my Chicago winter experiences to live up to such a legendary event, and I shall keep waiting.  In the meantime, awaiting Boreas' wrath, I might as well enjoy the luxury of being able to leave my dorm and go to the grocery store without struggling to surmount ten-foot piles of snow.  

My mom was the first guinea pig for these pancakes, adapted from Ellie Krieger's whole wheat pancakes from The Food You Crave.  I've only attempted a couple recipes from this book, but they've both been successful.  I've made the aforementioned pancakes as well as her apple muffins, which have become a favorite of my dad's... They'll probably appear on this site at some point.  In any case, I don't know what got me thinking about carrot cake that morning when I was home over break, puttering around the kitchen, since I've only eaten it a couple times and it's not my favorite (I'm not a huge fan of regular raisins in my desserts, or in my granola for that matter).  But it occurred to me that this cake's flavor profile would make so much sense as a healthy-ish breakfast (I say -ish, since I can't really overlook the cake part of pancake...). Maybe the amount of carrots in here, in addition to the walnuts, oat flour, molasses, and honey, qualifies these pancakes as wholesome, as far as breakfast treats go.  Maybe.  I hope so, because they're yummy... I mean they're clearly delicious, since I made them again to photograph and tell y'all about them.  

As one of my taste-testers, and future roomies (holler at you, Alexander), pointed out, the batter looks kind of unappetizing, but the pancakes turn out real puuuurdy (I mean, I think they're purdy).  The carrots soften, the batter rises up and caramelizes, and the butter bubbles away pleasantly - then you pour honey or maple syrup all over... *Lips smacking*.  When I made these at home I cooked them in coconut oil, which I really liked with the spices, but you could use canola oil or butter too.  I considered making a sauce using cream cheese, like the traditional cream cheese frosting, but I wanted this recipe to stay in the breakfast realm rather than crossing farther into dessert (but if you want to experiment, please, and let me know).  The batter is barely sweetened, so you'll really want a sweet drizzle-able something to go with it... I just had a if you give a mouse a cookie moment there.  You may also want a glass of milk to go with it...

Okay.  You get it.  Just make these and be happy that you're having healthy cake for breakfast that's got a lotta carrots in it.  Or you can have them for dinner, like I did.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c oat flour (basically just ground up oats)
1/2 c all-purpose flour
**you can make this with just 3/4 c whole wheat flour and 3/4 c all-purpose**
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
1 c lowfat buttermilk
1/4 c freshly squeezed orange juice (one orange)
1/2 c lowfat milk
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 c chopped walnuts
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 c, maybe more)

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and milk, orange juice, molasses, and honey.  Add in the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, then whisk to combine.  Stir in the carrots and walnuts.

Cook in a small fry pan or on a griddle over medium-low heat.  You know it's ready to flip when, having checked the underside gently, it's lightly browned, and bubbles have formed little pockets on the uncooked side.  Flip, then finish cooking another couple minutes.  If you're making them in batches but you want to serve them all at once, keep the cooked pancakes warm in a 200° F.  I just eat them right out of the pan, dunking them in maple syrup.

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