Thursday, October 1, 2015

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Breakfast! It's October's theme for the Creative Cooking Crew challenge. It's also one of my favorite meals, but one that I rarely actually get to enjoy. I don't eat breakfast daily, but on the weekends or on vacation eating breakfast or brunch is one of the highlights, whether in my own kitchen or at a restaurant.

I tend to sway to more savory dishes in both instances. I am a lover of all forms of Eggs Benedict, and have eaten my share both in and out of my kitchen. I find it very difficult to order sweet breakfast dishes whenever I go out for brunch because I find the savory ones to be so irresistible.

Carrot cake pancake batter

With that said, I do occasionally make sweet breakfast dishes in my own kitchen to make up for that. I enjoy making everything from waffles to pancakes and everything in between (think French toast and cinnamon buns for starters). They tend to be more special occasion breakfasts and not something I'd make every weekend since they aren't exactly a healthy way to start the day.

For this month's breakfast challenge, I decided to take the sweet route. There are so many wonderful ideas for seasonal pancakes and waffles, from variations including pumpkin to cranberries, apples, pears, and soon even gingerbread flavored dishes will begin to trend. I decided to make something that would be perfect for the season, but truly excellent any time of year: carrot cake pancakes.

This spin on carrot cake takes the popular flavors from the dessert and transforms them into light, not-too-sweet pancakes studded with crunchy pecans and sweet pineapple, and finished off with a tangy cream cheese glaze.

What's not to like? I highly recommend these easy to make pancakes to satisfy your weekend pancake craving. They are not only delicious, but a great way to sneak some fruit and vegetables into the bellies of picky eaters ;-)

Check out this month's roundup of recipes at Lazaro Cooks.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes (I actually yielded 1 dozen)
(From Pancakes)

Dry Mix:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Wet Mix:
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup peeled and grated carrots
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/8 cup chopped pecans

Butter or vegetable oil, for the skillet
Cream cheese glaze, for serving (recipe follows)

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, measure out the buttermilk. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.

All at once, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter should have some small to medium lumps. Gently fold in the grated carrots, pecans, and pineapple.

Preheat your skillet over medium heat and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter or a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop the batter onto the warm skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes, and then flip. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook on the opposite sides for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.

Transfer the cooked pancakes to a baking sheet and place in a preheated 200 degree F oven to keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more butter or vegetable oil to the skillet when needed. Serve immediately with cream cheese glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes 1 cup glaze
(From Pancakes)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer (or a whisk) beat vigorously until smooth. Serve immediately.

*Note* This will make more glaze than you really need for one pancake recipe. I scaled it down when I made it. I think half the recipe would be plenty, but use your judgement.


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