Sunday, July 22, 2007
BANANA & COCOA NIB PANCAKES
Remember when your parents might miraculously forgive you for putting glue on the toilet seat and take you to IHOP for a treat on Sunday morning? You'd slide into those red pleather upholstered booths that were still wet from the quick washrag wipe-down from the busboy. That same rag had been used to wipe down every single surface in that restaurant for days without being laundered and you were now feeling the slight dampness soak into the back of your pants. But you didn't care.
Naomi, a short but hefty waitress whose lower lip seemed to be fused into a permanent upward pout, brought menus to your table and poured your parents coffee from a large gold-tone plastic carafe then set it on the table for self-serve refills. You silently cursed your table companions for bothering to look into the menus whose covers were lacquered with layers of blueberry and maple syrup. You always knew what you wanted and hated the fact that everyone else seemed so casual about the whole affair. The longer they perused the menu, the longer they delayed the arrival of your CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES WITH POWDERED SUGAR AND WHIPPED TOPPING. There would be no Rootie-Tootie Fresh N Fruity passing your lips! You salivated and quietly waited for your sugar-shock to begin.
It's been years since this breakfast scenario played out. Well, in truth I may have once eaten this particular childhood favorite at 2 am in West Hollywood after a night of carousing and too many vodka cranberries but I don't fully remember the experience and even if I did I wouldn't document it here and ooops I think I've already said too much. As much as I love pancakes and all things chocolate, I couldn't actually imagine eating that grilled carbohydrate candy bar for breakfast now. Although, I've considered it...
Thankfully, I think this is the grown-up substitution. I've made numerous batches of banana pancakes but I upped the fiber content with a dose of whole-wheat flour and added cocoa nibs for a subtly exotic chocolate note. Personally, I think using maple syrup on these might power out the subtle cocoa nibs (but Ed didn't seem to think so). After making these I don't think I'll ever consider the kiddie version again. Well, as long as I'm not passing any IHOPs at 2 am.
BANANA & COCOA NIB PANCAKES
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk (might need just a smidgen more)
l large ripe banana, mashed well
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs cocoa nibs
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine first 5 ingredients well in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla, stirring until just blended. Add mashed banana and continue to mix until well incorporated. Fold in cocoa nibs and pecans, reserving a small amount of each for garnish. Heat a lightly greased skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour batter onto griddle in 1/4 cup amounts and cook until bubbles form on top and edges begin to dry. Flip and cook until just golden brown.
Serve with butter and syrup if desired, garnishing with reserved cocoa nibs and pecans.