Monday, March 17, 2014

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

It's time for one of the most exciting weeks on Ambrosia.  Never mind that it's technically St. Patrick's Day.  I've got something that is in my opinion, way more awesome.  Ready for it?


Oh yes.  It's a week full of brand new ahhmazing recipes that are perfect for special weekend breakfasts.  I would imagine that this is something that would excite most people.  If not, maybe I'm the weird one that's unusually enamored with special breakfast foods, but for some reason, I don't think that's the case.  I love breakfast for breakfast, and I love breakfast for dinner, and I'm crossing my fingers that you guys all love breakfast too.  If you don't understand this weird breakfast obsession of mine, then hopefully this week you will change your mind.

This breakfast week idea is actually a collaboration between me and my sister.  By collaboration, I mean that I suggested the idea, she immediately approved, I cooked the breakfast foods, and she ate them.  Well, she ate some of them.  She's home from college this week for her spring break, and since I've been baking up my breakfast week recipes in advance (because of scheduling issues...there's only so many hours of daylight on the weekends!), she tried a handful of the recipes that I have lined up for the week.  I was able to make two recipes this past weekend, so she got to try those, and one of my other recipes is apparently freezer friendly (I kinda just stuck the breakfast item in question in the freezer and hoped for the best), so she got to try that one too.  Today's pancake recipe, however, was not made this past weekend, so she didn't get to sample it.  It's ok though, because this is actually only a slight variation of her own original recipe!

I thought it would be nice to start off Breakfast Week with my sister's pancake recipe.  My sister is a major pancake fiend, and is always on the lookout for the perfect stack of ultra fluffy pancakes.  She somehow came up with her original recipe after getting inspiration from a whole lot of extensive pancake recipe research, and this is the recipe that came out of it.  It's become my go-to recipe for pancakes.  I've made these buttermilk pancakes more times than I can count, and I've gotten perfect pancakes every single time.  It's that kind of consistency that lets you know a recipe is great!  These pancakes are perfectly light and fluffy, and the only thing that makes them better is a generous drizzle of pancake syrup (don't judge me for not saying maple syrup, please).

As much as I like plain buttermilk pancakes for their simplicity, I can't resist a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. If I'm ever making plain buttermilk pancakes and I happen to remember that I have a bag of chocolate chips in my pantry, I'll typically add a few chips to half of the pancake batter, just so that I can have a few of both and don't have to decide between them.  I love how sweet the chocolate chip pancakes can be, and that they make me feel like a little kid all over again.  I didn't have pancakes too often when I was younger (I was without question an Eggo frozen waffle kid), but when the mood struck for pancakes, chocolate chip would always be my favorite to pancake to request.  

Pancakes are one of those foods that should for no reason at all be complicated to mix up.  They're just pancakes!  There's no time for fussy ingredients or a million bowls to wash at the end.  Pancakes should be simple, straightforward, and quick to make, and this recipe certainly is just that.  You will spend approximately 12 minutes mixing up the pancake batter, which at first sounds like a lot of time, but trust me, it's not.  You have to wait ten minutes for the milk and vinegar to combine and become buttermilk (yup, these are buttermilk pancakes made with fake buttermilk...I guess we didn't have any on hand when my sister came up with the recipe!), and during those ten minutes that you're waiting, you can spend a few seconds mixing up the rest of the ingredients and getting your griddle nice and hot.  Once the buttermilk is ready, it's just a matter of stirring all the ingredients together and portioning out the pancakes onto the griddle.  I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to keep my pancakes all the same size.  Since these are chocolate chip pancakes, I like to add the chocolate chips directly onto the pancakes as they cook on the griddle.  You can also stir the chocolate chips directly into the batter, but I think that sprinkling them over the pancakes as they cook ensures that you'll have pancakes with perfectly distributed pockets of chocolate.  Maybe it's the perfectionist in me, but evenly distributed chocolate chips are a big deal.

These chocolate chip pancakes are perfect paired with regular pancake syrup (or maple, if that's your thing), but to elevate them just a little bit, I made a really simple and quick raspberry sauce to top them off with as well.  The raspberry sauce takes only a few extra minutes to prepare, and goes together perfectly with the sweet pancakes. I left my raspberry sauce on the chunky side and didn't bother to strain out the seeds, but you can by all means do so if you prefer.  This pancake recipe doubles really easily, which is perfect in case you need to feed a crowd, or are just really hungry for pancakes.  Whatever your pancake situation may be, this is a pancake recipe that's gotta go in your regular pancake recipe rotation!

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce
slightly adapted from my sister's recipe


For the Pancakes

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For the Raspberry Sauce

6 oz frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons water
3-4 tablespoons sugar (to taste)


To make the sauce, combine the frozen raspberries, water, and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the berries to a simmer, and let them cook until a syrup begins to form and the berries start to come apart, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove the berries from the heat, and let them cool completely.

To make the pancakes, begin by preparing the "buttermilk."  Combine the milk and vinegar together in a measuring cup, and allow to sit for ten minutes. 

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract.  Add the egg mixture to the buttermilk.  

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients into the well.  With a whisk, combine the wet and dry ingredients, using "literally like ten strokes" (as per my sister's original instructions). The pancake batter will be very spongy and fluffy!

When the pancake batter is ready, begin to preheat a griddle over medium-high heat on your stove.  Add a little butter or baking spray to the griddle.  Using a 1/4 cup measure, begin to drop the pancake batter onto the hot griddle.  Top each pancake with about 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate chips.  Allow the pancakes to cook undisturbed, until bubbles begin to form on the tops of each pancake. Once bubbles have formed, carefully flip the pancakes over and allow them to cook for another minute or so, until both sides of the pancakes are evenly golden brown.  Remove the pancakes from the griddle, and serve with maple syrup or the jam of your choice. Enjoy!

Makes 8 pancakes


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