Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Christmas is tomorrow and I can hardly believe it. So many weeks of preparation and shopping and baking have led up to this day, and I can't wait. Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year, and I love everything about it. Tonight, I'll be feasting on Italian specialties at my boyfriend's grandma's house (a real Italian Christmas Eve...I can hardly contain my excitement for the food that's to come), but tomorrow, my family is keeping Christmas Day as casual as possible. Think pajamas and sweatpants all day, followed by hot chocolate, movies and a few rounds of cards. It'll be a day to just relax and spend time together, with good food of course. An easy Christmas at home wouldn't be complete without a special breakfast in the morning (after gifts are exchanged by the tree, of course).
Big family breakfast are always a source of debate in my house. It's typically my dad vs my mom vs me and my sister. My dad is very set in his ways about what a "good" breakfast consists of; it's gotta include freshly made, Colombian-style hot chocolate, cheese and lots of bread. This year, he wants to have steamed tamales for breakfast, as is traditional in Colombia. My mom, sister, and I are not going for that though. My mom is a fan of lighter breakfasts, and is usually satisfied with a coffee, small juice, and a scone or toast with butter and preserves. My sister and I definitely like more elaborate breakfasts, with either French toast, pancakes, bread puddings...all that healthy stuff, alongside a coffee and an orange juice. We always have different opinions on breakfast, so family breakfasts are trickier to put together. In an ideal world, we'd all agree on one option and be done, but instead we typically make two or three options and let everyone choose what they want to eat. One of the options that I'll make sure ends up on tomorrow's Christmas breakfast table are pancakes.
Gingerbread pancakes are the solution. My sister and I are serious pancake lovers, and there's nothing more seasonally appropriate for Christmas breakfast than a gingerbread pancake. Pancakes take just minutes to mix up, and only a few more to cook. For me, pancakes are the best spur of the moment treat to make when an occasion calls for a breakfast that's a little more special than the everyday breakfast. These pancakes may not be the most nutritious way to start our mornings, but a stack of pancakes sure is satisfying, especially when they're full of warm, Christmasy flavors.
I'm one of the few people I know that happens to really love gingerbread. There's something about the combination of the spicy ginger, warm molasses, and loads of spices that I just find so addictive, and I always crave it during the winter months. I know gingerbread can be a little overpowering for some, but these pancakes are anything but. They're definitely reminiscent of the gingerbread flavors I love, but are mild enough that anyone will enjoy them, even those who aren't particularly as crazy about gingerbread as I am. These pancakes are the perfect option for my sister and I to share on Christmas morning; she's not entirely a fan of spicy gingerbread flavors, but these pancakes were an exception!
Like all pancakes, these were very easy and straightforward to make. Dry ingredients are whisked together, wet ingredients are mixed up, and then the two mixes are combined. After a few minutes on a hot griddle, the pancakes are ready for devouring, and a thick stream of maple syrup flowing down the stack is non-negotiable. Since these pancakes are the easiest and fastest way to spruce up my Christmas Day breakfast, it means that I can get back to enjoying my super-chill Christmas even sooner; can't wait for that! Enjoy, and happy holidays!
recipe from A Cozy Kitchen
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs, molasses and butter until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon until just combined. A few lumps here and there are ok.
Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat and brush with a little butter. Using 1/4 cup measure, scoop out the pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook the pancakes for 1-2 minutes, or until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancake. Flip and cook the pancakes on the other side until they are golden brown, about 1 more minute. Repeat until all the pancake batter has been used. Serve with powdered sugar and warm maple syrup. Enjoy!
Makes 16-18 pancakes