I have a love/hate relationship with pancakes. I love them in theory, but I eat so many of them that I'm always left with that heavy feeling in my stomach, which I've dubbed, ugh, pancake lump. I swear them off for good, but the next time I'm faced with them on a menu, I order the large stack, and the cycle begins again. At least I've become strong enough to not put syrup on them. I usually douse them, which makes pancake lump even worse. Now, I just eat them plain. I'm much better off making pancakes at home, where I can make them in small portions and freeze them, to pop in the toaster for breakfast or a snack, usually breakfast, at work, wehre I can guarantee that only the four I brought along are the ones that will get eaten. "Ugh, pancake lump" avoided. I came across this recipe for gingerbread pancakes a few months ago in Gourmet. It was in the reader request section, and is an adaptation of the pancakes made at the Magnolia Cafe, I believe in Texas, but I cut that part of the recipe out so I can't remember. I made them around Christmas, thinking they'd be a nice, spicy alternative to gingerbread cookies. The pancakes are good, but didn't have as much of a spicy bite as I'd hoped for. But then, spices need to be overpowering for me to notice, with my lack of smell, so for anyone with a working nose, these may hit just the right note. The recipe uses coffee but I think the next time, just to amp up the spiciness for myself, I'll substitute a strong cup of Bengal Spice tea.
Total Calories: 1890; Servings: about 30; Whisks: 2.5. Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 tsp baking soda; 1/2 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; 1 tsp ground ginger; 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg; 1/4 tsp ground cloves; 3 large eggs; 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar; 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk; 1/2 cup water; 1/4 cup brewed coffee (not espresso); 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and brown sugar. Whisk in buttermilk, water and coffee until combined, then add to flour/spice mixture. Whisk in melted butter. Heat a dry griddle or large heavy skillet (I used my electric griddle) over moderate heat until hot enough to make drops of water scatter over the surface, then brush with oil (I sprayed with vegetable spray). Working in batches, fill a 1/4 cup measuring cup with batter, then pour onto griddle and cook, turning once, until deep golden, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Serve immediately, transfer to heat proof platter and place in 200F degree oven to keep warm until serving, or let cool completely and freeze.