Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing in the New Year with Banana Pancakes

Day One.

I really need a larger griddle. I have this one by George Foreman. I can make four pancakes at a time on the griddle. I'd love to have a griddle with space enough for eight pancakes. Then I could feed my whole crew all at the same time instead of in shifts.

I'm starting 2010 with a batch of banana pancakes. Usually this involves adding cinnamon and diced bananas to my regular pancake batter, but I changed things up a bit this morning and, well, you'll see.

The first steps to make pancakes almost never change. First, you combine your dry ingredients.

Next, you combine (in a separate bowl), your wet ingredients.

Then, you dump the wet stuff into the dry stuff and gently introduce the ingredients to one another, just until they are combined. You don't want to overdo this step or you end up with tougher pancakes in the end. Be kind to your batter.

Now, go grab one of your bananas. This would be a great time to use up an overripe banana, but make sure your other banana is presentable, because it will be served on top of your gorgeous pancakes. This one, though--- this one can be ugly. Dice it up as best you can. Set it to the side of your griddle.

Back to the pancakes. On to the preheated griddle they go. I don't use any greasing agents, but you're welcome to use some butter or whatever you like. I have found that a 1/3 cup measure makes a good pancake size, so I use my measuring cup to dole out my batter. Now, as soon as you drop the batter onto the griddle, plop about a tablespoon worth of diced banana on top of each pancake.

Cook them about 3 minutes before flipping them over to finish. One or two minutes on the other side should do it.
While they're cooking, take out your super secret special New Year's Day Breakfast ingredients...

...and whip them up! For small amounts like I used here, I like to use my mini chopper food processor. It takes a minute to whip up some delicious, real whipped cream for topping, and there's no need to chill the bowl and blade.

Plate two pancakes and drizzle with maple syrup. Top with sliced bananas and chopped walnuts. Plop a dollop of your honey-cinnamon whipped cream on top, and bring to the table. Listen to the oohs and ahhs, then listen to the ting-ting of forks hitting plates and no one talking. Because their mouths are full of your yummy banana pancakes.

Ahhhh. Happy New Year.

Banana Pancakes with Lemon Zest and Sour Cream
makes about 8 pancakes (plenty for a family of four)


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 tsp salt (I use sea salt for everything)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use fat-free)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (low fat is the way I go)
  • zest of one lemon (Don't leave this out. You can cheat and buy dried lemon zest in your baking section, but the fresh stuff is so much better, plus more frugal: the rest of the lemon can be used for another purpose, as you'll see me do this weekend!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas (one overripe is fine, but save a pretty one for topping your pancakes)
  • optional: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/8 cup honey, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for topping
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts for topping
  • optional: maple syrup for topping

For the optional honey-cinnamon whipped cream: Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/8 cup honey and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Beat again until cream reaches desired consistency. In my mini chopper, this takes two minutes, tops.

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