I had grand plans for a New Year’s Day brunch for two featuring pancakes and some hash browns, but they didn’t happen. My husband woke up too late and I was already off to Home Depot (wait a second, shouldn’t that have been the other way around?), fixin’ to start a new project in the new year.
So these became Next New Year’s Day brunch pancakes.
Any time pancakes are involved, one must call on Joy the Baker. You all know Joy the Baker, right? She’s so down to earth and real. I mean, I haven’t met her, but I feel like I’ve known her for years. That’s how her blog works.
If you’re pining for Christmas past (pine-ing, get it?) , then Joy has the solution in her eggnog pancakes. Don’t worry that you’ve already chugged your last carton of the creamy stuff, these pancakes don’t actually have eggnog in them. But they taste like the real thing. Better yet, they involve brown butter. If you’ve never had or made anything with brown butter, this would be the perfect introduction.
I don’t know how to describe it, except to use some other folks’ catch phrases:
“It has that secret ingredient that makes you go, hmmmm, what’s that?” – Rachael Ray
“It’s like pancakes with the volume turned up.” – Ina Garten
“It’s pancakes, kicked up a notch.” – Emeril
Basically, browned butter makes the ordinary extra special.
For these pancakes (which is a batch for 2 people), you will need:
- 3T butter, plus more for the skillet
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (Joy says a heaping tsp of freshly ground, but I don’t keep fresh nutmeg on hand)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of allspice
- 1 egg
- 1 C buttermilk
- 1 T whiskey or spiced rum or 2 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla)
- 1 C flour
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
That seems like a lot of ingredients all listed out there, but it’s pretty basic stuff. If you don’t keep buttermilk handy and you have a hankerin’ for these, fill a measuring cup with allllmost a cup of milk, add 1 T of lemon juice or white vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes, and you do have buttermilk. No more excuses.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan until you begin to see brown bits. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside to cool for a little.
In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
Add the butter the the buttermilk mixture and whisk until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just blended. Lumpy pancake batter is a good thing, so you’re not going for smooth here.
Let the batter rest for 5 minutes while you heat a skillet with about 1T of butter. When it’s hot, scoop out some batter. Joy recommends 1 tablespoon, I tend to use my 1/4 cup scoop, filled about halfway. Cook until you see little bubbles forming on the pancakes, grab a spatula and flip. Cook for about a minute on the other side.
Serve immediately or transfer to a cookie sheet in a warm oven. Then everyone can eat pancakes together.
Can I tell you something?
I did a little experimenting with these. I added chocolate chips to the last of the batter and made 3 eggnog chocolate chip pancakes. I used to add chocolate chips to my half of all pancake batters. However, upon adding chocolate chips to Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes I was shocked to learn that the addition of chocolate chips is not always welcome in a pancake. So now whenever I make a new kind of pancake, I only do a little chocolate chip test at the end of the batter. But eggnog chocolate chip pancakes? That’s serious business. The flavors all mesh well, and I loved them. There’s something pure and simple about the pancakes without chocolate, but something deathly sweet and wonderful about the pancakes with chocolate.
So I drowned them in syrup and went to town.
Oh, and if you’re still wondering why this post is called pillow pancakes it’s because these beauties bake up so puffy that they are quite pillow-like, a quality I much admire in a breakfast food.
The weekend is fast approaching, make sure you have the ingredients now.