March 15, 2012

(Almost) Healthy Anniversary Banana Pancakes w/Cinnamon Infused Syruputter

Late last month the girlfriend and I frighteningly joyously celebrated our 3rd anniversary so a special meal was definitely expected.  I spared her and the other diners around us from breaking out the camera at a cozy little French restaurant in downtown NYC called La Sirene (which was delicious and BYO) - a place recommended to us by our friends Logan and Julia.  So the order of the day on Saturday morning...banana pancakes of course.  It's a pretty simple (almost) scratch recipe (are we sensing a theme here?) and really isn't bad for you until you get to the syrup/butter combo.  Check out the steps to this stack after the jump.

We used whole wheat flour for the batter, mixed in with your standard eggs, baking powder, salt, and milk.  The flavor came by the way of some mashed bananas, cinnamon, a hint of vanilla, some coconut oil (see more on that below) and some sweetness from agave syrup.  Once it was all mixed together, the flapjacks were cooked in some more of the coconut oil (don't be intimidated, it's super easy to use and healthy alternative to other oils), which burns at a really high temperature and adds a bit of a tropical flavor.

One of the best ways to get nice even circles is to put the batter into squeeze bottle or even re-purpose an old ketchup bottle
I tried using a squirt bottle for the batter but the chunks of banana clogged it up pretty quickly, so I had to take the top off, but the shape of the pancakes still came out pretty even.  You know that your pancakes are ready to be flipped when the start forming small bubbles in the surface.

Notice the pancakes starting to bubble...almost ready to be flipped
Once the pancakes are flipped, they should have a nice golden-brown hue.  As always, the idea is a nice firm outside that gives way to a soft pillowy inside.

That's about the exact golden-brown I was looking for
For the Cinnamon Infused Syrupbutter (I was really just looking for something fancy and whimsical in the title...swing and a miss, I know, but I'm sticking with the girl I came with) it's a stupidly simple take on something my mom used to make for our pancakes and waffles.  Put butter in cup.  Put syrup in same cup.  Put cinnamon in same cup. Microwave said cup (covered).  The result is a lusciously sweet and salty combination that is good enough to drink.  Douse your cakes in that sticky stuff and you're guaranteed a good time (no seriously, it will make anything better).  Top it all off with a few banana slices and you have yourself an easy gourmet breakfast that will make anyone fall in love with you no matter how long you may have been together.

Good thing 3 year anniversaries only come once


For Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/4 cup milk
2-3 large eggs
1-2 tbsp agave syrup (honey is fine substitute)
a few tbsp of rendered coconut oil (plus more for the griddle)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Syruputter:
1 part syrup (we used Aunt Jemima)  
0.5-1.0 part butter
cinnamon to taste

Cooking (but it's a cake by name, so is it baking?):
1. In mixing bowl #1 combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
2. In mixing bowl #2 combine 2 bananas, milk, eggs, agave, coconut oil, and vanilla
3. Pour bowl #2 INTO bowl #1 (this is important to avoid clumpage - clumpage is BAD!)
4. Whisk until basically lump-free.  In the meantime, heat coconut oil (enough to very lightly coat the pan) in a large griddle/skillet and preheat oven to some temp under 200 degrees
5. Move the batter from bowl #1 to a squeeze bottle of sorts (optional). Once the oil is melted, start squeezing some batter into whatever size pancake is appropriate for your occasion.
6. After a couple of minutes, small bubbles should form in the surface of your pancakes, this is when they should be flipped.  Cook for another couple of minutes.
7. Remove pancakes and put on a plate and put that plate in the oven.  The pancakes will continue to cook slightly in the oven while staying warm.  Repeat steps 6 and 7 until your satisfied with your stack
8. Somewhere between flips, combine the syruputter ingredients into a cup and microwave (covered) until melted
9. Slice up the last banana, top a stack of cakes, drizzle stack with syruputter, and eat


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