Pancakes: Stove-top Muffins?

I thought about making muffins for breakfast this morning, but it was already so warm that I didn’t want to turn on the oven! Do you know, the only real difference between muffins and pancakes is the amount of liquid, and the way that they’re cooked? And do you know how EASY both are? I challenge you to quit buying mixes for both. You really and truly don’t need them.

Pancakes, like muffins, are pretty versatile. The main difference for me is that in muffins, I’ll put the fruit in with the batter, while with pancakes, you CAN do that, but I prefer to mix the fruit with real maple syrup, some butter, and some cream, then simmer that on the back burner while I cook the pancakes. It stretches that maple syrup and gives a flavorful, less-sweet topping for the pancakes.

For the two of us, I made enough batter for two breakfasts with …

  • 1 cup flour (today I used about half all-purpose and half whole-wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Whisk that all together in a small bowl

  • 1 large egg (if you want eggier pancakes, you can use 2)
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted if it’s cool enough to be solid)

In a separate bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup, whisk the egg, whisk in the buttermilk & vanilla, whisk in the fat, then whisk it all into the dry ingredients. If you like a thinner battter, add a bit more milk or water. I usually do!

Heat your griddle or frying pan on medium-low until a drop of water skittles around. Spread a dab of butter on there, then pour enough batter for the size pancakes you’d like. You don’t need to butter the pan for each pancake, since there is fat in the batter. Let cook until bubbly all over, flip, and cook about a minute or so, until the edge starts to brown and the pancakes are cooked through. I only cooked half of the batter today. I simply covered the rest and put it in the refrigerator, ready to cook tomorrow!

For today’s topping, I put about 1/2 cup raspberries in my small saucepan and poured in about 1/4 cup of real maple syrup, about 1/4 cup heavy cream, and about a tablespoon of butter. I simmered that together while I cooked the pancakes. Yum!

Options:

Flour–any kind you like, though I’ve found that regular all-purpose (AP) flour works best as at least some of it. For oatmeal pancakes, I use 1/4 cup AP flour and soak 3/4 cup oatmeal in the chosen liquid for a little while before adding the egg & fat, then add to the dry mixture. It’d probably be good to do the same with whole wheat flour, as well. You can add flax, spelt, or rice flour, or use your favorite gluten-free mix. You’re going to be eating them, so use what you like!

Sweetening–these are pancakes or muffins, not the cupcakes that are sold and called muffins, so they shouldn’t be overly sweet. You can use sugar, honey, maple syrup, or molasses, but 1 tablespoon per cup of flour really is plenty.

Liquid–I’ve found that I prefer buttermilk most of the time, but your preference may be different! You can use regular “sweet” milk, but if you do, you’ll need to substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder instead of the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. You can “sour” sweet milk and use it like buttermilk by putting 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in your measuring cup, then add sweet milk to the one-cup mark and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using. You can add or substitute a fruit juice of your choice–orange juice works well, and so does pineapple juice. You can use yogurt or kefir or sour cream or cottage cheese, but if you use any of those other than the kefir, you WILL need to add milk or water to thin it down, or use less flour. In a pinch, you CAN use plain water, but do treat it as sweet milk–either use baking powder, or add an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Using water or juice will reduce the nutritional content a bit, but will still be filling.

Fat–You can use butter, ghee, coconut oil, bacon grease, lard, palm shortening, whatever you like. I don’t recommend any liquid oils because they’re simply not healthy to consume, period, except for olive oil, and I don’t think that would go well in pancakes!

Nuts–not mentioned above, but you can add chopped nuts to the batter or sprinkle on top of each pancake. They’re best if toasted first. If you prefer, you can grind nuts before mixing them in, or use a nut butter.

Topping–any berry works well. but you can also use chopped bigger fruits like apples, pears, peaches, apricots, etc. If using a harder fruit than a berry, you may want to start it simmering before you begin mixing up your batter, so it has a chance to cook & soften. You certainly may use honey if you prefer, but I use raw local honey and don’t want to kill off the good stuff with heat. You could simmer everything together except the honey, let it cool a bit and then stir it in.

To make MUFFINS instead, when you don’t mind heating up the house, simply reduce the liquid to 1 cup and add 1/4 cup of the fruit of your choice if you’d like. Grease ONLY the bottoms of your muffin cups and spoon the batter in to about 3/4 full.  Bake at 375f for approximately 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Enjoy!

Love to all,

Deborah

 

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