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Monday, March 4, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I've only recently started to really appreciate breakfast, I think mostly because it's more fun when your two year old requests "pan-caks" every weekend.  While she gets her share of the Bisquick variety, every once in a while I decide to make some that are a little fancier than the standard.  Making pancakes from scratch really isn't any harder than the box mix, but I'll admit these have a few more steps.  But they are certainly fun for special occasions.  And they are definitely delicious.  I would go so far as to say they might be a tie for the best pancakes I've ever had.

A couple of tips you should read before you begin:
  • Make the cinnamon swirl mixture and the frosting before you start cooking, it will go fast once you put the batter on the griddle.  Plus, letting the mixture sit for a few minutes while you make the batter allows it to thicken slightly which will make it easier to work with.
  • Keep your pan on medium-low to medium, they might take an extra minute to cook but you don't want them to burn.
  • Make the cinnamon swirl mixture a bit on the thick side, like thick maple syrup.  A squeeze bottle works perfectly for this, but you can use a ziploc if you don't have one.
  • Wait until you see bubbles all around the edges of pancakes, then add the swirl.
  • When you swirl the cinnamon mixture, don't get too close to the edge or it will bubble out of the pancake.
  • Don't skip the glaze, it really delivers the cinnamon roll flavor.
  • Extra pancakes are perfect to pop in the freezer - put them in a freezer ziploc and then just pop in the toaster to reheat.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Recipe slightly adapted from RecipeGirl

Cinnamon Swirl:
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T milk

2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I've used either skim or 2% without issues)
2 large eggs
2 T canola oil

Start by mixing the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Transfer to a squeeze bottle or ziploc baggie and set aside to thicken.

Next make the glaze, beat together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk and beat until light and creamy.  Add additional powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.  Set aside until ready to serve.

Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium-low to medium heat. Add a little butter or oil to the pan and pour out approximately 1/4 - 1/3 cup pancake mix, giving them plenty of room to spread a bit so it's easier to flip.  Once bubbles begin to form around the tops of the pancakes, add a thick swirl of the cinnamon mixture.  Once the bubbles begin to pop, quickly flip each pancake.  Cook until golden brown.  It should take about 2-3 minutes per side to cook.  Stack and top with cream cheese glaze and serve.  This recipe should yield approximately 16 4-inch pancakes.  

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