Breakfast / Brunch

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

For many years now I have maintained a tradition of giant blueberry pancakes for my birthday.  I wait all year to indulge completely in these pancakes.  It’s not that I deny myself but rather enjoy the anticipation of this once a year treat that makes it all the more special to me.  As my daughter so kindly states, I do get excited over the littlest of things.  And one of my other annual treats is these pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin pancakes will appear at my table at least twice during my pumpkin frenzy in October and November. I use whole wheat pastry flour as its texture is lighter than using regular whole wheat flour.  The pancakes are earthy, with the unmistakable spices of fall; cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.   While the pancakes alone are moist, tender and fluffy; it’s the topping of the marinated dried cranberry, golden raisins and walnuts or pecans that always seems to get everyone’s attention.  Without fail, my guests are scooping up more of the topping and drizzling the liquor on their pancakes.  Now this topping is certainly not for the kiddies as the dried fruit and nuts have been swimming in Pumpkin Spice Liqueur and Kahlua.  A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips or granola in lieu of the spiked fruit will being smiles to the little ones faces.

To real maple syrup, I mix in some of my pumpkin spice syrup to enhance the pumpkin flavor.  A dollop on the side of whipped cream with freshly grated nutmeg could almost turn this breakfast into dessert!  These make about 8-10 pancakes, double the recipe for double the pancakes!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Dry ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon turbinado, raw, sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Wet ingredients:

1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling

1  cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons walnut oil or melted butter, cooled (plus extra for greasing the pan)

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, stirring well to mix all the spices into the flour.  In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients with a whisk until smooth.  Gently pour the wet into the dry and stir until combined and still a bit lumpy.  Do not overmix the batter as it will  over develop the gluten making tough pancakes.  Refrigerate the batter for 15 minutes or overnight.  Heat a griddle pan to medium heat, brushing on a light coating of butter.  Remove the batter from the refrigerator, but do not stir again as it will break up the air bubbles.  Scoop out ¼ cup portions for each pancake.  Allow to cook for 3 minutes per side, flipping over once.  To keep the pancakes warm while making batches, place cooked pancakes in 200 degree oven.  Serve immediately with the dried fruit topping and a maple pumpkin spiced syrup.

Dried Fruit Topping

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup golden raisins

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

1 tablespoon Kahlua

Combine all ingredients and allow to marry for at least an hour.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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