Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
For the last few years, Christmas for my family has been a bit of a subdued affair. Some years we’ve been scattered across the country doing our own thing, others we’ve spent just a couple of days celebrating before getting back to our work, our lives. But not this year.
This year, we’ll spend two whole weeks under the same roof – seven people, two dogs, two cats and a unknowable amount of chaos – bringing back all of the old traditions that we’ve neglected over the last half-decade: the days upon days of carols and cake, the tree decorating, the stockings, the post-present-opening pancakes.
The pancakes, along with the 6AM pot of parent-rousing coffee, have always been my responsibility. And so, having arrived at Christmas Headquarters – my parents’ place on Prince Edward Island – last week, ahead of the bulk of our Christmas crew, I’ve been using the relative peace and quiet to get my pancake-flipping skills up to snuff.
Inspired by a delicious batch of pancakes I enjoyed in Durham, created by a fellow pancake-lover, this year’s offerings will be extra-fluffy and flavoured with gingerbread spices. I’ve
specified a recipe below, but really you can convert any of your favourite plain/whole wheat pancake recipes to gingerbread pancakes by adding 1 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger and a pinch each of nutmeg and cloves for every 1 cup of flour you use.
The flavour is mild, as far as gingerbready things go, which is how I like it. But if you’re looking for a bolder gingerbread taste,
try upping the spices by 50% and using molasses in place of the sugar (stirring it into the wet ingredients instead of the dry). You know, you’d better just make yourself a test batch or two before the big day. In my experience, no one will complain.
And with that, I’m off to the airport, to retrieve my fellow revelers and pancake-eaters. Whatever you celebrate, I hope the weeks to come bring you happiness and gingerbread pancakes.
Inspired by Jenny, and adapted from allrecipes.com
Serves 4 hungry pancake eaters
1.5 cups of flour
1 tbsp white or brown sugar
3.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1 pinch each of nutmeg and cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk (or milk substitute)
3 tbsp melted butter or oil
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter/oil.
3. Make a small well in the flour mixture, then pour in your liquids. Stir with a wooden spoon just until there are no dry bits of flour left (some lumpiness is OK).
4. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Melt a little bit of butter in the base of the pan. Drop in ~1/4 cup of batter, gently spreading it into a pancake shape. Fry for a couple minutes, until the edges look dry, the surface of the pancake is dotted with bubbles, and the side touching the pan is golden. Flip and fry for a couple minutes more, until the other side is golden too. Repeat, repeat, repeat until there’s no batter left. Cooked pancakes can be kept warm on a baking tray in a 200°F oven. Tasty toppings for these guys include: maple syrup, stewed fruit (like apples or pears), pumpkin or apple butter, and/or freshly whipped cream.