Snow Day Pancakes

Winter is not ready to let the East coast off the hook this year.

More snow today. Again.

Gorgeous as it can be when it's fresh fallen snow sure can be a pain in the ass. Shoveling, salting, more shoveling and never really being aware if you have all ten fingers still attached until you get your gloves off.

But the snow does bring one nice thing.


I mean, snow days. Snow days are little treasures, you wake up a little later than usual, make a fresh pot of coffee, glance out the window at the gracefully falling flakes of doom you will eventually have to shovel and know that today, at least this day, you will not have to put on pants and drive to work.

(OK I also wear pants all day, but you know what I mean!)

In celebration of days like this day, the work-free or work-from-home kind, I usually indulge in a stack of pancakes. Big, fat, fluffy pancakes. Just like the snow outside the window. This is my favorite recipe, I've kind of mastered it after trying a different one each time I got a craving for pancakes and tweaked it to my liking as I went along. My favorite thing about this recipe is that it just takes one egg, serves two and easily doubles so that you can invite friends to the pancake party. 

I'm kind of a purist because maple syrup and butter are enough for me, but who doesn't love toppings? Whipped cream, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, whatever you have on hand. I had a little fresh ricotta in the fridge so I made a super easy maple ricotta topping to dress these guys up a bit. Any excuse to put more maple syrup on things makes me happy and it's creamy, not overly sweet addition which feels a bit luxurious.

What are your favorite pancakes toppings? Do you like extra fluffly or thin pancakes?

Many of us love to cook pancakes in butter but it's often unnecessary if you're using a good non-stick pan. Butter burns too easily for a delicate process like pancakes. If you need to, use a light sheen of oil in your cooking pan. If you are using non-stick cookware there's already butter in your batter and cooking without a greasing agents helps the color appear more uniformly when cooking.

In case you forgot to pick up buttermilk in your pre-snowstorm supermarket run these buttermilk pancakes come together easily if you replace one tablespoon of milk from your required serving, replace the tablespoon of milk with lemon juice or vinegar, stir and let rest for 10 minutes before combining with the rest of the ingredients. 

Whipped Maple Ricotta:
1/4 cup fresh ricotta
1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together with a whisk and refrigerate until ready to use. For larger quantities use electric whisk for smoother results.

Buttermilk Pancakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute)
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter
1/8 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together is a medium bowl. Do not over-mix, lumps are just fine when it comes to pancakes. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes while your pan reaches medium-low heat. Lightly sheen pan with oil if needed. Use a 1/4 cup to pour your batter into the center of the pan - adjust batter amount for size - flip once when bubbles form on batter surface, before they begin to burst. Serve immediately or keep pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven if needed.

Top pancakes with whipped maple ricotta, maple syrup, butter and/or fresh fruit. 

If you have leftovers, freeze them for reheating in a toaster for a quick pancake indulgence on another morning (or evening, or anytime in between).

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