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taming the beast

We all have our addictions and obsessions. That’s just a fact. But I’m trying to run a fairly clean blog here so let’s stick with the not-too-hazardous addictions. Some of mine are pretty obvious, especially if you’ve been reading my blog but, but here’s running list: J. Crew, Mad Men, Fiona Apple’s music, dark chocolate, coffee, apples, owls, champagne, pancakes, and pumpkins.

Every now and then, these addictions can’t be tamed. Trying to tame the beast, I dedicated my Saturday morning to these spicy pumpkin pancakes. Yes, another pancake recipe. You’d think I’d tire of these little heavenly stacks, but then you’d be wrong. Banana, buttermilk, you name it, I’ll eat it. If you can’t deal with this pancake overload, then click out. Everyone else, proceed…

Back to Saturday morning, I needed some pancakes. Without buttermilk and with no bananas in sight, I set my eye upon tackling a new pancake recipe. With fall upon us, I couldn’t help but embrace my inner pumpkin craving. My mom grimaced when I grabbed the pumpkin cans, and asked why would I use pumpkin in pancakes? “Absurd,” she said. Ha! I’ll prove you wrong… For all the naysayers, if you can make sweet potato pancakes, you can make pumpkin pancakes, right?

I found this recipe and thought the addition of whipped egg whites at the end was a nice touch. I prefer my stacks fluffy, tall, and soft so I was willing to try out this new technique. With an 85% approval rating, I figured these pancakes would work out ok. Make sure you whip them enough, but too much, or else this recipe be a big fail.

I swapped out half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat because that’s how I roll. I like nutty wheat flour, especially with spiced goods and I wasn’t too concerned with the change in the pancake’s texture. I used whole milk as well, but you could probably use buttermilk if you want a nice tang. 

Overall, I was pleased with these pancakes. My stomach wasn’t up to overly sweet pancakes and thankfully, these pancakes weren’t overloaded in the sugar department. I’d like to try this recipe out with brown sugar since it works so well with pumpkins and spice. If someone tries this out, let me know how it goes. I must admit that in the flavor department, it was slightly lacking. I don’t know what I expected but I thought it’d be more pumpkinesque. Although if it had been deliriously flavored, I would’ve complained too.

I like my pancakes with all natural maple syrup because nature knows best but I imagine they’d be good with a dollop of honey too. The recipe yields about 12 good-sized portions but I froze about half of the batch and plan on heating these suckers up on Thanksgiving morning.

I know everyone is getting into a tizzy about Thanksgiving, especially with it quickly approaching. I had no idea it was two weeks away until I glanced at my school-packed calendar, and almost cried. How is November halfway done? Where did my month go? And can it slow down?

I don’t think you can answer these questions, but that’s ok. I don’t know about you, but we are deep in the throes of Thanksgiving Day planning, with new menus drafted every day. I’m in charge of dessert. How fitting, right? Only, I get to serve 12 people and they are a picky bunch. Phew, that might turn in to one big headache… I’m going to comfort my rattled and shaky nerves with another helping of pancakes. Any takers?

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Origin: Epicurious
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Yields: 12 pancakes

● 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
● 3 tablespoons sugar
● 2 teaspoons baking powder
● 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
● 3/4 teaspoon salt
● 1 1/3 cups whole milk
● 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
● 4 large eggs, separated
● 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
● 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
● Vegetable oil
● Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick).
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat.
Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup.

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November 16, 2008 - 7:59 pm

megan - amanda, you are my hero. i will forever be a slave to the heaping hot stack of pancakes. i never would have thought to add pumpkin to a batch but your story (and photos!) have convinced me. i smell a thanksgiving breakfast in the works…

November 16, 2008 - 10:34 pm

amy - I love pancakes and pumpkin, so I am looking forward to trying this recipe soon.

November 17, 2008 - 5:21 am

My First Kitchen - Looks so good! And your addiction to owls cracks me up. Personally I’m totally weirded out by them. And oh how I miss Mad Men. I hope you caught the SNL when Jon Hamm hosted. Best episode of the season.

November 17, 2008 - 6:40 am

Debbie Green - They look great to me…I would love to try them!!!

November 17, 2008 - 9:47 am

Erin - That is a fine looking stack of pancakes! I’m obsessed with Mad Men too. I don’t know how anyone who’s watched an episode couldn’t be.

November 17, 2008 - 12:07 pm

DD - Absolutely amazing photos…bravo. I love J Crew too.

November 17, 2008 - 12:26 pm

nicole - i have been meaning to make pumpkin pancakes for awhile (my boss gave me a recipe that looked good) and you’ve inspired me! perhaps this weekend … photos are awesome as always :)

November 17, 2008 - 4:27 pm

gkbloodsugar - I smell them! I believe!

November 17, 2008 - 5:11 pm

CN - If you make them again (which you probably won’t have to, since you have so many frozen) add your own individual spices in larger amounts. Ginger (at least a teaspoon), Cinnamon (ditto) and 1/4 or 1/3 teaspoon each cloves, allspice and nutmeg.


November 18, 2008 - 7:47 am

Kt - Those looks fabulous! I think I know what’s for dinner tonight … thanks!

And yeah, I’m in charge of dessert for picky people too. Well more like set in their ways, but I keep nudging them in other directions. :-D

November 18, 2008 - 1:01 pm

eurydice - yum… great idea. i love pumpkin in everything so this would be no exception!

November 18, 2008 - 1:10 pm

Maria - I love pumpkin pancakes! I recently made some and they were amazing. The recipe is on my blog if you are interested. We served them up with homemade cinnamon syrup!! Yum! Your photos are fabulous!

November 18, 2008 - 4:22 pm

mysweetestday - oooo ive never had pumpkin pancakes but i bet i would loooove them! any idea how to alter the recipe to make them into waffles?

November 19, 2008 - 5:51 am

Robin - MMM, punpkin pancakes! They sound delicious. As soon as my back gets better I’m going to try them with the brown sugar. :)

November 19, 2008 - 9:26 am

Pumpkin Pancakes « Carmen Cooks - [...] want a stack of pancakes for Saturday brunch.  Especially when it’s fall and everybody else is making pumpkin pancakes while you’re copping out with boring old bacon and eggs (albeit in [...]

November 20, 2008 - 2:40 pm

steph (whisk/spoon) - good god–i am totally going to try these! i can’t get enough of pancakes (or pumpkin, either, for that matter)!

November 24, 2008 - 8:04 pm

Kevin - Those pancakes look good!

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