November 28, 2012
I’m obsessed with cranberry sauce. I make tons every Thanksgiving (a double batch of my favorite Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Sauce) so that I have plenty for leftovers and, you know, to spoon straight from the jar. Though I’m not a huge fan of turkey, I consider roasting one every Christmas just so that there’s an excuse for more cranberry sauce. I’ve never gone that far, opting for roast lamb or a crown roast instead, but I make cranberry sauce anyway.
I’ve decided that I need to find other ways to get my cranberry sauce fix. Not because I’m opposed to making tons of cranberry sauce—my slow cooker makes having cranberry sauce around really easy—but because my appetite for the intoxicating combination of tart cranberry and sweet orange spiked with cloves and cinnamon is insatiable. It’s disturbing, really, but I’ve learned to love myself, disturbing qualities and all. With that acceptance will come many cranberry sauce inspired recipes starting with this one for Orange Cranberry Spice Pancakes.
These fluffy rounds are like holiday cheer on a plate, so full of spice that the batter turns a light chestnut brown. It’s quite beautiful speckled with cranberry red. A kiss of orange zest and brown sugar keeps these from being too tart, not to mention the warm maple syrups that you should pour on top. Liberally. These are officially on the short list for Christmas day breakfast.
School Lunch Alert! Sandwich cream cheese (and maybe some jelly, too) between two of these babies to make a pancake sammy for kiddo’s lunchbox. Serve with some mixed seeds and or nuts, a side of fruit, and veggies for a complete afternoon meal.
Orange Cranberry Spice Pancakes
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)*
gluten- and/or dairy-free adaptable
2 cups flour (you can substitute your favorite gluten-free flour blend)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cup milk (you can substitute a non-dairy milk like coconut or almond)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more butter for cooking
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1/3 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1. If you want to serve the entire family perfectly warm pancakes all at once, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and cloves; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and zest.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until most of the lumps are gone (a few small lumps are okay). Add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly through the batter.
4. Butter a large pan or griddle set over medium heat. Using a scant 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, drop batter in skillet and cook until a few bubbles have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until cooked through and golden brown on the underside, another 2 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is done. Serve immediately.
To serve everyone warm cakes all at once: Stack cooked pancakes as they are done on a baking sheet or oven-proof plate kept in your preheated oven.
To freeze: Once pancakes are cooled through, place them in a ziplock bag, each separated by a small piece of parchment paper, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat frozen pancakes in a microwave and/or toaster.
*Note: These make a great early finger food! If your child is not yet managing soft finger foods by 8-months-old, hold off on serving these (pureed pancakes aren’t so great!). Otherwise, cut into age appropriate bites and serve. Consider skipping syrup on portions for little eaters. These have a tiny bit of sweetness that should be enough for your littlest ones.