Long time no see, friends!
Um… it’s been a while.
“I’m busy” is such an overused excuse, and I really thought that was the reason I hadn’t posted in 3 months. But I’ve been doing some thinking lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my inactivity is simply because I’d really just lost the motivation to test and shoot recipes. It’s actually something I’ve read a lot about: blogger burnout.
If any of y’all have ever experienced utter lack of desire to absolutely anything, that’s basically what happened to me. It’s like when you’ve got a ton of schoolwork to do but you can’t help but put it off to tomorrow… and the next day… and the next day. I mean, there’s so much else to do other than writing blog posts, right? It’s so much easier to bake some cookies and not have to worry about taking pictures, or messing with lighting and editing. Most of the time, things like watching TV with my family or playing fetch with my dog are much more desirable than having your face buried in a screen for hours.
But this morning, my mom wanted something sweet for breakfast, so I wanted to whip up a quick batch of chocolate peanut butter pancakes. I went on my blog to grab a recipe, but I discovered that I’d never posted a pancake recipe before!! I was so disappointed in myself, and then realized how long it’d been since I’d posted. Gosh, I’ve actually missed blogging so much. I’m going to be so busy this summer, but one of my main goals is to seriously just try and fit in some time for baking and blogging. It used to be a much bigger part of my life than it is now, and I would love to start back up again.
Today, I want to talk about ALL THINGS PANCAKES.
There’s really nothing challenging at all about making a great batch of sweet, fluffy pancakes. All it takes is some flour, some sweetness, milk and eggs, a leavening agent, and a little love and care. However, there are a couple things to keep in mind when making pancakes.
First of all, the type of flour used is actually essential to the texture of the pancake. I’ve actually tried making pancakes with bread flour in the past (we’d run out of all-purpose flour), and they turned out tough and dense. If it’s your first time making them, I’d play it safe and start out with regular all-purpose flour.
However, if you want to switch it up a bit, try using almond flour for a gluten-free option, or even buckwheat for a more intense, earthy taste. In today’s recipe, I’m using whole wheat flour, which doesn’t affect the pancake’s structure or texture; it’s got some health benefits, which is great, and I also love the subtle, nutty flavor it provides!
If you’ve already seen the recipe down below, you’ll notice that I separate my eggs, and beat the whites on high until stiff peaks form. Then, I add that in to the rest of the pancake batter.
I’ve made classic buttermilk pancakes before, which are delicious without the extra step of beating the egg whites. However, if you’re not careful, it is very easy to accidentally overmix, resulting in a super chewy, dense cake. There’s a time and place for chewy and dense desserts (helloooo brownies!), but definitely not now! Folding in the egg whites loosens up the batter and makes them taste moist and as light as a cloud!
Visually, these pancakes are a lot thicker than if you didn’t whip the whites. If you wanted them to be even fluffier, then I would suggest increasing the quantity to two egg whites – that would give you a significantly fluffier pancake.
When working on the griddle, it’s important to note that cooking time varies. This depends on the amount of heat and pancake batter used in the cooking process. Don’t just set a timer and blindly flip the pancake after it goes off. The more batter used per pancake, the less heat you should use, which would increase the cooking time.
Rule of thumb: when the edges of the pancakes are set, and bubbles appear across the entire surface, they should be ready to flip! This is caused by the baking powder creating air pockets in the pancakes, which make them light and airy. If all of the bubbles are gone, your pancakes are going to turn out flat. And most likely burnt, too!
Also, if you plan on adding chocolate chips or any mix-ins of choice, sprinkle them over right after you first pour the batter onto the griddle. If you add them directly into the big bowl of pancake batter, your mix-ins will be unevenly distributed (i.e. some pancakes might have more chocolate chips than others)
Serve your pancakes hot from the griddle, with warm maple syrup and a little butter, if you desire. For this particular recipe, I spooned about 1/3 cup peanut butter into a little ramekin and heated it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, so it would be pourable and easier to drizzle. If you’re feeling ambitious, I recommend sprinkling over chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, powdered sugar, or even sprinkles. Some whipped cream plus a dusting of cocoa powder wouldn’t hurt either!
These chocolate peanut butter pancakes would be SO great for a last minute Mother’s Day brunch. They’re rich, fluffy, and sweet – everything you’d expect in a pancake. I’m actually making some blueberry pancakes today, plus some eggs (I love Ree’s) and some coffee. What are your Mother’s Day plans?
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1 egg, separated
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 cup milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. In another bowl, mix egg yolk and milk to combine. Whisk the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Don't overmix!
- Using an electric whisk (you could do this by hand, but it would take a while!), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then, gently fold in the egg whites. Heat a nonstick griddle to medium heat. Drop batter onto the heated griddle. I used this cookie scoop to make them the same size, but you could use a ¼ cup measure too!
- Cook the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface. Flip using a spatula, and cook for an additional minute, until the bottom is browned.
- Serve with a generous drizzle of peanut butter and maple syrup; sprinkle over chocolate chips and powdered sugar if you dare! Enjoy!