This morning I woke up to about two inches of lovely, fluffy snow covering the ground and clinging to the tree branches. We haven’t had much snow here in Western Massachusetts this winter and I was just thrilled when I opened my shades to such splendor!
Padding around the kitchen in my favorite red plaid slippers, I decided a hearty, and delicious, breakfast was in order on this lovely snowy morning. Hearty Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon and Walnuts fit that bill perfectly – and they were one of my sons absolute favorites for breakfast when they were growing up.
Photographing something as bland as pancakes is a real challenge, so I came up with the idea of thickening the maple syrup. Otherwise the syrup would disappear into the pancakes, which would result in a very boring photo. First I boiled the syrup… but that didn’t make it thick enough. So I added a bit of cornstarch, mixed in water. Still not thick enough… A bit more cornstarch and water was added, then I got caught up doing something else.. and forgot the maple syrup boiling away. (The older I get, the more forgetful I get..)
The end result of my forgetfulness was a REALLY thick syrup which photographed beautifully and I was happy with the results. However, I was a bit less happy a few minutes later, once the unused portion of thickened syrup cooled and stuck to the pan with an vigorous tenacity! (If this ever happens to you, just add water, heat to a boil and allow to sit for a while.)
Recipe makes about 12 small pancakes – enjoy!
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 Tbs. sugar ++ You can substitute brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tbs. butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix 1 cup cornmeal, 2 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir briefly. Cover bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. ++ I usually put a dinner plate on top.
After 10 minutes add ½ cup flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon to the softened cornmeal. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg, 1/2 milk and 2 Tbs butter until smooth and add to bowl. Stir ingredients quickly until just combined. Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat. (I use an electric skillet, which I love, because the heat is even throughout.)
++ I suggest using a 1/4 cup measure so each pancake is about the same size.
Cook pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and edges appear dry, then flip and cook just a bit little longer.
Hearty Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon and Walnuts are especially delicious with a side of bacon and lots of maple syrup. ; o )