I love waking up about half an hour early on Wednesdays to make pancakes for breakfast. They really take very little time to throw together, and they make a world of difference to my day. I can’t save my pancakes only for special weekend breakfasts. Sometimes (every Wednesday) I need that weekend indulgence before I throw on the chef’s coat and dive into the big kitchen.
Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Pancakes are surprisingly light, healthy, and keep me full well into the afternoon. Drizzled with homemade Vanilla-Brown Sugar Syrup and served with a side of fresh fruit, I can indulge in the comforts of a lazy Sunday morning, even on a daunting weekday.
Treat yourself to pancakes on a weekday. The sunshine and hearty breakfast are well worth the early alarm chime.
Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Pancakes with Vanilla-Brown Sugar Syrup
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus additional for brushing the skillet
1 1/2 cup whole milk, plus additional if needed
1 ripe banana, diced or mashed
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl Whisk together yolks, oil and 1 1/2 cups milk in another bowl and add to the flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Let batter stand for 5 minutes to allow flour to absorb liquid (batter will thicken).
If batter is too thick to fall easily from a spoon, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons additional milk.
Fold in banana and walnuts.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderately high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. With a whisk, gently but thoroughly fold into batter.
Brush a griddle or 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate. Working in batches of 4, spoon 2 tablespoons batter per pancake into a hot skillet, spreading it if necessary to form 3- 3 1/2 inch rounds. Cook pancakes until bubbles appear on surface, edges are set and undersides are golden, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip pancakes with a metal spatula and cook until undersides are golden and pancakes are cooked through. Lower heat if pancakes brown too quickly and insides aren’t set. Transfer pancakes to plate and serve with Vanilla- Brown Sugar Syrup. Brush griddle with more oil between batches.
Vanilla-Brown Sugar Syrup
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine brown sugar, water, butter, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a oil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil until syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and vanilla, then let cool to warm or room temperature.