Creativity = awesome. I just don’t have any idea what I would do with out it. I genuinely believe that with the right attitude and an open conduit to your creativeness (we all have some) – there is no problem that is a problem. That was the case this morning when I was experimenting with some pancakes. (They’re a bit high maintenance – hopefully I’ll get them right and write about them later on.) Anyway, I’m several miles down this road before I realize I’m going in a very wrong direction. (Hey, at least I was on a road.) I’m then faced with a choice, throw the batter and everything else out or cook off the pancakes and have them be the pancake that didn’t work – or could I take all the things that make them not work and use that to my advantage.
I love my advantage. The recipe I was using for the pancakes was my normal buttermilk whole wheat recipe – but I had upped the cinnamon and vanilla and then I had made a caramel. So, clearly there was the makings for something good – but the the pancakes weren’t rising quite right (I forgot some of the baking powder) and the flavor wasn’t doing much of anything for me and to top that off the caramel ended up grainy somehow. But I had some apples, and some brandy so I could chop up some apple and toss that in with a drizzle of brandy and cook those off. Then I had the caramel – which I added some buttermilk and powdered sugar and whisked like crazy until it lost the grain. Then I dug in the food stores until I found some pecans and toasted them up. Presto chango: Praline Pecan Sauce. Breakfast was saved and quite possibly better than what I was trying to do in the first place. (It even got rid of the craving I was having for my mom’s apple cake. They were that good. (See mom, apple cake good.))
1 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 T sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 c buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 T butter, almost melted
1 T vanilla
1 T brandy
2 apples, peeled cored and chopped up into smallish chunks
Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients or dry ingredients into wet ingredients until they’re just barely mixed together. Carefully fold in apples.
Heat griddle, sprayed with cooking spray, over medium to medium high heat. Once up to heat, scoop 1/4 c of batter on to the griddle and make a test cake. Flip once the top side is covered in bubbles. Adjust heat if necessary. Add in more liquid if the pancakes are too thick.
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1 T vanilla
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c – 1c powdered sugar
toasted pecans coarsely chopped
Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add in sugar and stir until sugars are melted. Lower the heat and and let bubble until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool a bit while you prepare the pancakes. Whisk in vanilla, salt and buttermilk. Whisk in powdered sugar by small amounts until mixture reaches your desired thickness. Fold in toasted pecans.
*This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce which will keep for months covered and refrigerated and can be used on other lovely creations like ice cream or bread putting.