Valentine’s Pancakes on July

When is it the right time, exactly, for a romantic breakfast? This may not be a frequent question among singles, of course, but if you’re with your special someone, you might want to consider the following: breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and rightly so. Also, guys: just like a quick brush/breath mint before your first kiss, a surprisingly romantic breakfast might just tune your fair lady’s heart for the rest of the day or even the week. Foolproof: White chocolate + cranberries + pecans = awesome morning.

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Having recently been a relationship with many memorable moments, I find myself remembering those which revolved around the lady, and of course, the food. The one I remembered this morning, was a recipe I had made very close to Valentines Day. It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon, when we decided to have a late, second, breakfast. The problem with midday, in general, is that: 1) most places stop serving breakfast 2) the lines are crazy long and in Puerto Rico, particularly, 3) diners suck. In fact, we don’t have proper diners. Denny’s® and IHOP® are the next best things to diners, and as I said: they’re packed at 12 PM. Anyhow, we ended up at my place, and I manned the kitchen while she watched a couple of Fringe episodes. To be honest, I had no idea what to cook, but I knew one thing: I had to impress. As a male and a Puerto Rican, the game is always on; every move is crucial in a relationship. That, at the moment, translated to: look like a pro while cooking, talk very little, and smile at her. In minutes, I managed a couple of ingredients from the pantry, and among other things, the nearly Valentine’s pancakes happened. Oh, and guys: Pancakes are incredibly simple to make from scratch and they yield awesome results. You have my guarantee. Also, you have an excuse to wash all the prepping dishes. Together.

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Though I was mostly alone this morning and it was, as opposed to that day, really early: I scourged the kitchen and managed to make these pancakes again. Rich, sweet, tart and, at times, crunchy – a delicious way to start any day. I mean, these pancakes could have been called white chocolate, cranberry pecan pancakes, but like the memories, we chose the name together. I will keep it that way. Anyhow, whether it’s for two on Valentine’s Day or for one on any other day of the year. Or for two on any other day of the year (teehee!) these are delectable.

This recipe yields about about 4 medium-sized pancakes.

Tools and Equipment

Sharp knife

Cutting board

Mesh strainer

Mixing bowl (s)

Whisk

Stove

Griddle or pan

Spatula

Ingredients

1 C Unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp Granulated sugar

1/2 Tsp Baking powder (optional)

1/2 Tsp Baking soda

1/4 Tsp Salt

2/3 C Light coconut milk or whole milk

1/3 C Water

1 Tbsp Canola oil

1 Tsp Vanilla extract

1 Tsp Mild vinegar (such as apple cider or white)

1/8 C Chopped walnuts (or any nut you prefer)

1/8 C White chocolate chips or chopped chunks

1/4 C Dried cranberries

1 Tbsp Almond liqueur or Amaretto (optional)

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, except the almond liqueur and let it sit. Meanwhile, set the pan or griddle on medium-high heat and chop the pecans.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and quickly combine with the pecans, chocolate, and cranberries. Add in the almond liqueur, if using.
  4. Using nonstick spray, butter, oil, or any combination which you’re accustomed to, coat the pan. Let the pancakes cook for two minutes maximum per side. Another method is to cook the first side until bubbles start opening opposite surface, flip and cook for half the time from the first side, got it? XD Cooking time, as with everything stove-top, will depend on your stove, pan, and the non-stick medium you use. I suggest trying one and tuning the rest.

Note: This batter will look pale in comparison to what you are used to seeing from box pancake mixes. No worries, the oil and the coconut milk in the recipe will contribute to a perfectly crisp crust that contrasts with ruby red cranberries. Neat, huh? =)

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