My husband can confirm that most mornings, the first word out of my mouth is "pancakes!" But even though I crave pancakes incessantly, I rarely make them. Something happens between desire and action, and instead I end up pouring myself a bowl of cereal. Recently, however, I came across an old bottle of Baileys Irish Cream Liquor and put two and two together. This could make an amazing pancake.
Lo and behold, I'm not the only one with this idea. The internet can be a real drag when you think you've finally invented something new. Anyhow, I realized that if I just took my usual pancake recipe and subbed in some liquor for the milk, I'd be in good shape. The flavor was rich and nutty without being overwhelmingly boozy. Since I was finally in the kitchen cooking up a few batches, I took the opportunity to run another test. Nothing irks me more than a tough pancake. I was after that elusive, fluffy "boxed mix" pancake.
The secret? Cake flour. You still don't want to over-mix a pancake batter, but the low protein content in cake flour will help ensure a tender result.
To top it off, a slab of butter and maple syrup is a fine, if not modest, choice. But I'll leave that up to you. I may have finally found the inspiration to get out my pan in the morning.