Can you believe my wife suggested this? Even though I had meals for the week all planned out (a rarity, I should add), she declared that we were having pancakes, and that I better adjust. What spurred this? That's easy—the cold. It's been a brutal winter here in the Midwest. Plus, don't pancakes always sound better when there is snow on the ground? I realize most people would whip up a batch for breakfast, but that's kind of impossible during the work week, because (a) I don't have the time and (b) my work productivity would likely hover somewhere between "wasting time on Buzzfeed" and "nap time." How to solve this conundrum? Breakfast for dinner.
Plus, that way I don't have to feel the least bit guilty about pairing the stacks with Bourbon. But instead of just drinking shots of whiskey, I decided to incorporate the Kentucky tipple into the sauce. This is more than just a gimmick; the Bourbon adds caramel and vanilla notes, while also helping to offset some of the sweetness of the maple syrup. It's also really easy to make. Taking a few notes from a Derby Pie, I figured toasted pecans would be a nice addition.
As for the pancakes, it's really hard to beat the Light and Fluffy Pancakes Kenji created in 2010. Not only are the accurately titled, they are truly simple to make. My only addition was a little vanilla extract, which plays well with the whiskey.
After a few bites you'll feel warm and ready to tackle the cold. But because it's late in the day and the sauce is spiked, you can skip the chopping wood part, and instead plop down on the couch and fall asleep early.
- For the Bourbon Maple Sauce
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup Bourbon (I used Bulleit)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- For the Pancakes
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teapsoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 cups (16 ounces) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Bourbon Maple Sauce: Heat maple syrup and Bourbon in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high until boiling. Reduce heat to very low to maintain a slow simmer. Let this simmer while you prepare everything else.
For the pancakes: Meanwhile, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined. In a second bowl, add eggs and whisk until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 4 tablespoons melted butter. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla.
Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Toast the pecans, stirring often, until aromatic and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, place in the oven, and set oven to 200°F. Pour wet ingredients on top of dry and stir until the mixture just comes together. Do not overmix. Brush the griddle with 1 tablespoon of remaining butter. Scoop a 1/4-cup of batter and pour on the griddle. Add as many scoops as will comfortable fit on griddle without touching. Cook until edges set and bubbles start to break the surface, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a thin spatula and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to the oven, and repeat until all pancakes are cooked, adding more butter if necessary.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of butter until sauce is smooth.
Serve pancakes with the toasted pecans and sauce.