Finals week. Not many other two words could be uttered and elicit such a universally detested feeling, an audible groan and a few expletives shouted out. I think I would rather say and hear the other f-word over and over again than have to deal with this f-word any more, and I am a fairly conservative girl mind you.
Either you remember your finals with disdain from back in the day, or you have kids who are suffering through them, or you are in the middle of those years right here and now when finals’ week is the abominable beast of your life.
For those of you in the right here and now category, I am sorry. Truly. And if you
want need me to send you out a quick stack of these crazy, chocoholic pancakes, then please let me know in the comments section and email me your address. I may just oblige you because I totally get it. A care package of cookies could be arranged as well. I am just that nice…ask around.
These chocolate pancakes were served over the weekend to my two teenagers who were in the thick of studying for finals. What could be better than a giant plate of chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes and a huge squirt of extra creamy Redi Whip when you are feeling down and stressed out? Note to family: When I am feeling dejected or am simply grouchy, please, I beg of you, surprise me with these. I will immediately be nicer…I promise. You have it in writing, literally.
Finals are such a crazy concept if you ask me. Don’t you just love when the grade you have worked for all year long hangs on one last and humongous exam? Me too. Love it (please say it in a high pitch sing-songy voice…it really drives the sarcasm home. Thanks.).
And just when you think you are home free and have long since graduated from school, you realize, too late mind you, that when you have kids, you have to start all over again with the dreaded f-word… Worrying with them and for them, quizzing them on various subjects you have willingly forgotten and pushing them out the door with a healthy breakfast, a hug and a silent prayer. That dang f-word just won’t go away.
So if you need to cheer someone up, cheer someone on or just simply want to have a chocoholic’s style breakfast, make these pancakes. They are a family favorite and a twist on my mom’s recipe that she has used maybe five hundred times or so since we are a chocolate obsessed clan. Seriously…these babies are tried and true so have at it.
Chocolate, Chocolate Pancakes
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg , beaten
1 1/4 c. milk (I use a mixture of buttermilk and lowfat milk, but it’s up to you either one or both is fine—just don’t use nonfat; it’s a sin)
3 T. butter, unsalted
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Optional: sliced bananas, almonds, chocolate chips or whipped cream for garnishing
For the pancakes: In a liquid measuring cup melt the one square of chocolate in the microwave on high power for one minute. Add your 3 T. of butter and melt for another 45 seconds or so until both the butter and chocolate are completely melted. In a separate liquid mesruing cup, warm up your milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds or until slightly warm. Then pour your warmed milk into your chocolate mixture. Having the milk warmed will help the chocolate stay melted rather than seizing up because cold milk would make the chocolate and butter coagulate.
Begin heating your griddle by putting a tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of Canola oil on the griddle and turning it to medium-high. Carefully, grease your griddle or pan with a paper towel to spread out the butter and oil In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour through cocoa powder.
Add the warm milk and chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk, gently just until barely incorporated. Add your beaten egg to the mix and whisk again just enough to mix in the egg. Add the chocolate chips and barely stir. The more you whisk, the tougher your pancakes are so mix “almost” enough to get everything combined. Alton Brown taught me this and he is absolutely right. He said only whisk your pancake batter ten times…I have counted…believe it or not and it’s usually about 15 for me to get the ingredients mixed in.
Ladel batter onto a HOT griddle and cook the first sides until you see little bubbles appear. Turn down your stove to about medium or so (depending on how hot your stove gets) to cook the pancakes. If you peek underneath, the pancake should be evenly browned and then it is ready to flip. Flip and cook the other side until the pancake seems slightly firm and cooked through…about one minute or so. Serve hot with appropriate over-the-top garnishes like whipped cream and nuts.