Mother's Day is this Sunday, and if you're like us, you're still trying to decide exactly how to honor the woman who was brave enough to deal with you during your formative years. You could always take her to brunch, but that trick is becoming a bit played out. Huge crowds, huge prices, and general chaos usually are not considered to be integral elements of a titillating celebratory day. So what to do?
We suggest making Mom feel extra super-duper special by having her over (or going to her place) and whipping up a Mother's Day breakfast. Now we're not suggesting slaving away in the kitchen all day to turn out the perfect rosemary hangar steak and cheese soufflé, but what about some pancakes? Not your everyday, run of-the-mill Bisquick variety, but some special pancakes that will show her your love, consideration, and general coolness and creativity. Below are four of our favorite pancake recipes along with the type of mother that might most savor them.
Begin with either the basic pancake recipe below or use a high-quality mix if you're short on time. Both Central Market and William's Sonoma sell some amazing mixes that basically fool-proof the pancake process. Next, add in your special ingredients. Then, if you're up to it, fry some bacon or sausage and toss up a fruit salad with some good fresh berries, star fruit, and whatever else she likes. You can dress the fruit salad with a simple topping of organic vanilla yogurt mixed with a bit of OJ, orange zest, and confectioner's sugar. Delicious!
Preheat griddle to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, combine milk, egg yolks, and three tablespoons melted butter; add to flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff. Gently fold into batter.
Melt two tablespoons butter on hot griddle. Ladle about 1/4-cup batter for each pancake onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes for two to three minutes, or until the tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Turn and cook the other side. Repeat procedure with remaining two tablespoons butter and remaining batter. Serves 10.
Now for the customizations:
For the Mom Who's Not Afraid to Eat: Bacon and Cheddar Pancakes Begin by cooking your bacon on the griddle until crisp. Reserve the fat drippings. Prepare the pancakes as above but fold in 1 cup of shredded Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese into your batter. Instead of melting butter on the griddle, cook the pancakes in the bacon grease. Serve with maple syrup and butter on the side
For the Sophisticated Mom: Catalonian Pancakes with Chocolate Chunks and Sea Salt Replace all the butter in the recipe with good quality Spanish olive oil. Fold in 1 cup of coarsely chopped quality chocolate (such as El Rey) to your finished batter. Cook the pancakes in olive oil. Top with a generous amount of honey and a sprinkling of fine sea salt. These are some of our personal favorites.
For the Health-Conscious Mom: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Fresh Berries Replace the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour. Reduce the butter in the pancakes to one tablespoon or replace with olive oil. Add in four tablespoons of ground flax seed to the batter. Cook the pancakes using cooking spray instead of butter. Make a syrup by muddling together raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, then adding in a small amount of pure maple syrup and a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Heat it up together and serve atop the wheat cakes with slivered almonds.
For the Beach-Loving Mom: Tropical Pancakes with Shredded Coconut, Banana and Cashews After preparing the batter, fold in one cup of toasted and shredded coconut and one very ripe mashed banana. Cook as directed above. Warm the maple syrup in a skillet and add in some coarsely chopped cashews and sliced bananas. Toss to coat. Top the pancakes with this mixture as well as some more toasted coconut and a few whole cashews.