Back when I lived in Los Angeles, there was a bustling pancake house down the street from my apartment. The line, filled with too-cool hipsters and skinny models, always wrapped around the corner, but if you were willing to battle the in-crowd it was well worth the wait. It was known for its crazy flavor combinations, like 'Red Velvet PanCAKES' with a cream cheese frosting swirl. (The bloody Mary's weren't half bad either.)
My sister and I made a weekly appearance and our order was always the same. For her—the 'Kid at Heart' with extra sprinkles with an avalanche of chocolate syrup. For me—'Tis the Season,' filled with pumpkin pie filling and a blizzard of cinnamon spice. I've thought a lot about those pancakes since I moved away. With Halloween this week, I decided it was time to take the recipe challenge.
I started with my best buttermilk pancake recipe, adapted over the years from my favorite Southern community cookbook. A few of cans of pumpkin later, I had a solid recipe worthy of any Hollywood brunch scene. But what could make them even better? Well chocolate of course! I threw in some candy corn M&M's and a handful of chocolate chunks, and my mission was complete. Just proof you are never too old for a little fun.
Pumpkin-Chocolate Chunk PancakesServes 4
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate chips, M&M's, or chopped candy (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, pumpkin, butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
Heat non-stick griddle to 325°F (medium heat) and lightly coat with cooking spray. Cook pancakes until bubbles cover the top and the bottom is light golden brown. Sprinkle any additions (chocolate chips, chopped pecans, candy, etc.) over the top and flip. Continue to cook until pancake is cooked through. Serve with warm maple syrup and whipped cream.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)