Jeanne Ambrose and Lindsey Ambrose are a mother-daughter seasoned food-writing team who, between 'em, have done a lot of eating around.
     Jeanne creates, edits, and writes food, nutrition, and health features. Lindsey is a small-space gardener extraordinaire with a penchant for cooking fresh and local. She goes for full-flavored, somewhat-spicy cuisine with a flair for ethnic-fusion feasts. Read More >>


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Pancakes for Two

Almost-Empty-Pantry

Pancakes for Two

 

While practicing social-distancing, all by myself, I can’t invite anyone over to help eat everything I love to cook and bake. And we all know that most bloggers, cookbooks, food magazines, and recipe developers discriminate against small—or solo—households. Well, this “family of one” is tired of eating leftovers.

Today, I was hungry for pancakes but didn’t want to make a giant batch. I know, I know, pancakes freeze well. But I have a craving for pancakes once or twice a year, so I don’t need a freezer full of them.

So, I created this recipe that could easily serve two people, but I may have eaten a little bit more than my allotted three 3-inch pancakes. Come on! It’s Sunday brunch. Don’t judge.

First I made a teeny, tiny test pancake to make sure the skillet was at the right temperature!

Teeny tiny test pancake

Alas, I was out of milk for the pancakes (because my local grocery store can’t fill my order for another week!!!). But there’s only a splash of milk in my favorite fluffy ricotta pancakes, so I was pretty sure water would be fine. Didn’t have ricotta, either, so I gave Greek yogurt a try. It all worked! The pancakes have a teensy hint of yogurt tang, but by the time you syrup ’em up, you don’t even notice.

Of course I didn’t have syrup, maple or otherwise. Made some with two ingredients: brown sugar and butter (plus water).  OK…Plus rum! I added a splash of rum at the end because, well, it’s Sunday brunch, people. And I had one lonely banana so I was thinking bananas foster pancakes. Had some blueberries, too (one of those Costco packages of blueberries lasts me forever…same with toilet paper, which is why I didn’t join the hoarding crowd! I bought a monsterous package of Costco T.P. in the fall which will last me another year or two. The best benefit of being single!)

And because this pancake batter is thick, it’s easy to spread it into any shape that makes you happy. I picked hearts today!

Et voila!

A splash of rum in homemade Brown Sugar Syrup and a pile of sliced bananas turn these pancakes into a bananas Foster kind of breakfast!

Yogurt Pancakes with Brown Sugar Syrup

Serves 2 (about six 3-inch pancakes)

1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Sprinkle of salt (1/8 tsp. if you really want to measure)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (ricotta cheese, if you’ve got it)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. water (milk, if you have it)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (or not)
Sliced bananas and/or blueberries
Brown Sugar Syrup, below

1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the syrup. This batter should be more thick than thin.

2. For each pancake, pour, ladle—whatever—a little less than 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly oiled skillet. Gently spread into a 3-inch circle, or heart, or Mickey Mouse shape. (Plan to ruin the first one. Or make a teensy-tiny one as a tester.) Cook over medium heat until top starts to bubble and bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip; cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bananas and/or blueberries and Brown Sugar Syrup.

Brown Sugar Syrup: In a small skillet over medium-high heat combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/4 cup water; bring to boiling. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. If desired, add 1 tablespoon rum or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple extract.

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Happy Heart Lemon Cookies

Must love lemon! The secret to these lightly puckery, tender cookies is lemon peel. There’s a bit in the cookie dough plus some in the glaze. But fear not, there’s enough sugar and butter involved to mellow the tartness. (And didja know adding a bit of confectioner’s sugar makes a cookie tender rather than super crispy?)

Like most recipes, this one comes with a story and lots of memories. What’s your favorite recipe and its story?

Happy Heart Lemon Sugar Cookies

About 3 dozen 2- to 3-inch cookies

broken heart cookies 2

Beat until creamy:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons powdered sugar (it adds a light texture)

1 to 2 tsp. lemon peel (I use a Microplane to remove the lemon peel in fine shreds)

1/4 tsp. salt

Add and beat until combined:

1 egg

1  tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Add and beat on low (or stir with a wooden spoon) until combined:

2 1/2 cups flour

Divide dough into thirds, flatten into disks, and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using 1 part of dough at a time, roll dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use a 2- to 3-inch cutter to cut out cookies. Place on cookie sheet about 1-inch apart.

Repeat with remaining dough. Pat dough scraps together and roll and cut.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges get a hint of brown. Do not over bake. Remove to a cooling rack. When cool, frost with Lemon Glaze. Add little red hearts or pink and red sprinkles, if desired. (I used Wilton’s Jumbo Heart Sprinkles and a few random jimmies.)

Lemon Glaze: Whisk together 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 2 to 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. lemon peel, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.