Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cocoa & Peanut Butter Pancakes

How I love cocoa! How I love dark chocolate! How I love peanut butter!
And boy, do I love pancakes too!!
This is a once in a blue moon batch that I make when I really want to treat my hubby, kiddles (and myself) to something that I know we really shouldn't be having for breakfast. But sometimes you just have to indulge and savor the moment bite by bite. I begin with my favorite pancake mix...Krusteaz's Buttermilk Pancake Mix. I don't know why, but I just like this brand the best. And of course I have to have some cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Who better for chocolate than Ghirardelli? And who better than Reese's for peanut butter? In a small mixing bowl I pour the pancake mix. Since these are supposed to be chocolate pancakes, a little bit of cocoa powder gets added aswell. I can remember a time, I must have been around the age of 6, when I found cocoa powder in my Momma's pantry. It was nothing like I had expected it to be...bitter, void of any sweetness whatsoever. That was one of the fastest trips to the bathroom that I had made, trying desperately to wash the cocoa powder out of my mouth. Funny how that didn't agree with my taste buds, but baking chocolate squares were one of my favorite things to sneak. Oh well, enough of the flashback. Time to hit the chips...or at least chop the chocolate ones. The Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips are rather large, so each one gets quartered before being added to the mix. The peanut butter chips are just fine...I leave those alone. Into the mixing bowl those little chips of joy go. Ready and willing to be part of the party. Then, just to make sure that they don't just sink to the bottom, I give them a quick tumble in the dry ingredients for a coating. Now the water gets added in the same amount that is called for in the pancake mix's instructions. Stir the batter until everything is incorporated, but allow a few lumps and bumps to remain...they're good for our cakes. Oh Dear! I forgot to add one very necessary ingredient to the batter...sugar! If sugar doesn't get into this batter, then these are going to be some very bad, very bitter pancakes. Not a good start to the day. Therefore, watchout comes powdered sugar! There is absolutely no sweetness in the batter, so the best way to get it nicely sweetened and evenly dispursed is to use powdered sugar. (a.k.a. confectioner's sugar)

Okay, getting over to the stove and setting the flames to medium high with a skillet on top. You can melt a little bit of butter (or not, they seem to do just fine with or without butter if a tephlon skillet is used) and grab a ladle. I chose not to add any butter...I wanted these to be sweet, no buttery taste was really desired. I wanted full-blown chocolate.

One of the nice things about pancakes is that it is so easy to get them to come out just have to be a little bit patient. It only takes about 3 minutes before little bubbles start popping up to the surface of each cake. Wait just a bit and allow them to appear all over the cake. That is the signal that it is time to do a delicate flip. Too fast, too hard and get ready for batter to splatter. (I don't like splatter, therefore I say "delicate".)

See how nicely they ccoked? The color is not too dark and the cake's surface is not crispy... only lightly browned. (now if butter is used, then it would be a bit more crispy) But here, just a little bit of a crust along the edge. Exactly how I like them. Then I give these beauties another 2-3 minutes for the other side to finish cooking. That's it...a total of 4-6 minutes for 2 perfect rounds of morning comfort.

These are by far the best toppings for these particular pancakes. No butter needed. No maple syrup. Just a simple dressing like the top of a sundae. For breakfast!! Now onto a plate to get dressed to the nines. A little sprinkling of powdered sugar, a drizzle of Hershey's Special Dark Syrup. Perfection. Just look at the joy flowing at this breakfast table.

Cocoa & Peanut Butter Chip Pancakes Prep Time: 8 minutes Cook Time: 5-6 minutes/pancake Servings: 7-8 pancakes Ingredients: 1 cup Pancake Mix (Krusteaz) 2 tsp. Cocoa Powder 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar 1/8 cup Peanut Butter Chips (Reese's baking chips) 1/8 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli's 60% Cocoa Chips, quartered) 3/4 cup Water Directions: In a medium mixing bowl add pancake mix, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Half or quarter dark chocolate chips. Add dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips to bowl. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Add water and stir. Do not over stir, batter should have some lumps. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Melt butter to coat the skillet or griddle. Laddle or pour batter into the skillet and allow to cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake. Carefully flip and allow the pancake to cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Garnish with powdered sugar, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

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