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Don't Forget the Frosting

A creative, tasty twist on pancakes

All photos by Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

In past years, when I was a slightly more broke college student than I am now, I lived on oatmeal. While this may sound like an extravagant exaggeration, I promise you I tell only the truth. I was an intern at a restaurant a few summers ago and I ate the majority of my meals at work. However, when I woke up in the morning before work or had a day off, my very slim paycheck and I had to fend for ourselves. Thanks to the only and overpriced grocery store in the area, oatmeal and I became fast friends. It was cheap, healthy and easy to prepare in the microwave — every college student’s dream. At one point, it was one of three food items in my house; the other two were fresh fruit and raisins that I mixed into the oatmeal. I created various ways to prepare it so meals did not become monotous.

Although I thankfully no longer need to subsist primarily on oatmeal, I still eat it often. I also bake it into cookies or toss it with sugar, butter and flour for a fruit crisp topping. Still, with all my creative oatmeal concepts, it never dawned on me to put it into pancakes. Once again, I must give credit to Pinterest and its millions upon millions of interesting ideas. It was there I stumbled upon this fabulous, rib-sticking, hearty recipe for oatmeal raisin pancakes. Perfect for breakfast or dinner, these pancakes fill you up.

If you would rather not buy buttermilk, replace it with two cups of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar. Mix together and let sit for five minutes before adding to the batter.

Use real maple syrup in the recipe, not the corn syrup-based pancake syrup. Instead of adding flavor, the fake maple syrup will only make the pancakes too sweet. If you prefer not to use real maple syrup, just replace it with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and save the pancake syrup for the outside of the pancakes.

Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes

Adapted from:
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Heaping 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup raisins
Oil, butter or cooking spray for cooking

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until homogeneous. Add the raisins and mix just until they are well-distributed throughout the batter. Let the batter sit for five minutes before using.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Flick a little bit of water onto the pan to check for adequate heat. If the pan is ready, the drops will dance on the surface. If they evaporate immediately, turn the heat down slightly. Preheat the oven to 200 F and place a cookie sheet or heat-proof plate inside.

Add a teaspoon of oil or butter, or use cooking spray to coat the pan. Drop a large spoonful of batter into the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the batter and then begin to pop. Using a spatula, flip the pancake over and cook until the pancake is a deep golden brown. Repeat until the batter disappears. If your pan is big enough, you can cook two or three pancakes simultaneously.

Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven until ready to smother in maple syrup and eat.


Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. David Chung

    Anna, I have two questions for you today.
    First, it seems to me that you like oatmeal like I do!
    What do you like to put into your oatmeal?
    I always love to mix in dried fruits, like pineapples, cranberries, raisins, etc.
    Second, this may be a stupid question, but I need to ask.
    Because I am visually impaired, I have never seen water drops dancing on a frying pan before when it is heated.
    Is this an expression that you just used to make your blog more interesting or does this happen in real life?
    If this does happen, can you try to describe to me how this phenomenon looks like?
    Thank you, Biola's chief baker!
    November 29, 2012

  2. Anna Frost

    When a pan is hot enough for pancakes, the water sizzles and jumps a little when it hits the surface of the pan before it evaporates. I describe it as dancing because it is an accurate description, but also is an interesting description. If the pan isn't hot enough, the water will just sit on the pan and slowly steam; if it is too hot, the water will evaporate immediately. The way the water "dances" when it is just right, is different from the other two.

    I put dried and/or fresh fruit in my oatmeal, as well as spices, and sometimes a little brown sugar. I usually cook my oatmeal in the microwave, and if you cook fresh fruit immersed in water along with the dry oats, it's almost like a fruit crisp. Peaches are the best for this, it's like eating peach cobbler. December 1, 2012

  3. David Chung

    Anna, adding fresh peaches is a brilliant idea!
    When you add stuff to your oatmeal, do you do it in a certain order?
    For example, do you put in water first, followed by the oats, then the fruits?
    What order gives these oats the best taste?
    How long do you heat your oatmeal in the microwave?
    I will have to try this peach idea the next time I make my oatmeal!
    Thank you for sharing!
    December 2, 2012

  4. David Chung

    Also, how many cups of water do you usually use when you prepare your oatmeal?
    December 2, 2012

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