Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Apple and Vanilla Pancakes with Fresh Thyme

I feel like I need a lot more time in my life these days. Right now, I am juggling a 40-hour week student teaching internship, a commute, 8 credits of classes (including a full day Saturday class), being a mommy to an almost 2-year old girl, and cooking meals for my family. My favorite things out of that list are of course being a mommy and cooking! It is a rare snow day like I had today that I was able to get enough time to get stuff done on my ever growing to-do list, and get time to do some of the things that I love. I spent today creating a math game, completing chapter quizzes, making chocolate chip cookies with Wendy, enjoying a walk outside (there wasn't really any snow today), and now, blogging.

Cooking is something that I love so much and it is a stress release for me. The meals and baked goods that I make and enjoy are something that I want to share with you. One meal that I have made a lot lately and I have thoroughly enjoyed are these apple and vanilla pancakes with thyme (thyme is not as good as time, but it will have to do). The thyme was actually just something I decided to throw in the batter when I made the pancakes on Valentines Day, and it was quite a nice addition to the sweet flavors of the apple and vanilla. If you want, you can leave it out, but if you have some on hand, I definitely suggest adding it in. These pancakes are super easy to make and they are pleasing to both kids and adults. I serve them with chicken sausages, apple slices, cheddar cheese, and maple syrup. The combination of those foods together is quite amazing. It is great for breakfast and just as satisfying for dinner. The recipe makes plenty of pancakes, so you may even have some leftover, and Wendy can tell you that they hold up pretty well as leftovers. I hope you get a chance to try this recipe out, and I hope you find these apple and vanilla pancakes as incredible as we do!

Recipe for Apple and Vanilla Pancakes with Fresh Thyme

1 cup of diced apples (I used Gala)
3/4 tsp. of cinnamon
2 Tbsp. of light brown sugar or pure maple syrup
1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups whole milk*
1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice*
2 large eggs
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
A pinch or two of torn fresh thyme leaves
Unsalted butter for the pan
Butter and pure maple syrup, for serving

Put the chopped apple, cinnamon, and brown sugar or maple syrup into a smallish bowl and give it a stir. Set aside.

Put the milk and lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup and allow to sit for five minutes before using (*or you can use 1 1/4 cup buttermilk ins place of the milk and lemon juice mixture - I choose not to because every time I buy buttermilk it goes to waste because I never can use the entire container).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk and lemon juice (after it has sat for 5 minutes), and eggs. Stir in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour into the butter mixture and stir until just combined. Then fold in the apples, and the thyme, if using.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in about a tablespoon of butter. Once it is melted, scoop about a tablespoon of batter into the pan and continue adding tablespoons so you can cook about 7 - 8 pancakes at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes, flip, and cook another two minutes.

I usually heat the oven to about 250 degrees, butter a baking pan, and let the pancakes that have already been cooked in the pan keep warm in the oven. Also, since the pancake pan can get really hot, I sometimes give it a rest off the heat and then wipe it out with a paper towel between pancake batches.

Serve the pancakes with butter and maple syrup. For a hearty meal, serve with chicken sausages, cheddar cheese slices, and apple slices.

Recipe makes approximately 28 pancakes.

Recipe adapted from: Weelicious cookbook