Friday, November 30, 2012

A Gingerbread Morning (recipe: Gingerbread Pancakes w/ Lemon Syrup)

The morning began with pancakes.  Not just any old pancake, but gingerbread pancakes.  And lemon syrup.  This is how we welcomed Christmas into our home this year.  After breakfast we lit the tree, draped garland down the staircase, placed ornaments on the tree and hung our stockings.
As Eli grows older with every season, he is more understanding.  Understanding and excited and may be Christmas' biggest fan.  I find him under the tree laying, looking up into the lights and watching the gentle sway of ornaments just as I had when I was a kid.  He asked to sleep there for the night but I don't think the cat will let him.  He has his own tiny tree in his room.  It is lit, placed on his art table and decorated with tiny Santas, Snowmen & Nativity characters.
I love the fact that he knows Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth, the star that sits atop the tree represents the Star of Bethlehem, and that we give and receive gifts in honor of the king's gifts to the Christ child.

Speaking of gifts, all he has asked for is a hippopotamus...yes, just like the song.

Gingerbread Pancakes
Perfect for a Christmastime breakfast.  Serve with maple or lemon syrup.  These delicate pancakes darken quickly because of the molasses, and they don't bubble as much as plain buttermilk pancakes.  So please do be aware and careful.
makes about 16

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons molasses

6 tablespoons butter
  1. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl.  Add buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses.  Stir until blended.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet.  Cook pancakes until golden and cooked through, adding more butter as necessary, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to plates and serve with lemon syrup.
Lemon Syrup
make 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
zest & juice from one lemon
  1. In a large saucepan, rub sugar, cornstarch, salt & nutmeg together with your hands (this prevents lumps formed by cornstarch).  Gradually stir in boiling water, then simmer over low heat until thick, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in butter, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Serve.

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