Friday, January 24, 2014

Red Velvet Pancakes (Colored with Beets) with Maple-Buttermilk Icing

My boys asked me to make "wacky" pancakes this morning.  These Red Velvet pancakes fit the bill.

The recipe calls for 2-4 teaspoons of red food coloring (depending on how red you'd like for the pancakes to be).  I didn't have nearly that amount on-hand, so I went with my favorite red food coloring alternative:  roasted, pureed beets (which I had a lot of!).
(Please see this post for easy step-by-step instructions for roasting and pureeing the beets to get them recipe-ready.  I've added them to many baked goods, and I have never been able to detect that "earthy" beet taste.)

I used 4 tablespoons of beet puree to color these pancakes so deeply. 

And then I got a strong and handsome helper to stir the batter.

I used about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.

"One of these days", I'd like to have a griddle.  But for now, this big skillet works pretty well.  I have to use a lot of coconut oil to keep the cakes from sticking, but the oil gives the outside of each one a delicious, coconut-y crispiness that is absolutely divine. 

I overcooked a few trying to get the heat on the skillet just right, but these were far from being inedible. 

While I realize this isn't the world's most appetizing photo, can I just tell you?  The buttermilk in the batter gives these pancakes a delicious twang, and the cocoa powder lends a whisper of chocolate.  For a "wacky" pancake, these are just about as good as it gets.

The icing contains buttermilk, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla.  It's unusual yet equally fantastic (not at all in-your-face buttermilk).  

He agrees.  

Make these for your loves this Valentine's Day for a fun breakfast.

Do-ahead-tip:  I love to make a huge batch of pancakes, freeze them individually on a baking sheet, and then transfer the frozen pancakes to a freezer bag.  When I need a few for breakfast, I just pop them in the toaster oven for 4-5 minutes.  It's like a delicious, homemade version of frozen grocery store pancakes.  :)  

This recipe is Ree Drummond's (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman) "A Year of Holidays" cookbook.  I didn't have cake flour on hand, so I used all-purpose and it seems to work fine.  I also swapped out the food coloring for the beet puree.  Other than that, this is her creation. 

Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple-Buttermilk Icing
Makes about 20 Pancakes

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2-4 tablespoons pureed beets (or substitute 2-4 teaspoons red food coloring)
Cooking spray (if you have a griddle)
4-5 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (if you are using a skillet to make the pancakes)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the pancakes:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cocoa powder.  Whisk well to combine. 

In a separate bowl, mix the milk, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar.  (Whisk it well.) Now add the beet puree (or food coloring) and stir again.

Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture; mix just until it comes together (the more you stir, the tougher the pancakes will be).  Pour in the melted butter and stir (or whisk) until it's all combined.  

Heat a griddle over medium-low heat.  Or, if you're like me and you don't have a griddle, melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter) into a large skillet.  (I use a stainless steel skillet; if you're using a non-stick skillet, you may not have to use this much oil.)   Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop and drop them on the skillet (I fit batches of 3 pancakes onto my 10-inch skillet).  Cook SLOWLY (over medium heat) until the pancakes are done, about 2 minutes per side.  These look much better when they are a pretty pink color as opposed to scorched black.  :)  Add more oil to the skillet as needed for each batch. 

For the icing:
I found it best to do this in my stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  But, if you don't have one you can definitely just use a whisk.   

Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the salt and melted butter and whisk on medium-high speed until smooth.  Add the buttermilk, milk, and maple syrup and whisk again until it's very smooth.  A few small, unfortunate lumps may remain.  It will still taste great.  


Ashley Evans said...

I am excited about the beet coloring. Thanks for sharing that tip.

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