Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes?!?

I was reading a  cooking blog the other day and I grew intrigued by his carrot cake pancakes. 

I made a test batch, and as I mixed the batter I said, hmmm these proportions are missing something.  I made one wee test batch, and sure enough, they were tough or heavy, and a little oddly textured to my point of view.  I revised the recipe tonight  and made a very large, new and improved version.  They're still not light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes with this much shredded provider of betacarotene and other vitamins, but they're better.  They taste so good.. quick, go make some.

My critics occupy the dinenr table.  We're talking 7 people eating carrot pancakes.   And they devoured them. 

But wait, back up. I personally dislike cooked carrots. Oh I do like carrot cake, and thus carrot cake pancakes are a luscious thought.  But what if I ended up with surplus carrots? Then what? I would have to ::shudder:: use up a bunch of carrots as a moral necessity.  Necessity being the mother of invention - I opted to peel half a butternut squash and shred it quickly.  I love squash and I can imagine hundreds of squash use ideas. But the carrots would go to the goats.. no carrot salad for me.

The original recipe, when quadrupled for my crowd, produced heavy, but delicious lead weight pancakes. I opted to lighten them with a bit more leavening, add 1/4 cup of oil for the proper texture and to prevent unreasonable stickiness/gloppiness. These taste great!  I used an artificial sweetener Splenda, and a touch of molasses for the brown sugar flavor.  It reduced the carbs a little, and still tastes really yummy.  Please, feel free to try this on your crew for brunch, 'breakfast for dinner', or a weekend breakfast treat.  A dish of applesauce, some lean turkey sausage, or scrambled eggs makes a nice accompaniment, whatever time of the day you're serving these.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

But really, they're made with shredded butternut squash.  Did I mention they're low fat too?

1 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (or use all white flour if you don't have whole wheat in the house)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups milk (or buttermilk)
2 eggs
1/2 cup splenda sugar free sweetener or brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of molasses (omit if using real brown sugar)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter or margarine
2 cup shredded raw butternut squash

Optional Topping:
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
6 tablespoons maple syrup
powdered sugar to taste

First take your average size butternut or other winter squash, and cut it in half.  The butternut confines its seeds to the bulbous, so for speed, avoid that part, and peel just the longer neck portion. See, speedy! Now toss into a food processor on shred, and Bzzt, you're done. Or like me, use your box grater and 5 minutes later you have 4 cups of shreds. That wasn't too time consuming. Watch those knuckles though. Now on to the batter.

1. Mix the flour, leavenings, and spices in a very large bowl. Not that one the larger one. Ok, thanks.

2. Mix the milk, egg, oil, sweetener and shreddy squash in another bowl.

3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients making sure to not over mix. Over mixing causes tough pancakes.

4. Heat your skillet or large griddle (we have a huge nonstick electric griddle that cooks 6 pancakes at a time).

5. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and heat until the surface starts to bubble and the bottom is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

6. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until the bottom is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

We served these with margarine and sugar free or reduced sugar maple syrup or real maple syrup from our trees. There are diabetics at my dinner table each night.   The children are also sensitive to cream as in cream cheese, so we'll be making the topping another night, from goat cream cheese. But do try it, because the thought of cream cheese frosting on carrot cake pancakes makes you drool - doesn't it?

Optional:  Mix the cream cheese and maple syrup and add some powdered sugar to get it as sweet as you like. Then spread your cream cheese frosting onto your carrot cake pancakes.  I'd use it as filling and just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, myself. 

The family reviews were unanimous.  WOW, good carrot cake. And that's with sugarfree syrup and diet margarine.  Imagine, if you made these with sugar and real maple syrup on top.. they'd be over the top FABULOUS.  Try them however you prefer. They're delicious.
Psst.. have you tried Butternut slaw?  That's right, you make coleslaw with shredded butternut squash, and it's sweet, and delicious and leaves you saying:  now why didn't I think of that?

Butternut Slaw

To one shredded butternut squash (about 4 cups), add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup of toasted chopped walnuts.  Then toss with your family's favorite coleslaw dressing or try this  variation. 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey,  3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1-1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Taste and adjust it to your palate, then pour over the salad.  Or just substitute the shredded butternut squash in your favorite coleslaw recipe. It's really good.  Just try it. It's Autumn. It's good! 


Cynthia said...

Good job sneaking vegetables into unexpected places! Those pancakes sound good to me- the touch of molasses is brilliant!

I made Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls last week. They were reasonably healthy (part whole wheat flour, little sugar, pumpkin) until I did the brown sugar/butter filling! LOL!

Grace said...

all right, now here i was thinking squash casserole was the very best thing you could do with butternut squash, but that's all down the drain. this is far superior--i love the idea and i don't think i've ever craved anything more!

Anonymous said...

Pokój Tobie!

Wesołych Świąt i szczęścia w 2010 roku życzy Tobie, Grzegorz, z Warszawy: