Today is Saint Nicholas Day!!! As long as I can remember my family has always celebrated this feast day. Traditionally you are to leave your left shoe outside your door so when Saint Nicholas stops by he will fill your shoe with either treats or coal. I come from a very large extended family, and my mom has always sent decorated treat bags full of something to all our relatives and friends. Quite a task, and I am impressed that she has continued to do it even though the family has grown so large...not as in gaining weight, but as in many bodies. Although Saint Nicholas is from Myra, also known as modern day Turkey, many other countries celebrate his Feast day. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of Sailors, merchants...ironically, archers, children, and students.
Traditionally "Speculaas" cookies are served on Saint Nicholas day. These are Dutch spice cookies very similar to a ginger snap. I have made these cookies and they are very good, but I didn't have the time to make them this year. Instead I opted to make a different spice filled item...Gingerbread pancakes. I liked them so much that I had them for dinner and dessert one day, and then used the rest of the batter to make some more in the morning. I was surprised to find that I much preferred the taste of the pancakes that I made for breakfast after the batter had been in the fridge overnight. The flavors and spices had a chance to really meld together and the result was a rich spicy pancake. I looked at a few recipes for inspiration and then added and changed some things. I really like deep, rich, molasses filled things when it comes to anything spice related...as in cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc...
SIFT together in small bowl:
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
Whisk together in medium bowl:
4 TBS molasses
3 TBS agave,honey, or brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, or sour cream
2 TBS melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry into wet ingredients until combined. Pour onto hot buttered griddle. Wait until bubbles form on surface before flipping. Serve with warm maple syrup...or with warm maple pecan syrup...which is just maple syrup heated up with some butter and then add chopped pecans to it....so good.
*If you like a spicier pancake add 1 tsp fresh ginger chopped really small.
*You can make the batter the night before and store it in the fridge...easy breakfast!
*I added chocolate chips to some of the batter...also tres awesome!
*This recipe should make enough pancakes for 3-4 people...it all depends on what size the pancakes are and what size the people are : )
*Contrary to popular belief pancakes are not just a breakfast food...If I have my own family one day I plan on having pancake Wednesdays...we will have pancakes every Wednesday for dinner...how cool am I? : )