Cooking

Mardi Gras & Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Happy Mardi Gras!  In case you didn’t know, today is Mardi Gras and that means Fat Tuesday in French.  I wish I had planned ahead and made something Mardi Gras-ish to post today, but alas I did not.  I do have a yummy recipe as the title of this post suggests, but first…. 

Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration before?  During my sophomore year of college, Mardi Gras happened to fall over our spring break.  So me and 9 other girls decided to drive many, many hours to New Orleans to see what Mardi Gras was all about. 

We weren’t actually there on Fat Tuesday, but one day during the weekend before.  However, there were tons of people and parades everywhere.  I found my old pictures and scanned in a few of the parade:

In this picture below is Britney Spears!  She’s in the middle.  You can almost make out the Britney Spears sign on the side of her float.

Here’s another shot that’s zoomed in, but she turned away!  Oh well.  These pictures are circa the year 2000, before she went to Crazy and back.

I can NOT believe that crazy road trip was 10 years ago! 

Anyway on to the recipe.  Have you come down off the sugar high from Valentine’s Day yet?  For a holiday that’s all about chocolate, I decided to start V-day off right by making homemade double chocolate chip pancakes.  Yowsa!  I almost got a sugar headache just typing that.

I found this recipe online and then made a few tweaks to come up with the following:

Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Serves 4

1 cup milk (any kind you want, I used almond)
1 “egg” (I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate chips
Toppings – powdered sugar, whipped cream, strawberries, etc.

In a small bowl, combine milk, egg replacer and applesauce.

In another bowl, combine both flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat until hot.  It’s important to let the griddle get hot enough before pouring on the pancake batter.  Drops of water should sizzle and evaporate.

For each pancake, pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.  Drop several chocolate chips into the batter.  Cook 1-2 minutes or until batter bubbles and is set around the edges. 

Flip and cook 1-2 minutes on other side.  Repeat with remaining batter. 

Sprinkle powdered sugar and anything else your heart desires on top.

These pancakes were AMAZING.  So chocolatey and moist.  I had them both with syrup and without and liked them better without syrup and just a sprinkle of powdered sugar (only 1/2 tsp per plate).  My husband agreed.  The chocolate chips inside the pancakes were all melty, so they were kind of like a syrup.  I made the pancakes fairly small since they were so rich.  I only ate 3 small ones total!  Definitely pair these sugary pancakes with some protein and/or fiber to help balance out the meal.  I drank a big glass of soymilk and had an orange and that kept me from riding the sugar rollercoaster.

I did have a little trouble actually cooking these pancakes.  Since the batter is already brown, it’s hard to tell when they are done.  So watch out for that.  Look at the edges and when you can see they are set, go ahead and flip it over.

Although I used a powdered egg alternative, I think a flax “egg” would work really well here.  Since the batter is brown, the flax specs wouldn’t be as obvious as they would in a regular pancake.  To make a flax “egg”, mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water.  Let the mixture sit for several minutes to thicken and/or set in the fridge to help thicken it up.  I used a flax “egg” to make the dumplings in yesterday’s soup recipe.  Even if you are not following a completely plant-based diet, using a flax “egg” adds extra omega-3’s and cuts down on saturated fat found in egg yolks.  It’s also a good trick to know if you are ever in the middle of a recipe and find you are out of eggs!

Benzo and I had a really nice Valentine’s Day last Sunday.  We had a lazy morning with these pancakes, then saw a movie, did a few errands and came home and make a really awesome dinner.  Then after dinner we had the rest of the leftover pancakes for dessert!

What did I make for dinner?  I’ll give you a hint – one of the ingredients was pumpkin.  Come back later this week to find out!

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