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~ Cinnamon-Roll Pancakes w/Cream Cheese Drizzle ~

IMG_3406Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls in the morning.  I wish I had the inclination to make them for more than special occasions.  That was, until, while watching A Million Little Things on TV last week, I learned about:  cinnamon-roll pancakes.  Where have these been all my life?  For the love of breakfast and brunch, I had no idea that an easy-to-make cinnamon swirl mixture squirted onto a few pancakes while they're cooking would propel them from ordinary to extraordinary in a few short seconds.  The finishing touch, a cream cheese drizzle (instead of the typical maple syrup), gives them all the yummy taste of a cinnamon roll in one stack of pancakes.  Be still my heart.

IMG_3396All the yummy taste of cinnamon rolls in one stack of pancakes:

IMG_3348For the cinnamon swirl mixture:

6  tablespoons salted butter

12  tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon

IMG_3350~ Step 1.  Gently melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of toothpaste -- this can take 30-40 minutes depending on how hot the butter got.  To thicken the mixture faster, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  To soften the mixture, place it in the microwave for a few seconds. Transfer mixture to a small-size plastic squeeze-type bottle used for drizzling condiments and frostings.*

IMG_3345For the  cream cheese drizzle:

4  ounces soft cream cheese

2  cups confectioners' sugar

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2  tablespoons milk, plus 1-2 teaspoons more

~ Step 1. Place ingredients in a small food processor.  Pulse 5-10 times, then with motor on, process 25-30 seconds until smooth.  If necessary, through feed tube, add 1-2 teaspoons additional milk, until drizzly consistency is reached. Transfer mixture to a medium plastic squeeze bottle used for drizzling condiments and frostings.*

*Note:  Both the cinnamon swirl mixture and the cream cheese drizzle can be prepared several hours or a day in advance and safely left at room room temperature without compromise.

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeb566e5200cFor the dry pancake mix:

6  cups unbleached all-purpose flour

6  tablespoons sugar

3  tablespoons baking powder

1  tablespoon baking soda

2  teaspoons sea salt

~ Step 1. in a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Transfer to an airtight container.  Store in the pantry for up to six months.

6a0120a8551282970b0278800d3a6e200dFor the pancakes:

1  cup pancake mix

1  cup whole milk or 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (Note:  Buttermilk is quite a bit thicker in consistency than whole milk, so a bit more is required.)

1  large egg

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

corn or vegetable oil, for frying the pancakes

IMG_8460 IMG_8460 IMG_8460 IMG_8460 IMG_8460~Step 2.  To make the pancake batter, in a medium bowl, place and whisk together the milk (or buttermilk) egg and extract -- I like to use a hand-held rotary egg beater to do this.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Beat the ingredients together, and, there is no need to worry about getting out all of the lumps.  Cover and set aside for about 5-10 minutes. Check the consistency, and, if the mix seems too thick, whisk in a splash of extra milk or buttermilk.

IMG_8470 IMG_8470 IMG_3383 IMG_3365 IMG_3365~Step 3.  To cook/fry the pancakes, in any size nonstick skillet, place a thin coating of corn or vegetable oil.  Place skillet over medium- medium-low heat (in the case of these pancakes, error on the side of lower heat and longer cooking time).  For each pancake, pour about 1/3 cup batter into skillet.  The pancake will form itself.  Wait until bubbles form across the surface and the surface of the pancake starts to look dry (about 1 1/2-2 minutes), then, starting at the center of the pancake, and working your way to the outside, squeeze the cinnamon swirl mixture (in circles) over the surface of the batter.  As soon as bottom of pancake is golden and done, using a a spatula, flip the pancake over.  Cook on the second side about 1/2-1 more minute. Using the spatula, invert the pancake, swirl side up, onto a wire rack wire rack and repeat process with remaining batter.  Stack and serve pancakes with cream cheese drizzle.  

Note:  For evenly-shaped, evenly-cooked pancakes, I like to fry them individually, in 1-2, 8" skillets -- two skillets on the stovetop at once.  After each 1-2 cook, I add a splash of additional oil to each pan, and, continue to cook until all of the batter has been used.  Try it my way -- each pancake comes out perfect every time.  Trust me -- one pancake per skillet is the ticket to perfection.

Stack & serve hot or warm (& they're good at room temp too)...

IMG_3391... with a generous amount of cream cheese drizzle:

IMG_3419Cinnamon-Roll Pancakes w/Cream Cheese Drizzle:  Recipe yields 7 cups pancake mix (each 1 cup yields 6 pancakes)/3/4 cup cinnamon swirl mixture (enough for 12 pancakes)/1 cup cream cheese drizzle (enough for 12 pancakes)/2 servings of 3 pancakes each.

Special Equipment List: 1-cup measuring container; spoon; 2, small plastic squeeze-type bottles used for drizzling condiments or frosting; small-capacity food processor; hand-held rotary egg beater; 8" nonstick skillet; spatula; wire rack 

6a0120a8551282970b0278800d81cc200dCook's Note: Pancakes or waffles, waffles or pancakes.  Everyone loves them, and, once you make the decision to make one of these two common breakfast foods, in the culinary scheme of things, no two dishes that start out fundamentally same (with a flour, milk and egg batter), could possible emerge so different.  When it comes to pancakes and waffles, the number one mistake folks make it assuming they can use the same batter for both -- perfectly underderstandable, but wrong. Waffle batter is thicker than pancake batter and requires more eggs, fat and sugar to render the unique, signature texture.  It's not rocket science, but, it is important.  Click here to learn  ~ What's the Difference between Pancake & Waffle Batter ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021)


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