Saturday, September 22, 2012

recipe: vegan pumpkin pancakes with maple pecans

Autumn. I love everything about this time of year. Life starts winding down as we head indoors and settle into slower routines and even a slight drop in temperature brings crisp coolness with every breeze. My focus always seems to draw inward at this seasonal shift. All the thoughts and ideas I was too busy to tend to in the hectic summer months suddenly come to a head and for a time I struggle to find direction. By and by, I rediscover my path and embrace the change.

Comforting, seasonal meals certainly help with that and these pancakes are perfect for welcoming the first morning of Fall. The pumpkin is not so overwhelming and the pecans are a simple way to up the gourmet factor.

For the pancakes:

1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used hemp)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice or pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups water

For the topping:

1-2 T vegan butter (Earth Balance is good.)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 T sugar
1/3 cup real maple syrup

Combine non dairy milk and vinegar, set aside.
Combine all other pancake ingredients in a mixing bowl, add milk/vinegar mixture to the batter and stir until just combined. Set aside while you make the nut topping. 

Add butter and vanilla extract to a large skillet. Heat over medium until butter is melted. Add pecans and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and stir again to coat. Add maple syrup and stir yet again. Reduce heat and cook another 1-2 minutes, until syrup has cooked down just a bit. Stay close lest you burn your pecans! Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool while your pancakes cook.

Heat griddle to if 325° if using an electric griddle or over medium-high if using a stovetop griddle or frying pan.

Pour batter onto the griddle in whatever size you want your pancakes to be. Cook until there are bubbles forming around the edges. Carefully flip the pancake and cook another couple of minutes on the other side.

Drizzle your stack of pancakes with a little extra syrup before you add the pecans for the best flavor. (This recipe makes about 15 pancakes.)

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