Monday, December 30, 2013

In Search of the Perfect Vegan Pancake

Happy very belated Christmas!  Hope you had a wonderful holiday and didn't go too overboard with the treats.  I took quite the blogging vacation over the holidays, so there's plenty to catch up on. 
Leading up to Christmas I worked really hard to find a good vegan pancake recipe, because Josh's family has a Christmas day pancake breakfast tradition.  While Josh's dad said he would make two separate batches of pancakes, I was really hoping to find a vegan pancake that everyone could enjoy so he wouldn't have to do double duty.  While I knew I could make delicious banana nut pancakes or chocolate chip pancakes, I knew Josh's dad wouldn't want to make anything but a "normal" pancake, so I search high and low on the Internets for a recipe that wouldn't have too many odd ingredients and would taste delicious. 
My first go around was to make this recipe for Snickerdoodle pancakes.  I tried it first without the cinnamon (thinking even that was too "odd" for a standard pancake), and they were quite good, but when I tried adding the cinnamon in they were amazing!  Josh, my handy pancake tester, loved them too.  They were so good we could have gobbled them up without even adding any syrup. 
And that's probably because the recipe called for sugar.  That's right, I managed to read and follow the recipe without noticing that Katie added "you can use much less [sugar] if you’re planning to top with syrup".  So I decided I really needed to make another batch sans sugar to be sure before sending it off to Josh's father to seek his approval.  I followed the recipe again, but subbed out vanilla almond milk for plain and nixed both the sugar and the cinnamon.  The results weren't quite as stellar as the original (hey, less sugar ... what do you expect?) but with syrup they were definitely good enough to seek the approval of a non-vegan.  They were still light and fluffy without too strong of a baking soda flavor - which usually seems to be the culprit in less-than-tasty vegan pancakes.  After my lengthy pancake testing, I finally decided to send the recipe off with my vanilla almond milk and no sugar modifications, but add back in half the cinnamon for that extra something special. 
I sent the recipe off to Josh's father and fully expected a delighted crowd on Christmas morning.  But alas, the fear of a vegan recipe was too much for him.  He made two batches of pancakes on the big day - one for Josh and I, and the "normal" version for the rest.  Which was probably for the best, because for some reason the vegan pancakes turned out pretty badly.  They were definitely low on the cinnamon, but that wasn't the culprit.  Maybe they weren't cooked long enough on either side?  Or maybe my non-stick pan was a better method of cooking them than the sticky pan filled with oil?  (That's my personal guess.)  Of course I ate every bite, but I'm glad everyone else wasn't subjected to them.  That definitely would have turned them off of vegan pancakes forever.  Instead, I can hold out hope that they may still enjoy them in the future.  In the meantime, I've found my own perfect pancake recipe and squirreled it away in my Paprika app for safekeeping.  While I don't eat pancakes often, I definitely know what recipe I'll follow the next time the mood strikes. 

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