This pancake recipe really stacks up

One of my favorite dinners as a child was when my mom would whip up big, fluffy pancakes. We’d have them with homemade syrup, made with warmed brown sugar and water, and over-easy eggs and bacon. I love breakfast foods, and I’ll gladly eat them any time of day.

When Joey and I were dating, I decided to make him some pancakes from scratch for the first time, and I failed miserably.

Where my mom’s pancakes were always light and delicious, mine were dense and heavy. It was like I warmed up a not-so-sweet, thick cake in a pan. They were browned on the outside and slightly gooey in the middle—and they were disgusting.

Being a good boyfriend, Joey choked them down, but now that he’s in the husband category, he loves to tease me about my pancake fail, and he still raises his eyebrows at me whenever I say I’m going to make some for him.

That being said, my most recent pancake recipe was anything but a failure. They were amazing and delicious.

I promised I’d share a recipe you could make using the leftover whey from making homemade ricotta cheese a few weeks ago, and this is it. If you don’t have any whey, use buttermilk or use regular milk with just a touch of vinegar in it.

The recipe for these pancakes is from the blog “The Chunky Chef.” (I love that name.) You can find it at http://www.thechunkychef.com/vanilla-cinnamon-buttermilk-pancakes/. I added extra vanilla and cinnamon and substituted whey for buttermilk in my version.

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Buttermilk Vanilla Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups whey or use buttermilk or milk with a touch of vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, melted

More butter or cooking spray for cooking the pancakes.

Directions

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Whisk in the whey, vanilla, cinnamon, egg and slightly cooled melted butter until it’s just combined.

Set the mixture aside to rest and heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray or put a little butter in to coat the bottom of the pan.

Once the pan is hot, using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the pan in circles, spacing the pancakes by about an inch or so. If they’re kind of thick, shake your pan a little so they flatten out a bit.

Let the pancakes cook until you start to see bubbles rising to the surface and the edges start to look dry. (Don’t mess with them early so you don’t make them fall apart.) Flip the pancakes over and cook for another two or three minutes on the other side.

Stack finished pancakes on a plate in a warm spot, and repeat (spray your pan or add more butter between batches) until your pancakes are finished.

Serve with some butter and your favorite syrup.

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This won’t use up all the whey leftover from making ricotta, but the great thing about the whey is you can use it in any recipe that uses buttermilk, so there are quite a few uses for it if you like baking.

I was head-over-heels in love with these pancakes. I think the fact that my whey still had few little bits of cheese floating in it helped make these even more delicious. There were several pancakes left over, and we really enjoyed heating these up out of the refrigerator over the next few days.

I’m hoping this triumph means I’ve restored Joey’s trust in my pancake abilities, but I may need to accomplish it a few more times before he’s really sure.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.