Aunt Jemima On My Mind

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I grew up in what may now be considered a large family. And most of us were not very culinarily (is that even a word?) adventurous. But one thing we could all agree on was Aunt Jemima’s Buckwheat Pancakes. If you have never had them; I feel sorry for you. Very, very sorry. You can’t even buy the mix now, or at least I was unable to find it in any grocery store or available online. I did however find plenty of strings of content from those of us who would love to buy a box of this mix; maybe even a case. More…

I grew up in what may now be considered a large family. And most of us were not very culinarily (is that even a word?) adventurous. But one thing we could all agree on was Aunt Jemima’s Buckwheat Pancakes. If you have never had them; I feel sorry for you. Very, very sorry. You can’t even buy the mix now, or at least I was unable to find it in any grocery store or available online. I did however find plenty of strings of content from those of us who would love to buy a box of this mix; maybe even a case.

I can remember my mom making us pancakes, and delightfully dancing around the kitchen as she cooked them, taking in the rich, earthy aroma as I spun. Eventually, my mom would shoo me into the dining room as I had become a distraction or worse, dumped something over, but I was happy to sit down knowing that the flapjacks were on their way. Interestingly enough, I do not recall having any other pancakes as child other than buckwheat pancakes. I am not sure if that is just my mind playing tricks on me or if my mom never made buttermilk pancakes. In either case, I did not feel deprived. As I sat in the dining room, patiently awaiting those golden brown discs, I prayed that I would get first dibs. You see, unlike many breakfast cakes or crepes in which the first batch is for the dog, the first buckwheat pancakes were always my favorite. They possessed a crisp, yet tender, ring around the edge of the sphere that is reminiscent of flaky pie crust or a deep-fried turnover but with an earthiness that neither pie crust or turnovers can deliver. Sadly, each batch thereafter, did not boast that crunchy edge.

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Today, I found myself in the mood for a stack of this childhood favorite, but without the original mix, I had to fend for myself. I decided that trying to replicate Aunt Jemima’s was futile, so the next best thing was to put my own spin on this classic from my youth. My extremely smart husband had talked about adding chocolate milk to your standard pancake batter a few weeks ago. I filed that idea away for trying with buckwheat cakes as it theoretically seemed like a tasty match. As it turns out, it is in reality as well. The chocolate milk provided a hint of chocolate without overpowering the hearty flavor the buckwheat offers up.

I did learn a few things in creating this recipe. First, it needed a little more sugar than I used in the first batch. I assumed that by adding the chocolate milk, I would need little to no added sweetness. I was wrong. Second, while the taste was good, I would suggest letting the batter sit for at least fifteen minutes to a half hour after mixing until the bubbles have calmed down.

As you can see from this picture , the craters were a bit over the top using the unrested batter.

As you can see from this picture , the craters were a bit over the top using the unrested batter.

Once I let the batter rest, the cakes were less holey but still provided a thin, yet tender stack with my oh-so-sought-after edges!

Once I let the batter rest, the cakes were less holey but still provided a thin, yet tender stack with my oh-so-sought-after edges!

Auntie M’s (that’s me!) Flapjacks

INGREDIENTS

  • 140 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 16 oz chocolate milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter for oiling griddle

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Measure out all ingredients.
  2. Get out accouterments such as syrup, yogurt, fruit, etc
  3. Preheat griddle to 325 degrees.

STEP ONE
Whisk all ingredients together. Set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.

STEP TWO
Melt butter on griddle. Using a large ice cream scoop, pour batter onto griddle and cook until you can see bubbles throughout top of batter. Flip and cook on other side until done.

STEP THREE
Wipe down griddle and melt more butter (in hopes of getting the crispy edge again). Repeat step two until all batter is used.

STEP FOUR
Bring pancakes, accouterments, and plates to table. Serve and enjoy!

Makes approximately 24 5″ pancakes.

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