So I decided I was going to do breakfast for dinner and have pancakes and bacon. Now mind you, I like pancakes and when I crave them I enjoy them, but I’m the type of person who eats part of a pancake or a few bites of a pancake and then that craving is satisfied. I know my kids will eat pancakes no matter how plain or fancy they are, but this time I decided to dress them up and instead of going with plain, I was going to do chocolate chip pancakes since I’d never had anything but a plain pancake anyway, only to find out that I had no chocolate chips. (Yes! This is surprising because I use to be the ‘Cake Hoarder’ and have boxes of cake mixes and other baking things crammed into my pantry!) So, I saw a bag of pecans there and I was like, oh.. my girl friend likes butter pecan, being from the south, so I’m going to make butter pecan pancakes! Not only that, but now I’m going to get fancy and make my first homemade caramel to put on top! Talk about getting ambitious for breakfast for dinner.
13/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 c milk
3tbsp oil or melted butter
1 tsp Watkins Imitation Caramel Extract
1 tsp Watkins Baking Vanilla
1/4 c chopped pecans
What I did, essentially, was make a basic pancake mix and then I tossed in some caramel extract. If you haven’t ever tried caramel extract in your baking, it’s fantastic!
I don’t know if I had mentioned this before, but I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell when it comes to cooking and so a lot of times I’ll put random things into a recipe and if it smells awesome, or smells like what I want it to taste like, I feel pretty confident about it! I once made her a butter pecan cake with butter pecan butter cream for the USMC birthday to take to work and it was a total hit and again, a recipe that I ‘made up’. Let this serve as a reminder…. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Always start out with small adjustments because sometimes more isn’t better it’s just more, not to mention, it’s easier to add ingredients when it comes to cooking than it is to subtract them!
In your mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients; baking powder, baking soda, sugar, flour and salt, mixing them together so they’re all evenly incorporated. And yes, this was technically my second food adventure in this blog and my pictures.. well.. I forgot to take pictures of my dry ingredients in one bowl and my wet ones in another but.. come on, you should know what a bowl of flour and stuff looks like now, right? I know, I know.. bad Kathryn! Be forgiving of me!
In a separate bowl, mix together your oil, milk, caramel extract, vanilla extract and egg. Once this is done, we’re going to pour our wet ingredients into our dry ingredients and mix well. It’s perfectly normal to have lumpy batter!
Last but not least, we add our chopped pecans and stir them in.
Now we’re going to heat up our skillet or griddle on medium to medium high heat. Make sure you grease your griddle. I use Pam Organic Olive Oil Cooking Spray 5oz between pancakes so they’re not tempted to stick. Bubbles will form on the pancake surface then pop when they’re ready to be turned. Give it a flip, let it cook for a couple more minutes or until golden brown and rinse and repeat until you’ve cooked all your batter!
Now I butter up my pancakes, because I don’t think you can ever have too much butter, and I also added maple syrup, and then my caramel sauce. (I did throw a few extra pecans in my caramel sauce but next time I’ll leave it plain. It was a bit of pecan overdose for me!)
I’ve included the caramel sauce recipe below if you want to make it, otherwise these babies are delicious just as they are!
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
3/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp butter cut into pieces
Get all your ingredients within reach of the stove top because we don’t just walk off and leave this and expect the sugar not to burn, so prepare or beware!
Combine the sugar and water into a stainless steel sauce pan. The thicker the bottom on it, the better just because it helps to distribute the heat more evenly, which is important when making things like candies and sauces. Make certain the water and sugar are both mixed well but mix them gently so that you don’t kick sugar up on the side of the sauce pan, otherwise it’ll make sugar crunchies.
Now we’re going to leave it on medium heat so it comes to a gentle simmer. There’s no need to stir this, because again, you’ll kick sugar up on the side of the saucepan. Let it simmer until it’s this rich amber color. You don’t want it dark. Think of the little chewy caramel squares you eat, how they’re that light tanned color. That’s the yellowish color we want our caramel to be.
Once the amber color has been achieved, remove from the heat. Carefully add your butter, heavy cream and vanilla. You don’t want to splash hot melted sugar on you. Now we’re going to whisk, whisk, whisk, until the caramel is nice and smooth and creamy. My butter went in after I whisked in the cream but that was just how it worked out when I was cooking as you see in my picture. If you happen to have any lumps or inconsistencies still, put it back on the burner on low heat and continue to whisk until you get that smooth consistency.
Once your caramel is done, you’re going to transfer it to a heat safe container.
Now, we just enjoy it over our pancakes, ice cream, or any dessert, though I am more inclined, (once it’s cooled mind you), to just eat it with a spoon!