Fat Tuesday and Chocolate Pancakes

photo2My husband has been known to go to a certain pancake establishment and order a short stack of buttermilk pancakes followed by a short stack of chocolate pancakes for “dessert.” I share this story in honor of Pancake Tuesday, known to many as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Pancake Tuesday falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the kick off to Lent, which for Christians is a season of abstaining until the celebration of Easter. In medieval times, butter, eggs and milk were forbidden, so they had to be used up beforehand or they would spoil.

And while few of us hold to all of those restrictions any longer, many still follow the tradition of making pancakes – which require butter, eggs and milk – on this special Tuesday.

In honor of this last hurrah before a season of repentance, I share with you a favorite recipe of mine: Double Chocolate Pancakes. Not only are they made with a chocolate batter, but the cakes are also sprinkled with chocolate chips after they hit the hot griddle.

If you can’t quite bring yourself to serve the chocolate pancakes as a breakfast-for-dinner meal, they do, of course, work great for dessert. Just ask my husband.

Double Chocolate Pancakes

Makes about 16 four-inch panckaes

Serve these sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, topped with butter and maple syrup, or with sweetened raspberries or strawberries and a touch of whipped cream. This recipe is based on one from The Pancake Handbook by Steve Siegelman, Bette Kroening and Sue Conley.

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup brewed coffee

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup milk

½ cup butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Vegetable oil for griddle

1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, stir the coffee and cocoa powder until the cocoa is dissolved. Beat in milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir just until combined (batter will be slightly lumpy). Let batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a griddle. Set over medium heat. When griddle is hot, pour ¼ cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cook until bubbles begin to pop on the surface of the pancake. Flip pancakes over. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until pancakes are browned.


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