Joy the Baker's blog is pretty special - it's beautifully designed and photographed and full of the best baking and dessert treats you can think of. Seriously, look at the recipe index and be suitably impressed that Booze, Bread and Pie have their own categories. I want to make everything she makes and can only hope it looks half as beautiful. Joy's first cookbook was published earlier this year and it's cover proclaims that it's a "celebration of butter and sugar" - don't doubt this! These are American style recipes in a more-is-more way - think coffee bacon, chocolate and salty peanut butter ice cream, chocolate hazelnut spread with orange cream cheese grilled sandwiches, apple pie crostadas and baked coffee cake fresh toast. There is elegance amongst the decadence too and desserts such as dark chocolate and anise biscotti, honey and toasted walnut ice cream, grapefruit souffle pudding and chocolate, goats cheese and black pepper truffles. If you're sick of hearing about "classics with a twist" (as commented on by another noted food blogger recently) you may not be a fan of this book, but these are so incredible they should keep even the most "new-spin"-fatigued baker interested. There's definitely more of an emphasis on the sweet side of things and the savoury items are more snacks than anything particularly substantial but notable inclusions are baked chili cheese fries, Parmesan seaweed popcorn and black pepper bacon waffles.
The book starts off with Joy's top kitchen tips which is full of helpful information, such as how to make a buttermilk substitute and explains what makes up cake flour, which I think is particularly good to know for UK readers. It also has how-to's on making your own brown sugar and vanilla extract, seasoning skillet pans and how to get the best from your ingredients.
The rest of the chapters are loosely connected via types of food - breakfast, comfort foods, celebration, chocolate and foods that transport well for parties. To be honest, it's slightly confusing as any given recipe could be classed in several of the chapters but this is the most minor of quibbles. As a blogger's cookbook, all of the recipes are accompanied with beautiful photographs and Joy's personal musings about her life, family and baking career. I quite enjoy her open style of writing - it's all a bit tongue in cheek and meant to be a giggle.
These pancakes are taken from the breakfast chapter entitled "Pancakes Pancakes Pancakes - and lesser breakfast items" which I am totally down with - pancakes are, after all, the king of breakfast. There are six different pancake variations which are all not only are there these awesome oatmeal cookie pancakes, there's also carrot cake, courgette & potato and blueberry, orange & almond pancakes with orange maple glaze. The "lesser" breakfast items are no such thing - they include delicious sounding baked coffee cake french toast, extra crumb coffee cake, whole wheat honey and goat cheese drop biscuits and oatmeal raspberry ginger scones. These pancakes are a perfect lazy morning treat, they don't require any hard work and are proper fluffy American style pancakes made special with spices and raisins. I also added some dessicated coconut as I usually add them when I make my oatmeal cookies and they add a nice extra touch of sweetness. Serve these in mini stacks with maple syrup and a pat of butter as soon as you can after making them.
Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
Recipe by Joy the Baker
(makes about 40 mini pancakes)
175g plain flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs
475mL buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute)
55g melted butter, cooled
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1. Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to a low temperature of around 100 degrees Celsius. This will keep the cooked pancakes warm while you finish the entire batch.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl., whisk together eggs, buttermilk, male syrup and melted butter. Add the buttermilk mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture and fold together with a spatula until all of the flour is incorporated. Fold in the raisins and dessicated coconut. Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Heat griddle/frying pan over medium heat and add a touch of butter to melt. Spoon or pour small rounds of batter onto the hot griddle. Heat until the bottom is browned and the top is bubbly. Flip and cook through, about 2 minutes on each side. Place on a heatproof plate in the oven to rest until ready to serve.
5. Serve in stacks with maple syrup. Pancakes are best served immediately.