If you can imagine coconut macaroons in pancake form, you'll understand where I'm headed. Moist, golden, coconut-packed, with just a hint of sweetness - these are decadent and delicious. I'll start by telling you, this recipe was a total accident - but an accident in the best way imaginable. I was working on a coconut cookie recipe and had a bit of leftover batter. I looked at the batter, looked at my favorite skillet, and thought to myself - I bet this would make an unbelievable pancake. Just eight ingredients and about ten minutes separate you from a stack of these.
With my head in the clouds, I somehow managed to forget to add the sweetener to my coconut cookie experiment. I meant to, but as the cookies were baking in the oven, and as pancake numero uno was closing out the last of the dough/batter, there it was, the sweet stuff, still hanging out on my counter top. My heart sank a bit, because I knew the cookies would suffer, but then realized all would be fine in pancake land. No one wants a too-sweet pancake. That being said, I knew they would need a touch of sweetness to set off the coconut flavor, so I sprinkled sugar onto the batter once it was in the pan. A quick flip, and the sugar was kissing the hot pan giving each pancake a crusty, caramelized, coconutty exterior. Almost perfect. I added a shot of honey to the batter of the second batch I made which seemed to bring everything into balance.
You can make the batter the night before and store it in a pitcher. Give it a stir in the morning and you're ready to go. Also, if coconut isn't your thing or if you're looking for other pancake ideas, here are two of my favorites from the archives: Whole-Grain Pancake Recipe with Blueberry Maple Syrup and Poppy Seed Pancakes.
Coconut Macaroon Pancake Recipe
Look for shredded coconut where each thread is thin and at least 1/2-inch long. Not dusty or fleck-like. If you make the batter the night before, the batter will thicken up quite a bit. Give it a stir, but dont worry about it beyond that. Drop little scoops onto the griddle - they will flatten out when they come into contact with the heat. They go from golden to burnt in a flash, so stay attentive. I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe but you can substitute whatever you have on hand - all-purpose flour, or regular pastry flour. Lemon zest might be a great addition, as would ginger, and/or toasted, chopped macadamia nuts.
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1 /4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose or regular pastry flour)
3 cups unsweetened dried shredded coconut
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs. whisked in a medium bowl
1/4 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar
In a small saucepan heat the coconut milk and honey, bring barely to a simmer.
In a separate large bowl combine the flour, coconut, salt and baking powder. Stir the coconut milk into the flour mixture.
Whisk about 1/3 cup of the coconut mixture into the eggs. Now quickly mix the eggs back into the large bowl of coconut batter. Stir until well combined. You can do this the night before if you like.
Heat your favorite non-stick (or very well-seasoned) skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Drop a heaping tablespoon into the skillet, sprinkle the top with a bit of brown sugar. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Makes dozens of silver dollar sized pancakes, or a dozen or so larger ones.