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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pretzel Pancakes with White Chocolate & Caramel Sauces

Um, yeah, these are just as indulgent as they sound and look. We had them for Mardi Gras dinner. I thought it would be appropriate.

The crushed pretzels do a nice absorbing number in the batter, and make the whole ensemble wonderfully sweet-and-salty. I know it's a bit over-the-top to make two special sauces from scratch for these. You could serve them with just maple syrup. But you'd be missing the full effect. The three flavors together are truly fabulous.
Pretzel Pancakes
1 cup crushed pretzels, divided (use small pretzel sticks or mini pretzels)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil

1. Whisk together 1/2 cup crushed pretzels, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

2. Using a mixer on medium speed, whip egg whites in a bowl to soft peaks; set aside.

3. Whisk together egg yolk, milk and butter milk in a bowl until frothy. Stir into dry ingredients only until ingredients are moistened. (Small lumps are OK.) Let batter stand for 10 minutes (this is when the pretzels do their magical absorbing thing.) Fold in whipped egg whites, stopping when thin, white streaks still remain in the batter.

4. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush griddle with a thin layer of oil.

5. For each pancake, pour about 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle; sprinkle each pancake with some of the remaining crushed pretzels. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes, about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes; cook until golden, about 2 minutes more. Keep in 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Serve with white chocolate and caramel sauces. Makes about 14 pancakes.

White Chocolate Sauce
(Takes about 15 minutes)
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks, beaten
4 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped

1. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk a little of the hot cream into the egg yolks, then return yolk mixture to simmering cream.

2. Continue cooking and whisking until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 1 minute.) Remove sauce from heat. Stir in white chocolate until melted. Set white chocolate sauce aside; keep it warm.

Caramel Sauce
(Takes about 15 minutes)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 T water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 T unsalted butter

1. Boil brown sugar and water in a small saucepan 5 minutes, gently swirling occasionally to prevent scorching. Whisk in cream. (Mixture will bubble furiously and begin to harden into candy-like pieces; keep whisking and it will melt again.)

2. Boil mixture 2 minutes more, then whisk in butter until melted. Set caramel sauce aside; keep it warm.
Recipe from Cuisine at Home, February 2010

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