Weekends were made for pancakes.
Don’t you think?
Stemming from a long line of tradition, pancakes in my house have always been cooked on an open griddle with a big scoop of crisco shortening. As a little girl (with a heart for crispy sweet things,) I would search for the pancakes that were cooked in the deepest pools of shortening. They were easy to find, as the outer rim of the pancake would be golden-dark brown, a testament to the tender crunch that I would no doubt experience on that very first bite.
All this crispy-crunch going on, and yet the inside remained light and fluffy and perfect.
It was heaven.
Nowadays, I’m a little more reserved with my use of shortening.
I do think it has its time and its place (i.e., the only pie crusts that compare in texture are the ones made with lard!) And if pies come but once or twice a year, by all means, use your favorite ingredients!
I do not, however, think that shortening is meant to be used on a daily/weekly basis.
If--like me–you are on the lookout for that perfectly golden crisp (yet still incredibly soft!) pancake, let me share with you what I have learned about various cooking fats (courtesy of Kodiak Cake’s website and my own personal experience.)
Butter will burn your pancake. In case you were wondering, browned butter lends an amazing flavor to many dishes (browned butter and sage gnocchi comes to mind.) Burnt butter, on the other hand, serves absolutely no good purpose. In other words, butter is a no-go in the pancake department.
Cooking spray is great for the everyday pancake or if you wish to cut calories. However, if you only have pancakes on that rare yet fun occasion, skip using the cooking spray. It will not give you those crisp edges. If you could care less about whether or not your pancake has crisp edges, then cooking spray may be your best choice.
Canola oil. Your best choice. Just a little (i.e., 2-3tsp spread out, per batch) goes a really long way and gives that lovely crispy-crunch texture. In fact, it almost made me want to tousle my hair, sit down in my pj’s, and ask mom to “add a handful of extra chocolate chips on mine, please.” They taste just as I remember. Without those pesky trans fats.
QUESTION: What are your favorite pancake add-ins? I love adding pumpkin! And/or dark chocolate chips and banana chunks. 😀