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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Here, a lightly chocolate batter gets an extra measure of flavor from miniature chocolate chips. I use supermarket chips for these, but better-quality chips would work at least as well. Serve with warmed apricot preserves or go all out and top these with a small scoop of good vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and lightly sweetened whipped cream. I’d make these for a birthday breakfast or brunch, but they’re good any time of year.

I’ve only use nonalkalized cocoa powder to make these, but my guess is that the alkalized (Dutch process) variety would work well, too. Similarly, I have only used miniature semisweet chips here, not milk or white chips. Use a nonstick griddle to bake these. If you don’t have one, grease your griddle lightly with unsalted butter before baking each batch. Pancakes are best served immediately.

1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons nonalkalized cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Few grains of salt
1 egg, graded “large”
1 tablespoon tasteless vegetable oil, such as canola
About 1/3 cup milk
2/3 to 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Toppings as desired

Into small bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well-blended. Set aside. In another small bowl, beat egg, oil, and 1/3 cup milk with fork until well-mixed.

All at once, add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. With fork, stir until blended, scraping sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. If mixture is very thick, stir in a little more milk. You want a medium-thick batter. Stir in chips just until combined.

Hear griddle over medium-low heat until drops of cold water flicked onto it sizzle and “dance” briefly before evaporating. (If griddle is not nonstick, butter lightly with unsalted butter before baking each batch of pancakes.) Form pancakes by scooping up a generous tablespoonful of batter from the bottom of the bowl (the chips like to hide at the bottom) and dropping it onto the griddle. Don’t crowd the pancakes; I have a 12 inch square griddle and bake only four pancakes at a time, but I always bake one test pancake first, in case my heat is too high or the batter is too thick.

Bake pancakes until edges lose their “raw” glossiness and holes appear toward edges that don’t fill back in with batter. Flip over and bake on the second side until lightly browned (this will take much less time than the first side did). It can be difficult to judge the doneness of these because of the color of the batter, so be careful not to burn them.

Serve immediately with topping(s) of choice.

About 10 pancakes, roughly 3-1/2 inches in diameter each   

© Stephanie Zonis

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