Three ideas come together:
1. I have been thinking about macarons, which are hitting the New York treat scene in a big way. Made largely with almond flour and egg whites, they are lighter and less sweet than most cookies. They are also completely delicious.
2. My kids are eyeing their jar of homemade blueberry jam in the fridge and are going to eat it by the spoonful unless I come up with a better use of it.
3. I’m not completely satisfied with weekend breakfast. Mingus and Beluga love love love “Pancakes!” but have begun neglecting the pancakes in favor of just drinking maple syrup. Which has put me in search of a pancake with a lighter texture, preferably more protein (nutrient-pusher that I am), and appeal beyond the maple syrup poured on top.
So, while Mingus and Beluga nap, I get out the egg whites, almond flour, and confectioner’s sugar and start playing around. Turns out straight macaron batter is a disaster in the skillet. But, a split between macaron batter and pancake batter is a wild success. Whipping the egg whites, I appreciate the serenity of cooking alone, but wish the kids were awake to witness the transformation.
I gobble several macaron pancake poppers and prepare a board for the kids to assemble their own.
Mingus wakes first. I show him a picture of one of the poppers I made – because I’ve already eaten all of them – as an example. He sits down to work. I ask, “What do you think?” “Are you going to stack another pancake on top?” “Did you notice they’re fluffier than usual?” No response. If you’re a mom fishing for compliments from your 2 year old (ahem), you better re-think that plan. Apparently, it’s not going to happen.
He sits in his own little world, making and munching, when I realize Mingus is simply too focused to converse. Oddly, he has ignored the maple syrup, but eaten every last mint leaf. He is in heaven. When he asks for more, I accept the compliment and sneak him Beluga’s pancakes – our little secret.
2 Egg Whites
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/2 Cup Pancake Mix
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
Crack open two eggs, dropping the egg whites into a bowl. Add cream of tartar and whip the egg whites into stiff peaks. Then, fold in the almond flour and confectioners sugar, making about 20 turns with your spatula. I’ve provided specific quantities for ingredients, but if you have made pancakes a bunch, just wing it. Shake in buttermilk pancake mix, pour an equal portion of milk, a couple tablespoons olive oil, and a splash of almond extract into the bowl, gently stirring everything together. The consistency of the batter should be runnier than a classic macaron batter – which people say flows like lava – but a little more structured than the usual pancake batter. Use a spoon to dollop silver dollar-sized globs onto a medium-hot non-stick skillet, well greased with olive oil. Cooked just like pancakes, move them to a cookie sheet to cool. Then, eat them straight or load them up with whipped cream, syrup, jam, nutella… whatever suits your fancy:)