December 29, 2013

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

Every year, once the weather breaks and we're all cuddling up and watching movies, there's always that craving for some cocoa. Then after a couple of cups, the allure fades and I'm left with a box of Swiss Miss sure to be rancid before next season. So a couple of years ago I started experimenting with ways to use up the cocoa in different recipes. Since my cocoa spritz cookies turned out rather successfully, I figured some hot chocolate pancakes would be just as tasty. 

I started with my base pancake mix, which is wonderfully light and fluffy all by itself, but you could also just use a boxed mix (just follow their measurements). So instead of 2 cups of the mix, I  used one and a half cups and added 1/2 cup of cocoa mix (just about 4 individual packages if that's what you have on hand). 

As a general rule of thumb, no matter what type of pancakes I'm making, I never add all of the liquid at once (in this case I used milk), I just watch for the right consistency. 

I also just happened to have a jar of mini marshmallows on hand (mini as in cocoa size, coolest little things!) and I wanted to add them for some extra fun. I tried two methods, sprinkling them on top of the pancakes while they were cooking and mixing them into the batter directly. In both cases they dissolved completely, as marshmallows do, but when I sprinkled them on top they burned a bit after I flipped them. If you want to add these mini mallows, I would suggest mixing them into the batter before cooking. 

The first 'test batch' wasn't chocolaty enough for what I was aiming for, so I also added a bit of cocoa powder, but if you're cool with the mild chocolate flavor you can leave it as-is.

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

1 1/2 C basic pancake mix - or you can use the same amount of a boxed mix, just adjust directions accordingly
1/2 C cocoa mix
1 Tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
1/3 C Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits (optional)
3 eggs
1 1/2 C milk

Whisk all dry ingredients together to evenly distribute. Whisk in the eggs, then add the milk a little at a time until you get a consistency you like. 

Grease a large pan or skillet with butter and heat over medium heat. Once pan has heated up, add about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. At the first sign of bubbles holding their shape, flip the pancakes. The second side will cook faster than the first, so keep an eye on them!

**NOTE** Since these pancakes have a higher sugar content (from the prepared cocoa mix), they will brown/burn easier than average pancakes, so be sure not to step away!

These are very sweet pancakes, especially if you add the mallows, so we didn't need any syrup. 
I hope you enjoy your cocoa - pancake style!

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