Gingerbread men pancakes. Sounds fun? They were. We were having a houseful of guests and I wanted some fun things to put on the buffet. I’d been in the mood for gingerbread pancakes forEVER, and this would be a good time to satisfy that craving as well. But I wanted them in little gingerbread men shapes.
To make it simple, I made small pancakes then used a gingerbread man cutout. I had a lot of strange shaped leftovers, but they were breakfast on other mornings, microwaved and eaten with applesauce, my preferred accompaniment to gingerbread.
I found the recipe on All Recipes, and read the comments section. They all seemed to agree with the need for a little more spice and a little less water. Easily done. I would be doubling the recipe, so I clicked to have the site give me the double ingredients list and I was ready to make pancakes.
Looking at the ingredient list again, I realized it had no sugar. Hm. I found another recipe that had brown sugar, but no molasses. Surely a good gingerbread pancake should have both? I ended up adapting two recipes to make a double batch of pancakes with excellent results. I also added the 1/2 cup of coffee the second recipe called for, by making a small batch of instant espresso I keep for baking. Another good choice.
I mixed the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices in a bowl with a whisk. I followed the spices in the second recipe, which had four listed instead of the original recipe’s two.
Next I beat the eggs, coffee, and molasses until they were smooth. I whisked the water into the mixture, holding back one cup, until it was again smooth.
I stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I stirred it just until it was mixed, ignoring the last few lumps as directed. It seemed a bit stiff but I continued on.
I stirred in the melted butter and lemon juice and was ready to fry my pancakes.
I heated my flat griddle over medium heat, drizzling a little oil on it. When it was heated I poured a large pancake. The batter didn’t spread and I had a heck of a time making it flatten out. I let it cook until it had formed bubbles and the edges were beginning to dry. I flipped the pancake and let it fry until the second side was brown when I peeked at it.
I removed the pancake to a cutting board and let it cool while I poured the next pancake onto the griddle.
When the pancake had cooled on my cutting board, I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the pancake. I laid them in a container between sheets of waxed paper.
Deciding my batter was too thick, I added another 1/2 cup of water and stirred, then added another 1/4 cup. I liked the consistency and poured four smaller pancakes onto my oiled griddle. They spread easily and puffed up beautifully.
When my pancakes were all fried and cut out, I had about 30 little gingerbread pancakes ready for my buffet. I stored them in a plastic container between sheets of waxed paper in the freezer until I needed them.
I removed the pancakes from the freezer the night before, so they were ready to heat in a low oven the next morning. I placed them in an ovenproof dish and covered them with a lid and put them into the oven at 250 degrees F. After about 30 minutes they were heated through and ready to serve.
I served the gingerbread men pancakes with a pitcher of maple syrup, a bowl of applesauce and a bowl of whipped cream so my guests could choose their preferred method of eating. And eat them they did. Lots of good comments and devouring was done. They were tasty and a nice seasonal touch to breakfast. I loved them best with applesauce, with no whipped cream. This was a super impressive pancake recipe, one I’ll use again!
Gingerbread Men Pancakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup water (+ more as needed. I used another 3/4 cup to thin)
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
4 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Vegetable oil for brushing griddle
Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. Whisk together water, coffee, eggs, molasses, butter, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Let stand 15 minutes (batter will thicken).
Add water as necessary to thin the batter to desired consistency.
Brush a griddle or 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.
Working in batches of 3 or 4, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip pancakes with a spatula and cook until cooked through and edges are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and use a cookie cutter to cut into gingerbread shapes if desired.
Loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Brush griddle with oil between batches.
Serve with maple syrup or applesauce and whipped cream.