I traditionally make jambalaya for Mardi Gras. I’ve posted jambalaya recipes two years in a row and wanted a new approach to Fat Tuesday. According to Wikipedia many countries (the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada) call the day ‘Pancake Day’, and traditionally eat pancakes to celebrate the beginning of Lent. I’m for anything with bourbon and bacon, holiday or not!
I’d recently found a recipe for bourbon pancakes with bits of crispy bacon and a bourbon syrup drizzled over them. They would be my new ‘Bourbon (Street) Bacon Pancakes’. My P.S. would wake up thrilled to have pancakes and bacon ready and waiting for breakfast. The smells would be drifting through the house, calling him down to the kitchen.
Then I looked closer and laughed. The recipe called for cups of Bisquick pancake mix. Seriously. That doesn’t happen at our house. Pancakes are so easy to make from scratch we don’t bother to buy such mixes. I dug out my favorite pancake recipe and simply added bourbon.
I first chopped up the bacon into small pieces and fried it in a large skillet until it was brown and crispy. I like using a large skillet so it can spread and fry faster and more evenly. I removed the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set it aside.
Next I measured the dry ingredients into a large mixing pitcher that had a pour spout I liked to use for pancakes. I whisked the ingredients together.
The buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, bourbon and vanilla went into separate bowl where I lightly beat them together. I poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mixed just until it was blended.
I slowly poured in the melted butter as I stirred. My batter was kind of thick so I added about 3 tablespoons worth of buttermilk to thin it slightly and I was read to make pancakes!
I heated my flat pan and my Panini press. I could make 6 pancakes at a time. I poured each pancake until it was about 5″ in diameter then sprinkled each with a teaspoon of crispy bacon bits.
When the first sides were nicely browned I flipped the pancakes and browned the second sides. My Panini press was lagging and the pancakes didn’t get very brown. They were cooked through and tasted great, just not super brown.
By the time my P.S. came stumbling downstairs, following the scent with one eye open, I had a plate ready for him. I started him with 3 pancakes, a small pile of bacon sprinkled over them, and he doused them with syrup himself. He disappeared with his plate in hand.
I made a plate for myself, took photos and ate my midnight snack/breakfast. I thought they were great, but the Bourbon Babe in me decided next time I’d add a little more bourbon. Maybe 3 tablespoons total. I hadn’t made the bourbon syrup so they needed a little more “pow” to be Bourbon Street-worthy. Otherwise they had good flavor and the crispy bacon both inside and on top was a super nice touch. Bacon gave them that extra texture and flavor to make them stand out from ordinary buttermilk pancakes.
Bourbon (Street) Bacon Pancakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed to thin batter
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons bourbon (I’d use 3 tablespoons next time, we both agreed it wasn’t very noticeable)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup (for syrup topping)
1 tablespoon bourbon (for syrup topping)
About 1/2 pound diced and fried bacon (use 3/4 of the bacon making the pancakes, reserve some for sprinkling on top)
Fry bacon, drain and set aside.
Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to evenly incorporate all of the ingredients.
In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the milk, sour cream, bourbon and vanilla and whisk again. Slowly add the melted butter while whisking.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into it. Whisk the ingredients together just until blended. Fold in bacon pieces.
Heat a large skillet or griddle (or Panini griddle) over medium heat and oil or butter the bottom of the pan or griddle.
For each pancake, pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot skillet. Cook 3 or 4 pancakes at a time, depending on the size of the skillet.
If the batter seems too thick, thin it with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. When bubbles begin to form and “pop” on the pancake’s surface, after about 1 minute, and the outer edge looks done, flip it over and cook briefly for about 30 seconds on the other side.
Mix maple syrup and bourbon, drizzle over pancakes and serve.