M and I kind of have a running joke/tradition about my birthday and it’s called, “birthday week.” I think birthdays are less about the actual day on which you are born but more about the idea of celebration. Celebrating the fact that I am indeed alive and life is good! While ideally I celebrate those two facts every day of the year, the week of my birthday feels just a bit more special.
I tend to do smaller things to treat myself and then explain it by saying “it’s my birthday week.” Occasionally this can be used against M in that I’ll ask him to do something, followed by “it’s my birthday week!” Of course, it’s rather hard to pull this from 2000 miles away (I tried the “fly home, it’s my birthday” but we both knew that we had neither the time nor money for that).
These started the week. You can’t go wrong with a giant stack of pancakes and a little extra butter. The pancakes are hearty, extremely nutty, and a bit on the richer side than I would normally make (and no, I didn’t eat this entire stack of pancakes. I wanted to but some semblance of self control stepped in).
Brown Butter and Pecan Pancakes
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg
- 1/4 cup butter, split
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2-3/4 cup milk
- For brown butter, carefully slit half of bean and scrape out as much of the insides as you can into a medium skillet. Toss in the butter and scraped out vanilla bean into the pan. Heat over medium heat. Once butter has melted, continue stirring while butter foams up. Once brown flecks appear at the bottom of the pan and the butter has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and set aside, let cool slightly and remove bean shell.
- In a food processor, pulse pecans until they resembled course flour. Combine with whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg. Whisk in 2 tablespoons brown butter, maple syrup, and ½ cup of milk.
- Combine wet mixture in to dry mixture and stir until batter is combined. Stir in more milk if consistency is not pourable.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. When skillet is hot (if you flick water onto the skillet, it should sizzle), take about ¼ cup of batter and pour onto skillet. Let cook for 1-2 minutes (until the pancakes begins to bubble slightly. Flip and let cook for another 1-2 minutes until pancake is cooked through.
- Top with remaining brown butter, maple syrup, and pecans.
by Erin Alderson