Eggnog is one of those polarizing ingredients that people tend to either hate with all their might or love with all their heart. Personally, I look forward to the reappearance of eggnog during the holidays all year long. In fact, I like to think of myself as the #1 super fan of Hood’s Golden EggNog. It’s the brand I grew up with and unfortunately all other versions now pale in comparison. The spices taste odd, or the color is wrong, or the texture is off. Want to know what happens when a container of the wrong kind of eggnog makes its way into my fridge? Why it becomes a tasty breakfast instead of a tasty drink.
Rejected eggnog deserves a home too. I didn’t want to pour the entire container down the sink just because I’m a petulant eggnog snob. So pancakes seemed like a viable option. But if I was going to make homemade pancakes the recipe absolutely had to result in the thickest and fluffiest pancakes you can find on a plate. I hate getting thin and rubbery blobs of goop set in front of me at the breakfast table. No amount of Vermont Maple Syrup can cover up the mess that is a poorly made pancake.
I immediately looked to see if Nigella Lawson had a recipe I could use and of course she didn’t let me down. I like to think of Nigella and I as being kindred-spirits of sorts or at the very least we both have voluptuous appetites for cheese and chocolate. I ended up taking a little kitchen leap of faith and simply substituted the milk in the recipe with an equal amount of creamy eggnog. As the images can attest, it worked beautifully. Perfect pancakes emerged from my skillet with just a hint of holiday cheer. Of course they would have been even better made with Hood EggNog, but it’s the thought that counts.
Light and Fluffy Eggnog Pancakes
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s pancake recipe.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups Eggnog
Butter, for frying pancakes
Best-quality maple syrup
Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large, wide-necked measuring cup, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
In another cup, measure the Eggnog, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Or just put everything in a blender and blitz.
Now, heat either a griddle or nonstick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the cup (but you could use a 1/4-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggly circumferenced disks. When you see bubbles erupting on the surface, turn the pancakes over and cook for a couple of minutes, if that, on the other side.
Or use a blini pan and, as just described, turn when the bubbles break through to the uncooked surface. There is a Russian saying to the effect that the first pancake is always botched, so be prepared to sacrifice the initial offering to unceremonious stoveside gobbling.
Pile the pancakes onto plate, and dribble or pour over, depending on greed and capacity, that clear, brown, woodily fragrant syrup.