As the weather really starts to cool down and winter draws closer, I find myself baking much more often. Lately, I’ve been on a homemade cookie craze, where I’ve been a bit obsessed by this mix of chopped chocolate, nuts, and cranberries that I’ll mix together and store in an airtight container for whenever I want to make a small batch of cookies.
This recipe is for yeasted pancakes, and uses that very same mixture of nuts, chopped chocolate, and dried cranberries.
I often add a small amount of instant yeast to my pancake batter and allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for a few hours before making these. The yeast and fermentation process imparts a subtle and unique leavened sourdough flavor to the pancakes themselves. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to let the batter rest, simply omit the instant yeast. They will taste great either way.
Yeasted Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Pancakes
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 whole egg, (room temperature)
- 1.75 cups whole milk, (warmed to 105F)
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp crème fraiche
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp salted butter, (melted)
- ½ cup pecans, (roughly chopped)
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips, (roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, (roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips, (roughly chopped)
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries, (finely chopped)
- Salted butter, (softened, for serving)
- Warm maple syrup, (for serving)
- Use a whisk to fully incorporate the white granulated sugar with the room temperature whole egg.
- In a separate bowl, combine the warm milk and instant yeast and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Combine the warm milk and instant yeast with the egg and white granulated sugar and stir to fully combine.
- Stir in the crème fraiche and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and stir until no lumps in the batter remain.
- Stir in the 5 tbsp of melted butter and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Allow the batter to rest for 3 hours at room temperature.
- While the batter is resting, prepare your chopped nuts, chocolate, and cranberry mixture and set aside.
- When your batter is fermented to your liking, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add ½ Tbsp butter.
- *Note, your batter at this stage is going to have a strange texture and consistency compared to what you are used to with traditional pancake batter—that is OK! And if your batter comes out too thin or thick, adjust by adding slightly more flour or milk.
- When the butter has melted, spoon out ¼ cup of the batter mixture on top of the butter in the nonstick pan.
- Right after the batter is poured and has settled into its final pancake size, carefully cover the surface with your nut, chocolate, and cranberry mixture.
- When the bottom side of the pancake is done cooking and is golden brown in color, flip the pancake onto the side with the nuts and chocolate.
- Cook for another minute or two, or until the pancake is fully cooked on both sides.
- Repeat process with remaining fermented pancake batter.
- Serve hot, with extra butter and warm maple syrup.
You don’t have to warm the milk before adding the instant yeast. I just do that to get the fermentation process for the pancake batter going a bit more quickly. Also, my kitchen is often relatively cool in temperature, which naturally slows the fermentation down.