Christmas Morning At Our House

Family holiday traditions is the challenge this month for our bread baking group. Our tradition can be a long held one or something new.

I settled eventually on telling you about our Christmas morning tradition. Before opening the presents under the tree, we make pancakes.

We come downstairs together oohing and aaahing over the magic that happened overnight. Santa's cookies and milk are usually gone except for a few crumbs and it's clear he has read the note left for him.

Olivia and Michael make the pancakes while I set up the table. Usually they make our go-to Basic Pancakes recipe from Mark Bittman. We have music playing and coffee brewing.

When we're ready for breakfast we bring the stockings to the table, and we take turns reaching our hands into our own stocking and pulling something out.

Fortified by breakfast and small gifts we proceed to the tree.

In honor of this assignment, we made gingerbread pancakes last weekend. I've brought you two recipes from this book before. I spend a lot of time flipping through it and dreaming.

The whole wheat flour lends a heartiness here and eaten with maple syrup, these pancakes have a perfect sweetness and spice.

Michael was thrilled with something new, and well, my girl who didn't want to spoil my photo session, said that she thought plain would be best for Christmas morning.

Happy Holidays, friends, be yours traditional or full of spice.

Gingerbread Pancakes
adapted by cooking method only from Gingerbread

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 large egg
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter, plus extra butter for cooking

Whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and orange zest in a large bowl.

Whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. (Avoid mixing the batter too thoroughly; some lumps are okay.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill and rest for at least 3 hours or overnight.

We cooked our pancakes on an electric griddle, using 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. We made approximately fourteen 4-inch pancakes.