Banana-Chip Pancakes

Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2004
Yield: 20 to 24 pancakes, about 3" in diameter
Tips: Another recipe from an old column, but this is included for those times when you might have company for breakfast, or just feel like making something special for your crew. The bananas for this recipe must be ripe, which means a golden yellow color with lots of brown "sugar spots", and no traces of green. You'll need 3 medium-large bananas for these pancakes; to puree them, peel, cut up coarsely, and place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You want a smooth (not chunky) puree; this can also be done with a fork or potato masher. Once made up, the batter will keep overnight (covered) in the refrigerator, though it will darken slightly. These go very nicely with slightly warmed preserves, especially apricot, and kids adore them.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tbsp. sugar, depending on your preference
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg, graded "large"
2 tbsp. tasteless vegetable oil (I use corn oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 medium-large ripe bananas
2/3 cup milk
Unsalted butter for greasing griddle (if griddle is not nonstick)
For Serving
Warmed preserves (preferably apricot )
Confectioners' sugar
A fruit or vanilla syrup (any syrup you choose must go with both chocolate and banana)

METHOD:

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with fork or whisk well to blend and get out any lumps. With spoon, stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

In small bowl, combine egg, oil, and vanilla. With fork, beat to mix well. Wash, dry, and peel bananas; remove any dark spots. In food processor fitted with steel blade, puree peeled bananas to make a smooth, thick puree. Add to egg mixture along with milk. Beat with fork to combine. All at once, add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir (do not beat) only until ingredients are well-combined. Do not overmix; batter should be slightly lumpy.

Over medium heat, preheat griddle until drops of water thrown onto it sizzle and "dance", or move around rapidly before evaporating quickly. If griddle is not nonstick, grease with small amount of butter (repeat greasing as necessary while cooking). For each pancake, drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto preheated griddle. Leave room between pancakes to allow them to spread while cooking.

Cook pancakes on first side until edges appear "set" or cooked, pancakes are puffed up, and some bubbles that break on the top (uncooked surface) do not fill back in with batter. Flip over; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in a low oven while remaining batter is cooked. Serve with warmed preserves or syrups and sieve a bit of confectioners' sugar on top.