Treat! (A Halloween Brunch)

October 2011

If I didn’t live on the third floor of a very strangely divided building, I’d probably be that lady- the one handing out homemade treats or apples to trick-or-treaters.  I’d probably also be that house with smashed apples all over the front door and windows.

Much to the surprise of most, I’m not that into Halloween.  People expect my creativity to produce some masterpiece of a costume.  I have got my act together in the past, mostly in college, but usually, October sneaks upon me.  The crunched time, the creative pressures and the lack of a really impressive reason to devote my energy to a costume just fizzles me.  Perhaps Nina surmised my Halloween apathy best when she posited, “you dress up everyday.  Halloween is just another day to you.”  Ha!

Whatever the reason, I wanted and succeeded in having a very mellow Halloween weekend, but I did celebrate with a bit of a pumpkin treat.  I’m still not very talented when it comes to flippin’ flapjacks, but just to prove I don’t fizzle at the slightest challenge, my pumpkin treat came in the form of a pancake!

Look!  I dressed up!  This Halloween, I was a baker!

Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes
w/ Rum Maple Mascarpone Topping

Pancake Ingredients

1 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
zest of one orange
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup organic buttermilk
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
½ cup natural dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon organic, unsalted butter, melted (melt in the skillet you’ll use for the pancakes)
Extra butter for pan

Whipped Topping Ingredients

3 Tablespoons mascarpone cheese
3 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Kraken rum

Sautéed Pears

1 Bosch Pear, sliced
2-3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Garnish

Pecans
Natural dried cranberries

For the Pancakes

To make the pancakes combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger and orange zest in a medium bowl.

Add the maple syrup, buttermilk, pumpkin, egg, melted butter and cranberries.

Stir all the ingredients until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat your skillet to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet.  Wait until tiny air bubbles form in the pancake, then flip with a spatula.  Cook the other side until golden brown.

Repeat with the remaining batter, buttering skillet as necessary.

*Heat the oven to keep the pancakes warm while working through the rest of the batter.

Whipped Topping

3 Tablespoons mascarpone cheese
3 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Kraken rum

Combine all the ingredients in a chilled bowl.  Use mixer to beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Sautéed Pears

1 Bosch Pear, sliced
2-3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the pear slices and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Stir carefully until pears begin to brown slightly.

Remove from heat.

Serve warm over warm pancakes.

Might I suggest a mug of coffee?

…and of course, a slathering of pure, maple syrup.

I merely heated up the skillet to fulfill a fall-flavored craving of my own, but conveniently enough, Ninabee was on a walk through the neighborhood just in time to visit, eat pancakes, drink some coffee and even toast some pink wine.

If I make it, she will come!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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