Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Maple Walnut Brown Butter

I have a terrible habit of waiting too long to eat.  Usually by the time I do, I’m pouring ketchup on my shoe.

When I do that, things tend to go down like this:

Stage One

I notice I’m hungry, but too engrossed (okay, obsessed) in whatever it is I’m doing and forget.  Yup.  Forget.

Stage Two

I notice that I’m really hungry and think for a moment this time that I should do something about it but — much like a squirrel — I get distracted and then forget.  Some more.  But — unlike a squirrel — I don’t go get me some nuts.

Image from NickoMargolies.Com

Stage Three

I no longer feel hungry at all.

This may sound great, but this is bad.  Really bad.

Though my body has seemingly given up on trying to get me to feed it, this late, point-of-little-return stage is when the poo’s just about to hit the fan, and only a stomach growl away from the worse stage of all …

Stage Four

Otherwise known as the Hangries Stage, when you’re so hungry, you get angry.  And, friends, despite what Liz Lemon says, you don’t want to go to there.

Liz Lemon — Image from TVAsylum.Com

It’s also the stage when I’m just about to pass out from malnourishment, where my blood sugar is so low it’s turned to salt, and a state so highly volatile and inadvisable that Christopher and I have even made a Sarsaparilla Swear to never let ourselves get to that place around each other again.

Sarsaparilla Swear n. pinkie swear only used in the most important and serious of circumstances.  Swear sealed by the simultaneous whispering of the word “Sarsaparilla!” by both parties.

‘Cause when one gets the hangries, crankiness is off-the-charts, whining is de rigueur and any chance of being a mature, adult partner totally flies out the window.

Image from JournalWeek.Com

Let’s just say not the best place to be if you’re a newlywed and want to stay that way.

When you’ve got the hangries, things you’d never imagine putting anywhere near your mouth — let alone your stomach — start looking awfully good.

Like that roll of toilet paper.

Image from BobbyFinstock.Com

So you see, eating when you’re hungry not hangry is kind of important.

Thankfully this week, just the idea of making these pumpkin pancakes made getting even close to the hangries inconceivable.

So with Sarsaparilla Swear still intact, I padded my way to the kitchen and made these gloriously fluffy yet surprisingly hearty pancakes just for you.  Replete with a maple walnut brown butter sauce so delicious, you really should make double the batch.

So while you’re carving those pumpkins and putting the finishing touches on your Halloween costumes this week, do yourself and your tummy a favor and make yourselves some.

Whether you end up having them for brunch or breakfast for dinner, they’re all pumpkin pie-y, New-England-y, maple walnut-y goodness.  And with pancakes like this on the table, you’ll never wait too long to eat ever again.

Sarsaparilla Swear.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Maple Walnut Brown Butter

Adapted from Taste of Home

Makes approximately 1 dozen pancakes + 1 cup brown butter

For the Brown Butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 rough pieces
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pinches ground cardamom
3 pinches ground clove
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 dashes ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup raw organic walnuts, chopped

For the Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt, slightly rounded
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
3/4  of a 15-ounce can of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
extra-virgin olive oil for cooking

In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt butter and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown, making sure to stir often.

Important: Watch brown butter carefully as it can go from brown to burnt very quickly!

Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, clove, orange zest, black pepper, salt, and walnuts to butter and stir until combined.

Lower heat to very lowest setting, to keep brown butter warm while you make the pancakes, stirring very occasionally.

In a large mixing bowl — using a fork or wire whisk — mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until well combined.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl — using a clean fork or wire whisk — mix eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, ricotta, and vanilla extract together until smooth.

Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined.

Important:  Do not over-mix batter, which will result in rubbery pancakes.  You should still be able to see a few flour-y lumps.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat bottom of skillet and — using a ladle — pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto hot skillet.

When edges start to look slightly dry, and bottoms looks golden brown – using a spatula — flip pancakes to other side and cook until other sides are golden brown as well.  Transfer cooked pancakes to cooling rack and tent lightly with aluminum foil while you cook the rest.

Repeat above two steps with remaining batter until all pancakes are cooked.

Serve immediately with warm, maple walnut brown butter.

Share and enjoy!

16 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Maple Walnut Brown Butter

  1. Hahaaaa I enjoyed this post so much! I love the “Sarsaparilla Swear” and the photo of the Success Kid (or the chubby baby with the fist. Is he only known as Success Kid in the meme world?)

    Also possibly a lot of my enjoyment came from the fact that I totally get you. I got crazy-grumpy-hungry last night since we went out to dinner at 8pm, about 2 hours past my normal dinner time. My boyf greeted me roses (just because I’ve supposedly been nice to him) and even though I was overthemoon happy for about five minutes, I managed to get cranky in the 15 minutes it took to get to the restaurant because I drove and I didn’t want to drive. Sigh. Those hangry stomachs.

    • I’m so glad!

      Yes, the “Sarsaparilla Swear” … serious business, that. And, I don’t know, other than the fact that the chubby baby is kind of terrifying, he’s kind of cute too, don’t you think?

      And, I think you do! What you described were most certainly the hangries. Cranky, grumpy, crazy hungry … yup, hangries, for sure.

      Hangries or no though, you should definitely give that boyfriend of yours a big squeeze for getting you those flowers. And enjoy them, lovely lady!


      • YES I think that chubby baby is adorableee!!!

        Haha don’t worry I did! I perked right up as soon as we were in the vicinity of food…and especially when he surprised me with a tub of Blue Bell’s dessert trio!! He really knows how to beat the hangries 😉

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  3. Oh man, I am all too familiar with all of those stages. This post was very entertaining (as any post featuring Liz Lemon should be!) and those pancakes look DELICIOUS. 🙂

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