Five years ago today the northeast was recuperating from a massive blizzard. And, five years ago today Marcus and I were married outside in the snow with our dog, a photographer, and an intern named Ed as our witnesses.
Our anniversary wasn’t quite as impulsive or spectacular as our elopement, but these bacon cornmeal pancakes sure did make the morning memorable.
BACON CORNMEAL PANCAKES
adapted from Ree Drummond; makes about 15 pancakes
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 ¼ cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- reserved bacon grease
Cook the bacon on a griddle until crisp. Put on paper towels to cool and drain excess grease. Save the bacon grease from the griddle in a cup to use for cooking the pancakes. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces with your fingers or chop up with a knife. Set bacon crumbles aside for later.
In a large bowl mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk again. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring gently. Fold in the melted butter and let the batter sit for two minutes to thicken.
Heat the griddle to medium. Add a bit of the bacon grease. When griddle is hot, pour ⅓ cup batter per pancake. When pancake starts to set (about a minute in), add some of the chopped bacon to the center of the pancake (about 1 ½ tsps per pancake). Flip when edges of pancake bubble and the first side is golden. Cook until the second side is golden.
WHIPPED & SALTED BROWNED HONEY BUTTER
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- ¼ tsp Murray River or other flake salt
Pull one stick of butter out of fridge and set on counter to soften. Put the other stick of butter in a small frying pan on the stove on medium low. Stirring with a heatproof spatula, making sure to scrape the bits of the butter off the bottom of the pan, let the butter cook until it browns and smells nutty. It will go through a few visual changes: the solids will separate, the butter will foam, it will be clear golden underneath the foam, and then the solids will turn brown as will the liquid and it will smell nutty. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. To speed up the cooling process, put the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. When the browned butter is cool, move on to the next steps.
Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl and whip. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the browned butter, salt, and honey and whip until light, fluffy, and thoroughly mixed. Put in a small jar with a lid and try not to eat it all before you need it for the pancakes. If you choose to make the butter ahead of time an then refrigerate it, make sure you take it out early enough so that it fully softens prior to use.
BOURBON MAPLE SYRUP
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 to 5 tsp Bourbon (depending on your personal preference)
Heat maple syrup and bourbon in a small pot over low until it bubbles. Turn off the flame and let it cool down for a few minutes before serving so the syrup thickens up a bit.
Layer pancakes one on top of another spreading a generous helping of whipped & salted browned honey butter on the top of each pancake. Drizzle with the warm bourbon maple syrup