(Beer and Bacon Mancakes - recipe in post)
*Whistles...* Ain't she a beaut'?
Whether you call them hot cakes, flapjacks, tall stacks, griddle cakes, or any of the other names they've been given... I love pancakes. For breakfast, for dinner, for 2 AM pancake making parties in my underwear... love 'em.
For awhile, I went on a bit of a pancake rampage. Day after day I made different kinds of pancakes, from potato latkes and zucchini fritters to good ol' fashioned buttermilk.
I've made pumpkin, blueberry, peanut butter, banana, walnut, banana/walnut...
(Banana walnut pancakes with bourbon reduced maple syrup - these were pretty fan-freakin'-tastic)
...You get the idea.
Now, before I lose any readers, let me emphasize that I am also a strong supporter of the Waffle. Belgian waffles, Liege waffles, Stoopwafels, Waffle waffles, Chicken and waffles...
"Spam spam spam eggs and spam..." - Monty Python
Anyway, point is, I don't discriminate. I know there are all kinds of 'ratial' tention between the pancakes and the waffles, and people think you have to choose sides, but I refuse to be lumped into one category or the other. Why can't we all just live in peace!? I don't want my children to grow up in a world of constant fighting... *sob*
Wow, am I a drama queen today.
Onward! This post is about pancakes. Mancakes, to be precise. The manliest, pancakiest pancakes ever. They're brimming with awesome, and packed full of bad-assery. You eat a plate of these in the morning, and by noon you've got five o'clock shadow like Daniel Craig and the chest and jawline of Clark Kent - damn, how did nobody recognize him without his glasses on?
I'm not claiming super powers, I'm just sayin'... if you find yourself thinking about feng shui, and which doily would look best at the dinner party (in fact, if you even know what a doily is...) now is your chance to reclaim some of your manliness.
Now I don't mean to scare off the ladies, here, by any means. I know my appetite is right up there with the boy's, so don't be afraid to jump in and make these for yourself. You won't really get five o'clock shadow or Clark Kent's jawline - just a deep satisfaction in the belly of your soul. Or the soul of your belly... either way.
Beer and Bacon Mancakes
(Adapted from Betty Crocker, of all people)
1 lb. Bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups pancake mix (homemade or Bisquick style)
2 cups of your favorite beer, alcoholic or non, separated (I used Founder's - a local brewery I like. The Porter I chose is very dark, hoppy, and has undertones of coffee and chocolate. It was a great pairing with the salty bacon and sweet syrup. Guinness would work well, too, or whatever kind of beer you like.)
1 - 2 cups maple syrup (I like grade B because it's darker and sweeter, but use what you have/what you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350f.
Line a cookie sheet with foil, and set inside of that a wire rack or oven grill grate. Lay the bacon flat, in a single layer, on top of the rack and bake for 10 minutes.
Take the bacon out, and sprinkle evenly with half of the brown sugar - bake for 10 minutes more.
Remove the bacon again, and turn each piece over. Sprinkle this side with the second half of brown sugar, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until nice and golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before crumbling into pieces.
Get your griddle or skillet heating up - medium-high should do the trick.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, 1 cup beer, and eggs. If it's too thick add more beer, too thin add more mix. Stir in the bacon.
Grease your griddle (oil, butter, shortening, spray...) and ladle/scoop/pour your batter into whatever size pancakes you want.
Cook on one side until bubbles appear on the top and the edges begin to look dry, then flip.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining beer with 1 cup of maple syrup. Stir, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. If it's too thin, or too much beer for your taste, adjust by adding more maple syrup. If you don't want the extra layer of beer, you can skip this whole step and just warm up your maple syrup.
Now, as a practical matter, these babies are filling, even if you are a manly man (or a womanly woman). I'm a good eater, but I topped out at just 2 or 3 of these, so invite some friends over when you make them. That's right - not if, when.
Stepping aside from the manly persona, I'm going to be honest here and say: there are a lot of applications where beer, and even bacon, do not make things better. I know there are a lot of people who would disagree, who love chocolate and bacon, or bacon brittle, or bacon mints... but I'm not a fan. I love bacon, I really do, and I love chocolate, but for me they don't add to one another, they cancel each other out. The awesome is not cumulative.
Here, however, all of the flavors play very nicely. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and would dip my bacon or sausage in the extra syrup on the plate. The addition of beer lends a deepness that really offsets the sweet syrup, and adds some balance by hitting parts of your tongue that the other flavors don't.
Of course, any die-hard bacon/chocolate/breath-mint lover will be into these, but for those who are a little more skeptical or think this is going over the top, I say give it a try - you might be in for a very pleasant surprise.*
*Unless you don't like beer or bacon at all. I'm not gonna lie, it tastes like beer and it tastes like bacon. You won't like it. Don't say I didn't tell you so.