Recipe: Last-Minute Griddle Cakes
Sometimes I wake up on a Sunday morning with every intention of doing all the things one is supposed to do to be a member of the Responsible Grown-ups Club. I'll get to a great start - brushing my teeth and cooking eggs and making my bed. Sometimes, though - as with this last Sunday - my carefully laid plans will be interrupted - in this case, by an 11:30 ping on my phone: "brunch at noon! bring something to share!"
It only took me 2.8 seconds to decide that homemade food with friends was an infinitely better plan for the day than anything else I had on my list (showering and paying bills, for example). I let my fried eggs get cold in favor of scrapping together some last-minute baked (well, griddled) goodness.
Luckily, brunch items are some of the easiest to throw together. Scones are my personal favorite, but having just discovered the amazing fact that my stove has a large built in grill (!!) and eager to test it out, I turned to a recipe that uses a scone-like dough but cooks it on a grill. I'm excited to report that the grill heated up super evenly and made for perfect little wholesome cakes that cooked up in a flash and were still warm when I arrived at brunch exactly 30 minutes later.
Notes: Like scones, these are infinitely adaptable. Try cardamom and dried apricots, some lemon zest and poppy seeds, or bacon and cheddar as mix-ins.
Whole Grain Welsh Griddle Cakes
(Adapted slightly from food52.com)
In a large bowl, combine one cup all purpose flour with one cup spelt or whole wheat flour (I'm a huge fan of this brand which supplies sprouted whole grain flours that make tummies happy). Add 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (I like things less sweet), 2 tsp baking powder, a large pinch of salt, and a few shakes each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend.
Cut 4 tbs cold diced butter and 4 tbs cold lard (or 8 tbs butter if you don't love lard as I do) into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or your deft hands. Add a half cup dried fruit (currants, apricots, or cherries would be great) and the zest of one lemon. Stir in one beaten egg and enough whole milk to make the dough come together (about 1/4 cup).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times to ensure it sticks together. Roll it out until it's about a quarter inch thick and use a cookie cutter or water glass to cut it into tennis-ball-width rounds.
If you're a lucky duck like me with a griddle, heat it to 350° F. Otherwise, heat a heavy skillet over medium low. Add a little butter or lard to the surface and cook the cakes 3-5 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown. Remove and eat right away, burning your mouth with deliciousness, or wrap loosely in a towel and quickly ride across town to deliver to your hungry friends.