Rise 'n Shine

January can throw some rather nasty weather our way at times. But you don't always need to wall yourself up in your home and avoid venturing out. However, I do recommend a good breakfast before you tackle any challenges. And, given the peak of the pear season, may I humbly suggest a stack of fluffy pancakes covered in warm maple-pear syrup?

This morning treat gets a strong flavor boost from cinnamon in both the pancakes and the syrup. You can opt for vanilla extract instead, but there's something truly comforting about the flavor and aroma of cinnamon, so I tend to favor it. You could use bananas or even some cooked apples in the syrup instead of the pears, but it's hard to beat the flavor of a juicy pear at the peak of ripeness.

You could serve this dish with a side of bacon or sausage, but all it really calls for is a hot cup of coffee or tea and you'll be ready to slip on a pair of boots before you are off to tackle post-holiday shopping crowds, the kids at the local sledding hill or your favorite snowman-making team!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Spice Pancakes with Maple-Pear Syrup

For the pancakes:
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. whole wheat flour -- choose whole wheat pastry flour for fluffy pancakes
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. light buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. butter, melted
For the syrup:
  • 1 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1 T. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ripe pear, cored and diced

Preheat a nonstick griddle over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk lightly to combine. Add the buttermilk, eggs and butter and stir to form a batter.

Drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle and cook on one side until the edges begin to brown and bubbles form on the top. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook an additional 2 minutes on the other side. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Meanwhile, whisk together the maple syrup, butter and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute and whisk again. Stir in the diced pear and serve, hot, over the pancakes.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes