Chocolate Chip-Buckwheat-Banana Pancakes

When it comes to breakfast, there are two kinds of moms: those who put chocolate chips in their kids' pancakes and those who don't. I'm a blueberries kind of mom. My sister is a chocolate chips kind of mom. Her chocolate chip pancakes have us whole heart and soul. My kids don't have any shortage of sweets; between parties and holidays and my baking addiction, they're far from deprived. But sometimes I want to be a chocolate chips at breakfast kind of mom. For those days, I have these pancakes. It would be unfair to call these pancakes either indulgent or healthy--they are a little bit of both. Most of all, these pancakes are a feeling my kids have when I've made them. They're about me being that kind of mom, if only once in a while.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings (makes 6 small pancakes)
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Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (180 milliliters) whole milk or almond milk

1/2 cup (70 grams) buckwheat flour

1/2 cup (50 grams) quick-cooking or plain rolled oats (not thick)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Unsalted butter or coconut oil

Scant 1/2 cup (about 80 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips

Fresh fruit, honey, pure maple syrup, or powdered sugar, for serving

Directions

  1. Smash the banana with a fork into a smooth pulp (don't be tempted to add the other wet ingredients before this is done). Add the vanilla and milk and mash together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir gently, being careful not to overmix; you want to keep these pancakes light and airy. Too much stirring will make them gummy and dense.
  2. Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium heat until evenly warm. Add a bit of butter to coat the surface. When the butter sizzles, drop a scant 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of batter onto the skillet in batches, leaving 2 inches (5 centimeters) between the pancakes. (Don't make your pancakes big; they are tender because there's no egg to bind the batter.) Cook until just starting to bubble around the edges. Dot the pancakes with chocolate chips, then flip (they should release easily from the griddle).
  3. Cook on the second side until just done, usually a minute or two (if the pancake stays on the heat too long, the chocolate will scorch), turning the heat to low if needed. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve warm with butter and your favorite toppings.

Cook’s Note

Get-Ahead: Combine all the wet ingredients, and all the dry ingredients, and store separately in the refrigerator overnight. Stir the wet and dry together in the morning while you preheat the griddle. Double Up: I always make two batches of these, but they are most tender when I mix up one batch at a time, start cooking them, then repeat, so I've given you a single batch here. Buckwheat Flour: Chances are your regular grocery store will only carry one kind of buckwheat flour, and whatever kind you get will work, but flours from different brands yield slightly different results. If your buckwheat flour seems coarse, and flecked with dark gray bits, you'll get slightly darker pancakes (it's what I prefer). Buckwheat flour can also be labeled light, which is finer, a subtle gray color, and yields a more delicate pancake. It can also lend an odd greenish hue, but they still taste delicious. My family never complains.

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