Fluffy, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, Coffee & Ghosts
I needed some lite reading, so I looked at the books I’ve read in my Kindle library. Coffee & Ghosts by Charity Tahmaseb brought a smile to my face. I don’t remember if BookBub, Riffle or Amazon referred it to me about a year ago, but knowing how much I love coffee, how could I go wrong with a book titled “Coffee & Ghosts?” Anyway, re-reading Coffee & Ghost’s is just what I needed.
They make a TON of coffee (and tea) in this book, and eat tons of buttermilk pancakes at the Springside Pancake House. I found myself inspired to make pancakes, but not just any pancakes, FLUFFY pancakes! Fluffy pancakes have been all over Pinterest lately. I like breakfast for dinner, but “husband” is not a fan. Too bad for him!
The recipes are at the bottom of the post if you are interested!
To fit with the coffee theme, I made a version of my Grans “pancake syrup.” I remember as a child, that Gran either had Mrs. Butterworth’s, (always the lady-shaped bottle) which she doctored up with leftover coffee, (yes, I started my love of coffee young, very young) or she made “pancake syrup” from sugar & leftover coffee. I remember that if she didn’t have any leftover coffee, she would put the used coffee grounds in some water on the stove with sugar. She turns 100 this summer, so she lived through some hard times. She can whip up a meal from practically nothing! She probably made the bottled syrup go farther by adding coffee to it. Either way, we loved pancake mornings at Grannys house! She even let us pour our own batter on the griddle! I’ll post instructions at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.
I’ve been a coffee person (ahem, addict) for as long as I can remember. When we would go out for brunch with my mother and Gran, they would have coffee with those tiny (child sized!) half & half/creamer containers. My sister and I would beg for the creamers, drink those, then try and refill them with their coffee. Sometimes they let us!
When I was older, probably preteen, mom bought Maxwell House International Suisse Mocha Cafe’. Have you ever smelled that? Well it smells, and is amazing. (A little sweet for my adult taste now, but back then I loved it.) In high school, I’d buy it at Kroger, get a cup of hot water from the snack shack lady at school, stir up a cup of Suisse Mocha and call it breakfast. If you’ve never tried it, give it a try. To this day, I’ll occasionally stir a teaspoon of it right into my coffee for a hint of mocha.
My addiction, I mean LOVE for coffee hit it’s peak, probably my junior or senior year in high school. I remember that I would not even get in the shower in the morning unless I had my coffee with me! I’d balance it on the towel bar in the shower and drink it while washing my hair. (Yes, I dropped a few cups in the shower over the years!)
I originally read the Coffee & Ghosts series in 2018 and loved it. I referred to it on Amazon as a “Great series. Perfect for YA-adults, looking for a pleasant, sci-if read that’s not too romancey.” It’s a perfect read for when you just need to tone the world out. It’s not full of foul language. It’s not trying to be anything other than a collection of cute stories about a young woman named Katy, who catches ghosts in Tupperware. She lures the ghosts with perfectly brewed coffee. I saw some bad reviews on Amazon stating “it’s not believable.” Well folks, it’s FICTION! It’s quirky and different. I’ve never read anything like it, and the books have found a place in my heart! Don’t get me wrong, I like my adulty-romancey books, but this is really nice and refreshing change.
The first book of the series is titled Coffee & Ghosts Season 1: Must Love Ghosts.
There’s more than one way to catch a ghost and it’s never been this fun! ~Charity Tahmaseb
Katy is shocked to find someone moving in on her ghost catching territory, and even more shocked to find that the guy us using TEA instead of coffee. I mean really, TEA! The new ghost catcher in town, Malcolm catches plenty of ghosts, a lot of Katy’s business, and her eye! (If you know what I mean.) I won’t spoil it for you, but the first “season” eBook is free on Amazon so give it a try. If you love it as much as I do, you’ll snatch up seasons 2 & 3! It’s written in episodes. At first it’s weird, but then when you remember it’s episodes instead of chapters, it makes sense. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!
Grans pancake syrup is super easy, and there really is no recipe.
Method 1: This is my preferred method. Simply add a teaspoon of instant espresso or instant coffee to a cup of real (or maple flavored) maple syrup and heat it 20-30 seconds at a time until warm and the coffee dissolves.
Method 2: Grans super frugal method. Add 1 cup water to a pan and dump in the leftover coffee grounds from the morning coffee. Add about 1/2 cup sugar and boil lightly until it reduces to a watery, syrup-like consistency and the sugar has all dissolved. Add a sprinkle of salt if you would like, and a teaspoon or splash of vanilla if you have it. She did not reduce it down to a “simple syrup,” it will definitely be watery. If you want it more thick or “syrupier,” use equal parts of water and sugar. Pour through a fine strainer and serve warm.
Method 3: Grans slightly less frugal method. Add 1 cup leftover black coffee to a pot along with about 1/2 cup sugar. Boil lightly until it reduces to a watery, syrupy consistency and the sugar has all dissolved. Add a sprinkle of salt if you would like, and a teaspoon or splash of vanilla if you have it. She did not reduce it down to a “simple syrup,” it will definitely be watery. If you want it more thick or “syrupier,” use equal parts of water and sugar. Serve warm.
- 3 eggs (two egg whites beaten in one bowl, one whole egg beaten in another bowl) Save the 2 extra yolks for use in another recipe.
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (if you have it, whip it with the egg whites)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk/cream)
- 3 tbsp melted, but not hot, butter
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp (a small dash) of nutmeg, or cinnamon if you would like.
Whip 2 egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form when you lift the beater out.
In a separate bowl, whip 1 egg, sugar, vanilla until smooth Add the buttermilk and melted butte, and mix until smooth.
Sift flour, baking powder, soda, nutmeg or cinnamon and salt together.
Add half the flour to the egg and sugar mixture, and stir lightly a few times to combine. Add the rest of the flour stirring just until it comes together. It’s ok if there are a few lumps in it. Fold in the stiff, whipped egg whites. (Don’t over-mix the batter or the pancakes will be tough, and the egg whites will deflate.) It should be the consistency of a thick cake batter.
Now, set it aside for at least fifteen minutes. Really, leave it rest! It should thicken up a bit, and you’ll see some bubbles rise to the top.
After it has rested at least fifteen minutes, heat up a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid to a low/medium heat. Spread butter or vegetable oil all over the surface of the pan. Once the butter melts and lightly bubbles a little, it’s ready. I didn’t use a ring mold, but feel free to grease ring molds and set in the pan to preheat. Slowly pour batter by 1/3 cup scoops into the ring mold or into the pan. You don’t want to over crowd the pan. Only make two or three at a time. If it spreads too much/too quickly put the lid on and wait a minute before adding the entire scoop to the pancake.
Once you see some bubbles forming on the top of the pancakes, add a little more batter to the tops and replace the lid. You can add a little bit more a couple times so the pancakes gets taller and fluffier. When they look set up enough to flip, peek at the bottoms and see if they are lightly golden brown. Very carefully flip them over and put the lid back on. Since they cooked a long time on the first side, they won’t take too long to finish cooking. After about a minute, peek underneath to see if they are lightly golden brown. Once they are browned lightly on the bottom remove to a warm plate.
Serve however you like them. Use butter, powdered sugar, or syrup, or pour Grans Coffee Maple Pancake Syrup all over them! They are a fun fluffy treat! And that coffee syrup!!! So good! Do you have any frugal family recipes that you still love to make?