Monday, January 16, 2012

Spelt pancakes

I may call Chicago my home, but I have a love affair with New York City. I've been returning to NYC on an annual basis for four years now, and don't plan on breaking that streak anytime soon. During my last visit, my mission was to track down the Wafels & Dinges truck. I stalked their website for updates, followed them on Twitter, and even Tweeted them for their exact location after circling East Village around 7th Ave and Christopher St too many times on a cold wintery night. My friends and I finally gave up and cabbed it over to West Village, where I knew the truck would be easy to spot. I opted for both the brussels wafel and the liege wafe, both topped with speculoos spread. I preferred the light, airy interior with the thin and crispy exterior of the brussels waffle. As a lover of Nutella and peanut butter, I had high expectations of the speculoos spread, especially after having to hunt down the truck. While it was good, I didn't think it was good enough to bring home a 14oz jar since I especially didn't want to check in my luggage.

Imagine my surprise while shopping at Trader Joe's during the holidays when I spotted speculoos cookie butter on their new product shelf. The description definitely sounded similar to the Wafels and Dinges' speculoos spread. I promptly added one to my cart, and I've been dipping honey wheat pretzels ever since. The spread is best described as being similar in texture to peanut butter but tasting more like spiced cookies. With a bag of spelt flour in the cupboard, I opted to make spelt pancakes topped with cookie butter for a weekend breakfast. The pancakes were very easy to whip up and a healthy vehicle for an indulgent topping.
Spelt Pancakes
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 c spelt flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 c milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Create a well in the middle.
2. Mix together the milk, butter and vanilla. Add it to the flour mixture, just until combined. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium low heat. Melt a little butter or spray with cooking spray. Test the pan with a droplet of water and check for it to sizzle. Add 1/4 cup batter to the pan. Cook for about a 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook for another minute. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately or keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

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