Brown Butter- Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I don't really love pancakes. When going out to eat I never order them because they feel boring, not an indulgence. I also barely make them at home because whenever I do, I regret it instantly. They're the kind of food that make me think all the effort isn't worth the result. Mostly I end up feeling heavy and the pancakes sit on the bottom of my stomach like a giant lump of processed flour. For lack of a better way of presenting it-  pancakes give my stomach a hangover. 

That being said, I do love a weekend ritual. Something that signifies that you're out of the weekly rush and into the relaxed, easy feeling of a Saturday or Sunday morning. Leisurely, with nothing to do but sip some coffee, eat breakfast, and lounge around with the pups. At first I tried waffles, unfrozen and popped into the oven (going on 15 months without a microwave). Although satisfying, something about frozen waffles feel amateur and reminiscent of  college food. I wanted something delicate but not requiring a ton of effort. Interesting but simple. Basically, it was a very specific craving and I did what I always do when I can't put my finger on exactly what I want: open the fridge and peruse the leftovers. 

On a Saturday morning a few months ago, I found a container of Greek Yogurt in the back of the fridge. One small scoop used as a topping for something or other but most of it intact and on the verge of it's expiration date. Right beside it was half a stick of butter, taking up space in my teeny fridge. On the ledge right below, some ripe bananas I had taken off the counter because they were attracting fruit flies. With these simple, left behind ingredients, the Brown Butter- Greek Yogurt pancake was born. 

Something between a pancake and a crepe, the result is nutty and not too sweet. It's the perfect balance of delicate and filling. Seriously, I'm addicted. Give this recipe a try this weekend! If you have guests in town for Labor Day I guarantee these will be a huge hit with everyone. 

Brown Butter- Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Ingredients

 Mix everything together in a large bowl. add your cooled brown butter last. 

Mix everything together in a large bowl. add your cooled brown butter last. 

  • 1 container Greek Yogurt, I used 7 oz. of Fage
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe (or normal) bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate chips, raisins, powdered sugar... any pancake filling/topping you like!

For Brown Butter: 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 stick for cooking the pancakes

Prep: 

  1. Prepare your brown butter. Many a great chef has put together much more comprehensive directions for this than I can provide. I've linked a tutorial here but basically: melt your butter on medium heat and then whisk that goodness until it's nutty and brown bits form on the bottom. 
  2. Set aside. You want your butter to cool before you pour it into the pancake mix. Otherwise, you'll cook your eggs and your pancakes will taste like a crepey-omelette which... no. Don't do that. 
  3. Mash bananas with a fork. Some serious culinary technique is required here. I've added a visual because this move is so stunningly complex. (Clearly this cutting board has seen many a mashed banana.)
 mashed banana. an exercise in technique. 

mashed banana. an exercise in technique. 

Do the thing: 

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl. 
  2. Add wet ingredients including most of the brown butter. Reserve some for drizzling. 
  3. Stir everything together until combined and smooth. 
  4. Heat up a non stick skillet with a dollop of butter and place heaping spoonfuls of batter on the sizzling surface.
  5. This next part is the hardest piece of the entire recipe. You have to wait for the edges of the pancakes to brown and develop a crust before flipping. Because the batter is not super thick, your pancakes will risk falling apart. Wait for the crust, then flip. Don't worry if the bottom is not your normal pancake color- these aren't normal pancakes!
  6. Stack on a plate and drizzle with the reserved brown butter. Now add maple syrup, agave, honey, chocolate sauce... anything you want! Enjoy!