The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vanilla Cream Syrup

Okay, here’s the Vanilla Cream Syrup recipe I used with my Blueberry Cream Pancakes last weekend.  It’s really a perfect match for the pancakes, and I’ll bet it would go well with my Pumpkin Pancakes too!  Once again, I adapted a recipe I found over at Lark’s Country Heart, and here’s what I came up with.  (You can find Lark’s original recipe on her wonderful blog site.)

Vanilla Cream Syrup
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks (or real butter)
3/4 cup fat free half & half (you could use regular half & half)
3/4 cup skim (fat free) milk (or whatever “strength” of milk you prefer)
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt (as usual, I halved the amount of salt in the original recipe)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Smart Sugar (you can also use an equal amount of real sugar or Whey Low for a low-cal option)
Melt the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan.  Add flour, cook over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  DO NOT burn!  Add the remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
Continue cooking and stirring until syrup is thick and warmed through.

-- NOTE:  This will keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks. --

First of all, I decided to half Lark’s recipe, since I was only cooking for two.  This amount turned out to be just right for one batch of Blueberry Cream Pancakes.

The original recipe would have used 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream.  I didn’t have any in the house, so I made do with half & half & milk.  It was still VERY rich and creamy…so I think I’ll make it this way again in the future (just to save a few calories).

Ahhh…so fun trying new recipes…but alas…so many recipes, so little time…

Gotta run for now my friends…hope you have a FANTASTIC week!  (If you get a chance, would you pray for some rain to fall in Zig Zag?)

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes

Howdy friends,
Hope you and yours are well and happy as you read this.  I’ve been really busy lately…between work, doing my annual volunteer work in the swine barn (yes…folks…I work with PIGS) at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, and beginning preparations for our annual family Easter bash…I’m not sure if I’m coming or going most days.

This past weekend, I had the luxury of a slow Saturday morning (unheard of in the past few months!), so I decided to take advantage of it, and try out a recipe I saw over at Lark’s Country Heart.  As always, I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I had on hand, and to try to make it a little more diet friendly (since I’m currently taking part in a “Get Healthy” Weight Loss Challenge at my office).  You can find my version below, or Lark’s version over at her blog site.

My husband and I both thought the finished product was delicious!  You should really give these a try…and while you’re at it, stop on over and tell Lark thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!  

I’m definitely going to make these again…I hope you’ll try them too.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes

4 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup HEB Real Egg (or 2 actual eggs, beaten)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (I always use fresh-squeezed rather than bottled -- it’s SOOOO much better! -- but bottled will work if you’re in a pinch)
1-1/4 cup skim (fat free) milk (you can also use almond milk, soy milk or whole milk, if you prefer)
2 Tbsp. Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks, melted (or real butter)
2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (the original recipe called for 2 cups of AP flour, but I always prefer to use some whole wheat flour too)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2-1/2 tsp. low sodium baking powder (or regular baking powder if you don’t have this)
1/4 tsp. salt (the original recipe used 1/2 tsp., but I always use less)
4 Tbsp. sugar (you can use an equal amount of Whey Low or your favorite sugar substitute for a low-cal option)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (or Whey Low Gold for the lower calorie option)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 to 2 cups fresh blueberries (according to preference…you can also use frozen blueberries if you don’t have fresh)

Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs, mixing as you add them.  Add the lemon juice, milk, melted butter and vanilla.  Mix on low speed for a minute or so.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, salt, sugars and cinnamon.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.  Add the remaining dry ingredients, and mix just until combined.

Fold in the fresh blueberries - by hand - do not use the mixer!

Heat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.  Lightly grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour approximately 1/2 cup batter onto hot griddle.  Turn pancake when bubbles start to form and pop, and edges look cooked.  Cook second side; remove from griddle and serve immediately.  You’ll need to watch these very closely…if your griddle is too hot, they’ll burn on the outside and leave the middles raw.  (Don’t ask me how I know this...LOL!)

Serve with Homemade Vanilla Cream Syrup (another one of Lark’s recipes that I adapted a bit).  You can find that recipe here.

Give these yummy pancakes a try, and let me know what you think!