Hi guys! Happy Tuesday. The big news here this weekend was Mr. Rooster’s birthday. Yep, Chris turned 34 yesterday. Actually, it wasn’t big news at all. Birthdays really don’t matter that much as you get older, do they? You don’t get to bring cupcakes to school (work), you don’t get a party at Chuck E. Cheese, and you don’t get a new Razor scooter. There really isn’t a whole lot of fun in a grown up birthday. I did try to get him to take cupcakes to work with him, but he said no. Weird.
I did, however, manage to surprise him with a birthday breakfast. I have started getting up with Chris when he gets up for work. At the unholy hour of 6am. I know that isn’t early for a lot of you, but it is crazy early for me. I have said this before. I am not a morning person….or a night person. I have a solid 2 hours in the middle of the day when I really shine;) Anyhoo, I woke up at 6am and made Chris’s favorite breakfast…..Chocolate Grand Marnier Pancakes.
Grand Marnier is an orange flavored liquor. If you haven’t tried orange and chocolate together, you are missing out, my friend. These two flavors go so well together. There used to be an ice cream place in Concord called “Swensen’s”. They had a Swiss Orange Chip ice cream that was too die for. TOO DIE FOR. I think they have all gone out of business, but it wouldn’t be completely unheard of for me to be wrong. These pancakes remind me of that ice cream flavor.
When I made the pancakes yesterday, I didn’t use Grand Marnier. As you will see in the pictures, I used orange extract. I was feeding the kids too, and they prefer the extract. I will give you the recipe below (at the end) using Grand Marnier, but just know that you can substitute extract.
I use Bisquick for this recipe. You can absolutely make these from scratch, but there really isn’t a difference. Bisquick is flour, shortening, salt and baking powder. It is the ingredients you would use anyway, just pre-mixed. I also used buttermilk, eggs, the zest of an orange, orange extract (or Grand Marnier), powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder. I will top these bad boys with whipped cream made with heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and more extract.
I started with the dry ingredients. I mixed this together with a fork, concentrating on getting all the lumps out. Nobody wants to bite into a pancake that has a lump of white powder in it.
I mixed the eggs in with the buttermilk, and then I stirred in the orange extract. If you don’t have buttermilk, did you know you could make your own? You just add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to milk and let it sit for a minute. This will sour your milk, which will serve the same purpose as buttermilk. Here is another tidbit….did you know buttermilk is made from skim milk? Yep, it isn’t as bad for you as the name would have you believe.
I stirred the wet ingredients into the dry, and then I added some chocolate chips. One can’t ever have too much chocolate. When I was little my mom had a sign, in the laundry room I think, that said something along the lines of that. And maybe one that said you can’t ever be too rich or too thin. Way to teach your daughter what’s important, mom;)
As you can see from my fabulous picture above, that absolutely isn’t clouded with shadows, I also zested an orange into the mix. That is where all the flavor is. The orange oils come out and give a strong citrus taste.
I cook the pancakes in butter, about 3 minutes per side. The pancake will get all bubbly around the edges when it is ready to flip. Turn your oven on “warm” and keep your cooked pancakes in there.
To top these pancakes, I whipped some heavy whipping cream with orange extract and powdered sugar. Again, this is where you would use Grand Marnier, if you weren’t feeding kids. Or if your kids hit the bottle a lot.
I started by whipping the cream and extract. When I was almost to soft peaks, I added the powdered sugar and kept whippin’ till I had the perfect texture.
Voila! These pancakes are rich and chocolaty. They also have a great citrus flavor that works so well with the chocolate. Since I used cocoa powder, the pancakes stay light and fluffy. If I used melted chocolate, they would get weighed down.
These pancakes are a great birthday treat. Obviously you wouldn’t eat Chocolate Grand Marnier pancakes on a daily basis. You could, and then someday we would see you on the Discovery Channel because you haven’t been out of your bed in 10 years. Moderation, folks, moderation.
Chris loved these pancakes, and I think it made his Monday a bit more manageable. Wouldn’t you like to wake up to these on your birthday? I know I would. And it better not be at 6am.
Chocolate Grand Marnier Pancakes
2 cups Bisquick, or other baking mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup Grand Marnier, or 2 tablespoons orange extract
The zest of 1 orange
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat a griddle or large skillet to medium heat.
In a large bowl, stir together baking mix, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, and cocoa powder, making sure to break up any lumps.
In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. Once this is mixed, slowly stir wet ingredients into dry. Add ½ cup chocolate chips and zest. Mix well.
Add butter to pre-heated griddle and let melt. Drop pancake batter, ¼ cup at a time for small pancakes, onto griddle. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
In a large bowl, beat together cream and remaining Grand Marnier with a hand mixer, until you almost reach soft peaks. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue beating until you have desired consistency.
Top pancakes with whipped cream and additional chocolate chips.