I know many people who say that they have the greatest dad in the entire world, but—seriously guys—I have the greatest dad in the entire world. Throw away those novelty coffee mugs, all you other schmucks. Father’s day has come and gone this year, and I can’t help but feel a little sentimental so far away from my pop. I was on the verge of making my own Dad-Wilson with the volleyball we’ve only taken to the beach once since purchasing when I realized my homage didn’t need to skew so Grey Gardens. Instead, I resorted to my favorite pastime and trotted out the family cookbook for my dad’s beloved pancake recipe—I mean, they call it comfort food for a reason, right?
But let’s rewind a little and let me count the ways in which my dad’s the greatest: he raised me and my six incredibly loud, opinionated siblings; he cheered us on at every game, concert, backyard play, or speech competition (in fact, he drove upstate to see me perform the same speech at least four times during a particular riveting season of forensics); he loves our mom to pieces (and those pieces are all vying for the title of greatest mom in the entire world); and every Saturday morning, without fail, he cooked us a pancake breakfast (or sometimes French toast or waffles or cinnamon raisin biscuits, basically a “sweet carb” breakfast. Maybe that’s why he’s diabetic.). These pancakes left an indelible imprint on the whole brood as they were made from scratch and were so fluffy and delectable. I can remember politely turning down breakfast offers at friends’ houses when I saw their dads pulling out the Bisquick. Box mix will never do when you’ve been raised on the good stuff.
Sometimes he would flip the script and mix in blueberries or—my favorite—make cornmeal pancakes instead. I imagine there were many weekends where he could find a million better ways to spend his time than cooking pancakes for a bunch of barely grateful children who would then drag their heels before completing their weekly chores which would actually only take 10 minutes if they would just quit complaining for even a second. But, no matter what, he was there every Saturday, flipping pancakes and asking us how we’d like our eggs.
I’ve adjusted his original recipe slightly because he raised me to be the iconoclast vision you find before you, albeit in a cautious, pancake-making sort of way. I’ve swapped the oil for butter and added some lemon zest to make them cakes pop. Additionally, I’ve gone native by adding mac nuts and topping them with highly-addictive coconut syrup. You can find the former in any grocery and the latter in Hawaii or maybe Amazon. It’s worth a trip to either as this stuff is liquid gold. If you ate gold. Oh, you do?
The morning I made these, my sister Kirsti and her husband Ryan were visiting, so we toasted bites to the man who made us and poured some coconut syrup out for our homies back home (ok, lies. It’s too delicious and probably sticky for such shenanigans, but what a picture, huh?). Thanks, Dad, for the pancakes . . . and the other stuff too.
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 ½ tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly
- 1 ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- Butter, for the skillet
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well with a whisk.
- In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients & lemon zest to the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Let this mixture rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a small pat of butter to the skillet and melt it. Add ⅓ cup of pancake batter to the skillet, and sprinkle macadamia nuts over the top. (You can adjust the size based on how big you prefer your pancakes).
- Once the batter starts forming bubbles, approximately 1 minute, flip the pancake and cook for about a minute more, or until browned.