Pumpkin Carrot Pancakes with Candied Nuts

I adapted my now famous Pumpkin Carrot Cake recipe into a simple pancake recipe for my Christmas special at the Kenmore Live Studios, and this is a much simpler way to enjoy the same flavors you get from my very complex and time consuming MasterChef cake.

In a bowl, combine:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons each ginger, cinnamon, cardamom
1/4 tsp each cloves and nutmeg

Stir with your fingers to combine.  Then stir in:

1/2 cup finely grated carrots

In a separate bowl, combine:

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil OR melted butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is fine)
3 eggs

Stir the wet ingredients until they are well blended.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until most of the lumps are gone.  Cook on a preheated 300F griddle.  These pancakes are stickier than traditional pancakes, so spray the griddle with cooking spray first and then wipe with paper towels before adding batter.  Do not overcook, the sugar content will cause these pancakes to burn quickly.

Optionally, sprinkle on candied nuts:

Into a very heavy skillet, put:

½ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon water

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Once the mixture is at a full rolling boil, continue stirring and boiling for 3 minutes until the mixture is deep brown and fragrant (or 320F on a candy thermometer). Then add:

¼ – ½ cup chopped nuts (I like to use hazelnuts when I can find them, pecans if I can’t.  Your flavor will be better if you’ll gently toast the nuts in a skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently, until they are fragrant and have deepened a bit in color.  You can also toast in the microwave using 1 minute intervals on full power, until nuts are lightly browned and fragrant.)

Stir the nuts into the boiling sugar, making sure they are well-coated. Then remove the pan from the heat and pour the nuts onto the oiled wax paper. Let them cool completely before the next step.

Pull the candied nuts off the paper and place them in a zip-top bag. Pound them with a rolling pin or wine bottle to break them up, then roll over them back and forth until they are well pulverized, but not powdered.

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