"Spekulatius" & Almond Pancakes with Cranberry Jam
It's Christmas Time- and there's no need to be afraid... isn't that the way the song goes? And indeed, there's no need to be afraid of letting good food go to waste as long as you stay responsible- and it can be something really wonderful that comes out of it too!
Seriously, there are so many people who have so little compared to us, that we would do well to stop and think for a minute occasionally, especially at the time of year where people love to be decadent. Or do these look anything less than delicious to you?
You will indeed be surprised when you see how simple these were to make and how little it did to do so. Those cookies that have turned stale and begun to go soft? Thank goodness that through the ages, smart housewives, mothers and of course fathers, have invented many dishes to make use of them.
My mother used to layer them with a simple custard and then slice it up once it was set- I am sure you are all familiar with some such dish or other.
Because if you are the kind of person that would throw them out- shame on you!
To make 4 little pancakes, I needed 8 "Spekulatius", which are German, spiced cookies that we get here at Christmas time- gingerbread would be a good alternative. 1 egg, 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt, a good handful of slivered almonds... and that's it! A couple of teaspoons of jam on top- I used cranberry- and you have something really decadent and delicious made from those cookies you were about to trash for being past their prime... hah!
The transformation that takes place when you turn the Spekulatius into a batter is pretty amazing... think of a freshly baked, firm yet fluffy gingerbread. Now hold that thought. And grab your frying pan! Because you KNOW you want to try this!
Yes they are simple, yes they are small, yes they are delicious. Anything else you might need to know about these? Huh? Good! Now... back to how to make them!
Simply crumble up the cookies and add the egg and the 4 tablespoons of yogurt to them. Remember- you will always have better results if you use whisk that looks like a chick. Every good cook knows that...
Give them a good stir together and soon enough the cookies will dissolve into the egg and yogurt, leaving you with a nice, shiny batter. Time to add the almonds and grab your frying pan... that was it! All the hard work is done!
Spoon the batter into a lightly buttered pan and let them sizzle away at a moderate heat for a couple of minutes, until the edges begin to look a little drier than the rest- then they will be safe to flip over.
A couple more minutes from the other side and there you are! All done- all finished- all delicious! And all for you!
The powdered sugar is there, purely for decorative purposes... but the jam? Oh- that is a must! the perfect combination!
One last thing... I have just realized I still have some more of those cookies in the kitchen... I'll be back in a while- hehe!