My kids eat pancakes like they’re going out of style! They kind of come by it naturally. As a child I ate my weight in these golden beauties on a weekly basis.
I’ve told you about the busy factor in our lives lately. I’ve been a bad mommy and have taken the cheater route on breakfast in the form of pre-made frozen pancakes and on occasion sausage and pancakes on a stick. It’s so much easier to simply pull something out of the freezer and nuke it for a few seconds. Tuck and Miss Monkey DEVOUR them. Tuck BEGS for them. He cries and whines if we run out and he’s reduced to cereal. It’s just not pretty.
A week or so ago I ran across a recipe for Sausage Pancake Muffins. (Cue heavenly music.) This was the ANSWER to my prayers and my guilt ridden conscience for not being more Betty Crocker-like. Okay, I didn’t really come across the full recipe. Actually, It was just a picture. I SWEAR it was on Pinterest. Really, I was SOOOO sure. But, as my luck would have it when I tried to go back and find the pin that I never pinned I couldn’t find ANYTHING that even resembled what I swore I saw. So…I was reduced to winging it. I HAD to make these. I would, forever, be the shining hero in my children’s eyes.
My first attempt at these last weekend was a COLLOSAL fail!!! They were just all wrong. Rubbery… Tasteless… BORING! Tucker wouldn’t even eat them.
I mean just look at them. They’re so… sad… The batter didn’t stick to the sausage link, they were over-baked and the batter was just too plain. I used cupcake wrappers which ended up being a terrible decision when they pulled away more muffin than was left to eat.
After re-evaluating my methods I regrouped and tried them again last night. I made the pancake mix in the same fashion that my dad did all those years ago when I was a child and how he still makes them for my kids. He has his secret ingredient which, (sorry Dad), is about to be not-so-secret any longer. I changed up the sausage approach and the world was placed back on its axis. I ditched the cupcake wrappers and the birds sang in harmony.
These, my friends, are INSANE!
4 cups pancake mix (The complete mix is best, i.e. only add water. I used the cheap brand and it was perfect!)
Water (follow the package directions for the correct amount)
1 tsp cinnamon (the secret weapon!!!!)
2 TBSP sugar
1 lb sausage cooked, drained and broken into fine crumbles
Several hours prior to making these brown the sausage, crumble into fine crumbles (I use my potato masher to get this accomplished.), drain and set on paper towels to absorb excess grease and cool.
Once the sausage is cooled preheat the oven to 350º. Generously spray 2 UNLINED muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine pancake mix, cinnamon, sugar and water. Vigorously whisk until all the lumps are gone and the cinnamon is evenly distributed.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, pour a 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin well. Evenly spread 1 TBSP on sausage crumbles on top of the batter. Gently press the sausage into batter just to make sure it sticks when they rise. Don’t drown them, though.
Bake until the muffins are JUST firm to the touch, approximately 10 minutes depending on your oven. DO NOT, I stress DO NOT, over-bake these as the texture will get rubbery and BLAH. Let cool and remove from the muffin tin. You may want to loosen any parts stuck to the pan with a knife. Cool further on a wire rack. As soon as their cool enough to handle DIG IN!!!
They’re amazing all alone, but they’re even better dipped in a little syrup. They taste just like the pancakes from my youth with the bonus of SAUSAGE!!!
After they cool on the rack place them in a ziplock baggie and freeze. Simply reheat in the microwave and enjoy them all over again. These are the perfect make ahead breakfast for any school morning.
Now, for all my weight conscious friends, I thought these were going to be a healthy lifestyle deal breaker. When I entered all the info into my www.myfitnesspal.com recipe calculator I was pleasantly surprised to find that 2 muffins are only 267 calories. Just to keep things in perspective the 1/4 cup of batter in each one of these is the equivalent of one small pancake and they’re not FRIED in oil. I thought this was a great trade for my usual yogurt and granola. I could have a “treat” without feeling the guilt.
These turned out to be a total WIN-WIN recipe. My kids are happy because their favorite is now homemade and I’m happy because I can indulge in yumminess without compromising my health plan AND provide my kids a more wholesome breakfast that I can feel good about.
So, go on. Get to the store. Pancake mix and sausage. It couldn’t be simpler! GO!!!
Peace, love and flapjack muffins!!!