Coconut adds texture and fragrance to these dessert-like pancakes, which are the invention of one of the students in my after-school cooking class. On a recent afternoon, I set out to teach the kids how to make a simple pancake recipe by Mark Bittman. A creative young chef added shredded coconut to the batter and sprinkled additional coconut over the surface of each pancake as it cooked, making for a crunchy, toasted-coconut crust. The vanilla in the batter enhances the coconut flavor. Somewhere between a light dessert and decadent breakfast, these can be dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with chocolate sauce, which perfectly complements the coconut. Serve whole or cut into bite-sized pieces (see picture below.)
Coconut Vanilla Pancakes
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s pancake recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut, plus additional coconut for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg and milk until smooth. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined; be sure not to over-mix.
Grease a skillet with oil, and heat over medium-low heat. Spoon batter onto the skillet when it is hot, forming any size pancake you prefer. Sprinkle the tops of each pancake with shredded coconut. When bubbles are visible in the batter and the bottoms of the pancakes turn golden brown, flip over and sprinkle the other side with coconut.
Cook until the other side just begins to turn brown. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate sauce. Cut into bite-size pieces if serving for dessert.