If you can get yourself in the mood for a little variety and temporarily suspend the notion that simplicity is most of the magic of Johnnycakes, then we can have a charming little breakfast.
You'll still get the core Johnnycake experience of crunchy cornmeal and irresistibly toasted edges under maple syrup, but you'll also enjoy a bonus of sweet raisins, gently warming chile powders, and fragrant pecans. Fruit and spice make everything nice.
This recipe makes two short, satisfying stacks, but you should have no problem doubling the recipe if you need to feed more folks. Or halving it to feed one, for that matter.
And of course, these are way easy to put together. Prunes also work gorgeously here if you have time and energy to cut them into small bits, but raisins and store-bought pecan pieces keep you from having to chop anything at all, making this nicely garnished plate a total snap.
Dead Simple Sweet & Spicy Johnnycakes
yields 6 app. 4-inch cakes
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp turbinado (or brown sugar)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp mild chile powder, such as ancho, or a blend
1/8 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (plus more, if needed)
3 TBSP chopped pecans
2 tsp coconut oil
maple syrup (grade B preferred), to serve
nondairy butter, to serve, optional
Heat a nonstick griddle (or large pan) over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and chile powders. Add raisins and stir. Measure out milk and set aside.
When the griddle is hot, add pecans and toast, tossing frequently, until fragrant and beginning to darken, about three minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add coconut oil to griddle. Add milk to ingredients and whisk to combine thoroughly. Use a quarter-cup measure to scoop out scant quarter-cup portions of batter and add to griddle. (If using a pan, you may need to cook in two batches. Add a little extra milk to the second batch before cooking, if needed, as the batter will thicken as it stands.) Cook until the edges begin to darken and bubbles appear all over the surface, about three minutes. Flip and cook another three minutes until cooked through and deep golden on the exterior.
Serve immediately, topped with pecans, with maple syrup and nondairy butter, if desired.