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There are few greater disappointments at breakfast than looking forward to chocolate chip pancakes only to have them turn out burned and undercooked. Let me start off by saying I’m sorry you had to go through that. Burnt pancakes are the worst, aren’t they? Morning hanger never helps the issue either…
Moving on to brighter and chocolateyer breakfasts, we’ll have you whipping up perfect chocolate chip pancakes in no time with these three simple changes to your pancake making routine. Ready? Let’s do it.
1. Chill the chocolate chips.
Before you do anything else, put your chocolate chips in the refrigerator. There are some who will baulk at this tip and say storing chocolate in the refrigerator will ruin it. Don’t listen to them. I agree gourmet chocolate should be treated with more respect but good old semi-sweet chocolate chips live in the refrigerator at my house and do just fine.
Chilling the chocolate chips will give you more time to complete step 3 before the chips turn to goo. Also the longer the chocolate chips take to warm up, the less likely they are to burn.
2. Make sure the batter is the right consistency.
For something so seemingly simple, there are actually a lot of ways to mess up pancake batter. It can be too runny, too lumpy, and/or overmixed. Any of these will result in subpar pancakes whether you spruce them up with chocolate chips or not.
The key to a good pancake batter (for plain, chocolate chip, blueberry, or any other kind of pancake) is the consistency. After only a little bit of mixing the batter should be thin enough to pour but thick enough to hold a line when you drag a spoon through it like so:
This ensures that when we add the chocolate chips they won’t sink straight to the bottom but will be suspended by the batter. It also ensures that we’ll be able to adequately cover the chocolate chips which is the last secret to making perfect chocolate chip pancakes.
Two of my favorite pancake recipes are this one from Dakota Kelly at All Recipes (I omit the sugar) and this 3-ingredient pancake recipe from Cafe Delights. Both are delicious and both are used regularly at our house.
3. Drop in the chocolate chips and spoon additional batter on top to seal them in.
Once you’ve made your perfect batter, it’s time to pour it on the griddle and let the magic happen. This is where chilled chocolate chips come in handy. Since the chocolate chips start out cold you have more time to cover them with additional batter before they melt.
One of the best things about making chocolate chip pancakes this way is that you don’t get any burning chocolate in the pan. Burnt chocolate smells awful. When you make pancakes on a griddle with burnt chocolate the pancakes taste even worse than the awful burnt smell. And the kitchen will smell smoky for the rest of the day.
This method lets you make chocolate chip pancakes without “polluting” the griddle for future batches. It also means you can cook your kids’ pancakes first without ruining the griddle for your more mature plain or blueberry pancakes later. Way better than making your pancakes first while your kids whine about being hungry and yours get cold while you’re cooking theirs, no?
Side note, I hate to admit it but the older I get, the more I prefer blueberry pancakes to chocolate chip. I think it has something to do with my father calling them “rotten spots” throughout my childhood. Thanks Dad.
A Note About Cooking Temperature
This applies to all pancakes, not just chocolate chip pancakes, but I find medium-low to be the ideal griddle temperature for a fully cooked center. Any higher and the outsides will burn while the middle doesn’t cook. Lower and the pancakes take so long they turn out tough and chewy.
If light, fluffy and loaded with chocolate is what you want, then medium-low is the way to go.
What are your thoughts?
Have your family members each gained five pounds from your newly perfected chocolate chip pancakes? Are weekend breakfasts a breeze now or is there still something you’re wondering about? Other readers and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!