Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From the Kitchens of Bunny and Brandy: Boozy Pancakes with Prairie Vodka

There certainly is a lot to celebrate about summer in Chicago, whether it be the little things, or the big ones.  Brandy's favorite reasons to celebrate include, but are not limited to: 
  1. It may be humid, but at least there's no more Polar Vortex
  2. It's Pride Month, which means rainbows are everywhere, and who doesn't love rainbows?
  3. The Cubs and White Sox may not be doing well, but there's always the World Cup if baseball gets too frustrating
  4. We are well into brunch season now, which means its socially acceptable to start drinking during breakfast (only on the weekends, of course)
Brandy, for one, finds a certain joy in not just drinking during brunch, but also using spirits in her food.  "Whiskey and bacon go perfectly together, as do French toast and orange liquor.  As long as one is using a good quality spirit, cook with it or drink it.  Anything goes at brunch!"

It should come as no surprise then that recently when Brandy was sent a bottle of Prairie Organic Vodka to try out that she not only decided to whip up one of their suggested cocktails (a cherry limeade type drink that is perfect for parties, barbecues, or weddings), but also decided to create a brunch recipe to match!  Brandy found that the vodka, which is made to exacting standards and has a naturally smooth finish and notes of melon and peach, was the perfect vehicle to bring out tart and sweet fruit flavors, even when cooked, so when she modified the cocktail recipe into a pancake, much to her surprise, the result was a bright, flavorful, and unique breakfast that would be perfect for, say for instance, a pre-Pride parade brunch!

You can find additional information and recipes at Prairie Vodka's website.

Here Comes the Lime Punch
3 cups Prairie Organic Vodka
2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar and 2 cups water, cooked until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.)
8 cups (two liters) cold seltzer water
3 cups lime juice
2 limes, sliced
Ice, as needed
6 cups fresh or frozen sweet black cherries (optional)

Add Prairie Organic Vodka, simple syrup and lime juice to dispenser. Add seltzer and lime slices, and stir gently to combine ingredients. Top with ice. To make cherry limeade, add 6 cups of fresh or frozen sweet black cherries to simple syrup while cooking.

Cherry Limeade Pancakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of Prairie Vodka (or another good quality vodka)
1/2 cup of pure lime juice
cherry jam, jelly, or fruit spread (store bought or home made)
Optional for garnish: candied lime peel or fresh pitted cherries

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Add the eggs and butter, mix until roughly combined, then add the vanilla, vodka, and lime juice and continue mixing until the batter is smooth and free of any lumps.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and grease with cooking spray or butter.  Drop batter in 1/3 cup portions into the center of the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the under side had turned golden brown and started to bubble along the edges.  Flip the pancake and cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Set aside on a plate and cook the rest of the batter (depending on the size of your pancakes, the batter should yield about 9-12).
To serve, spread the cherry jam/fruit spread on pancakes and stack them 3 to a plate.  Top with fresh cherries or candied lime zest.

The writers of this blog were sent this product at no charge for the purposes of this review.

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