Apple & peanut butter pancakes, and waxing sappy about friends.

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Last weekend, one of my very best friends in this whole world married the love of his life – a kind, warm, funny and gorgeous lady who has grown to be (oh, who am I kidding, I thought she was great pretty much immediately) one of my friends – in a beautiful, moving ceremony that got me right in the feels on a number of occasions. It was, in short, a blast – and the fact that I was asked to be part of it (as a freakin’ GROOMSLADY, which rocked my socks mint green pumps off) continues to mean so much to me.

Among his many talents (which include making faces that would give Jim Carrey a run for his money, coming up with great euphemisms for getting sloshed, fencing his face off while simultaneously rocking pink socks, and snarking on insufferable Pitchfork writers) is music – namely, guitar-playing. He’s been in a handful of bands with friends over the years, but his recent manifestation is what I’m going to call the Apple series. Maybe once or twice a year, he posts a new ‘album’ on Bandcamp, named after a type of apple, featuring a half dozen or so instrumental tunes with a Latin influence. A friend of his handles the percussion and mixing, and his wife (eek!) takes the photographs. My personal favorite is probably ‘Rotten Apple,’ but head on over to his site and check it our for yourself. Unless you really hate good music, you won’t be disappointed.

I decided to undertake an apple-related project of my own this weekend, not in the form of sweet, sweet Latin tunes, but in the form of sweet, sweet pancakes. I like pancakes, but I don’t make them that often. Most recipes call for measurements that make approximately eight zillion pancakes, and after maybe two or three I’m like, okay, I’m full forever. And leftover pancakes are… kind of meh. But fall is in full swing, and I love pancakes with a little pizzazz, so I decided to add in one of my favorite food combos – apples and peanut butter. Which go together like peanut butter and jelly. I mean…

Apple peanut butter pancakes
makes about 8 pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 large apples (I used gala, but I don’t see why you can’t use another kind if you have something else on hand)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to about 170-200F.

Peel and core your apples. Then, either grate, finely dice, or, as I did, throw the slices in a food processor and pulse until you basically have apple gruel. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder and salt.

Add your apples, brown sugar, peanut butter, milk and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Next, add your sifted flour mixture to the larger bowl and mix until combined. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more milk. If it seems too thin, add a pinch of flour.

Lightly grease a nonstick pan or griddle and heat over medium-high/high heat. Ladle a small amount of batter into the pan. My pancakes are generally pretty big, because I lack patience. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until you can see the edges turn golden. Flip and cook for another minute or two. If the pan gets too hot, lower the heat briefly. (This direction may be unnecessary, as I’m pretty sure I have the most annoyingly fickle stove top on the planet.) As you finish a batch, place the pancakes on a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Serve with whatever pancake toppings you prefer – butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, chocolate syrup (what?). You can’t go wrong! Personally, I think a little bit of warm caramel sauce would be incredible … but might take this out of the realm of breakfast and straight into dessert.

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Happy eating!

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