Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I'm not sure if you picked up on this yet, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth. While sugar in all its wonderful forms has—for better or worse—found a permanent place in my diet, my favorite form is through chocolate. Chocolate is a guilty pleasure for me, a crutch after a bad day, a moment of celebration during a long, weekend afternoon. Each day I eat it in one form or another (and it usually weasels its way into my breakfast).

It is not unusual to prepare a bowl of chocolate oatmeal or sprinkle a few miniature chocolate chips over a bowl of blueberry breakfast quinoa.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When Sunday brunch rolled around last weekend, it shocked no one when I reached for the bag of chocolate chips. I can't help but sprinkle a few over my own pancakes when they are cooking on the griddle, even when feeding a table of hungry loved ones. This time, however, I tossed a handful in the batter to share the sweetness with everyone.

In addition to chocolate, I also added another unique ingredient—buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When I spotted a bag of the flour hidden among the shelves at the store, my curiosity got the better of me and I added it to my basket. The name "buckwheat" tricked me into thinking it was simply wheat in another configuration, but after doing a little research I realized how wrong I had been. Buckwheat is not related to wheat at all; in fact, it is a seed more closely related to rhubarb. It is also gluten-free, though I never would have guessed it.

After playing around with it in these pancakes and experiencing the subtle, nutty flavor, I am excited to experiment with it in new forms.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a bit of an unexpected, healthier twist on the classic pancake. The addition of buckwheat flour adds an earthy, nutty flavor that is not unlike the flavor of whole wheat flour. With a few chocolate chips and a heavy swirl of berry syrup, the pancakes will quickly become a breakfast favorite. I also included gluten-free directions for those who are sensitive to traditional wheat below.

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Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Yields about 4 servings

3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour*
3/4 cup (90 grams) buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
1/2 cup (85 grams) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, oil, and milk. Stir together until combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated, lightly greased griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. Serve hot with a drizzle of maple or blueberry syrup.

** To make these pancakes gluten-free, you can use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour or, if you enjoy the flavor of buckwheat, increase the buckwheat to 1 1/2 cups and eliminate the all-purpose flour.