Intro To (Hanukkah) Cooking: Sweet Potato Pancakes

Hanukkah is coming!

Unfortunately, I’m not Jewish and don’t celebrate the holiday, but just because I can’t indulge in 8 days of presents doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy everyone’s favorite Hanukkah treat: the potato latke.

According to Jewish tradition, latkes (or potato pancakes) are cooked to symbolize the miracle of the Maccabees’ oil burning for 8 nights when there was only enough for one. Too bad most latke recipes do the opposite, using enough oil for 8 nights for one greasy (yet totally delicious) side dish.

Well not anymore. Behold the sweet potato pancake. It’s moist, it’s tasty, and it’s not drenched in oil. Yes, it’s a Hanukkah miracle of its own. One that anyone – from Jews to those of us who really just like delicious food – can enjoy.

Makes 12-15 pancakes.

• 1 1/2 cups of flour
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups of buttermilk
• 3/4 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (about 1 large potato)
• 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) melted butter
• 1 tsp vanilla

Here’s what you do:
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. (Dry ingredients)

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, sweet potatoes, butter, and vanilla. (Wet ingredients)

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined (a couple of lumps are OK).

Lightly grease a skillet and heat to medium-high.

Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the skillet. Cook 2-4 minutes, then flip and cook 1-2 more minutes until done.

I know it’s tempting to blast the stove when you’re making pancakes so that they’ll be done faster, but resist the urge for these beauties. If you crank it, you’ll end up with blackened pancake on the outside and raw batter in the middle. It’ll still taste good because this recipe is just that awesome, but really, it’s much better to have a golden-brown pancake that’s light and fluffy and cooked all the way through, so keep an eye on the temp.

You can serve these guys with applesauce, whipped cream and brown sugar, mini marshmallows, powdered sugar, or the traditional butter and maple syrup, but I just like to eat them plain. Mmmmmmm.

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