Sunday, January 6, 2008

Baked Family-size Banana and Walnut Pancake - An ideal weekend breakfast or brunch!

In the everyday din and bustle of a hectic life, families hardly get time to reconnect. Weekends or holidays are the most cherished times when parents and kids are together. But what's a better way to start the day than by gathering around the table for morning breakfast, right? And here's a perfect family-sized jumbo pancake, which is actually like a cake, so that you don't have to make separate servings for everyone. Instead, just bake a large pancake for the entire family, then slice and serve so everyone enjoys it together! I use bananas and walnuts, as they are my best toppings, besides strawberries and chocolate chips:) But you are free to use any other seasonal fruits like peaches, apples, blueberries or raspberries. Just make sure you use firm fruits rather than the canned syrupy ones because you are going to pop this into the oven, not roast it on the griddle. Serve with a delicious topping of powdered sugar or whipped cream, and a large pitcher of orange juice, or freshly brewed coffee. Who says morning breakfasts can't be fun for the whole family!!

1/2 stick butter
1 cup maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
3-4 ripe bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups pancake mix (such as Bisquick)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in heavy 10 inch oven pan (like a cake pan) Brush sides of pan evenly with melted butter. Add maple syrup and let it cool a couple of minutes. Slice bananas evenly over the syrup and cover entire bottom of pan with bananas. Do not slice bananas too thin because they will shrink some during baking. Sprinkle a generous helping of walnuts over bananas.

Mix pancake mix with egg, water and vanilla essence, as directed on the packet. Pour batter gently over bananas and spread evenly. Bake in oven about 20-25 minutes until the top browns (like a regular pancake).

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Place a large platter on top of the oven pan, and with one quick motion turn it upside down. Transfer the inverted pancake to a serving dish. Dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve with coffee and some strawberries or other fruits if you like!

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