A few months ago my husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary in Kauai. Let me state for the record, Kauai is absolutely breath-taking and one of the most beautiful places on the earth. We had the BEST time! I’ll definitely be writing a “Must see, eat, do in Kauai” post in the future. The island has so much to offer by way of activities and adventures, and yet it is slow paced and relaxing. We spent a lot of time researching and planning, especially where and what to eat on the island. We had a long list of places that we were told were “must eats.” So the fact that we ate these pancakes twice while we were there should tell you something!
One of the mornings was rainy, which is typical for Kauai and one of the reasons it is called the “Garden Isle.” Lots of lush, green vegetation! We decided to find a place where we could eat and get out of the rain. We went to eat at Olympus Cafe, near our hotel. Now, I’ve always been one who needs some protein for breakfast and I rarely eat sweet foods in the morning, but not Mr. Incredible. He thoroughly enjoys breakfast foods of all kinds. So, of course he just had to order the Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Coconut Syrup. True to Kauai’s slow pace, it took a while to get our food as the restaurant was packed. The wait did not bother us one bit; we had a window seat and enjoyed the opportunity to talk without one of our children needing something or interrupting. That is one of the great things about vacations and alone time. When the waiter brought our food, we couldn’t believe how huge and yummy these pancakes looked. We starting eating, and my husband insisted I try some of his pancakes. He promised they were amazing, and oh, was he right. I had more than just a bite. One of my favorite things to do is to challenge myself to recreate our favorite things that we eat at restaurants. I told Mr. Incredible, “I will figure our how to make these at home!” We bought macadamia nuts there to bring home, and within a week we had the winning recipe!
Now this recipe is completely from scratch. If you don’t have the time or desire to make the batter from scratch, just use your favorite pancake mix and add the sliced bananas and chopped nuts to the prepared mix.
The batter is very thick and I like to use an ice cream scoop to put the pancake batter on the griddle.
Fold in the bananas and macadamia nuts to the pancake batter, being careful to not over mix.
You can see the bubbles that are forming on the top, time to flip! Look how fluffy these pancakes are! The buttermilk, baking powder, and baking soda cause this reaction when mixed together. If possible, allow your pancake batter time to develop, up to half an hour before cooking for a fluffy result.
These are to DIE FOR! Can I add that these were never meant to be a health food? They are definitely a special treat, to make every once in a while, for a birthday or father’s day! When I make them, they take me back to one of my favorite mornings, on my favorite island with my favorite person in the world. Aloha!
Buttermilk Pancake Batter
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. low-fat buttermilk
3 T. melted butter
4 bananas, sliced, reserving one banana for slicing on top
1 c. chopped macadamia nuts, reserving 1/4 c. for topping
In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and butter together, then pour into the dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the chopped macadamia nuts and sliced bananas. Preheat a griddle to 325 degrees. This is not quite as hot as I usually have the griddle to make pancakes, but because they are so thick and need time for the bananas to cook before the outsides get too dark it best to cook at a little cooler temperature. When bubbles start to form on the top of the pancakes, flip them and finish cooking on the other side. Sprinkle with some of the reserved, chopped macadamia nuts and add a few sliced bananas to take these over-the-top! Serve with buttermilk coconut syrup.
Buttermilk Coconut Syrup
3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coconut extract
In a medium saucepan, add buttermilk, sugar and butter and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil for one minute, remove from heat and stir in baking soda and coconut extract. Syrup will bubble and foam. Serve warm.