Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Filling

     4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, just melted (not boiling)

     1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

     1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Cream Cheese Glaze

     4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

     2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

     3/4 cup powdered sugar

     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Pancakes

     1 cup all-purpose flour

     2 teaspoons baking powder

     1/2 teaspoon salt

     1 cup milk

     1 large egg, lightly beaten

     1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil


Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a quart-sized heavy zip baggie and set it aside.


Prepare the glaze: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until it is almost smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, stir and add in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.


Prepare the pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).


Cook the pancakes: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-heat and spray with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or cup to spread the batter into a circle about 4-inches in diameter (I did not have to do this because my batter was thin enough to spread out by itself). Reduce the heat to medium low. Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner (you may need to knead the cinnamon filling before clipping the bag, as the filling tends to separate a little). When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl, just as you see in a regular cinnamon roll (be careful not to get the filling to close to the side. You want to keep it about a 1/4 of an inch away from the edge or it will bleed over). Cook the pancake 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it's golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Re-warm the glaze briefly, if needed. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.


Yields: Eight 4-inch pancakes


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