Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Pancakes

I'm not sure if you know this...but I have a slight obsession with the Cheesecake Factory.  I've tried the majority of their menu items (since I go their nearly every time I go to the mall), including cheesecake (my favorite flavors being the chocolate coconut, peanut butter fudge ripple, lemon raspberry, and Chris's outrageous chocolate cake.  I can't help but smile when I think of the Cheesecake Factory; I've never had a bad meal their.  I went their for brunch the other day (try the giant Belgian waffle with strawberries, sweet roasted pecans, and cream...sooo good) , and I couldn't help thinking what a hit it would be if they added cheesecake pancakes to their menu.  It would be totally perfect for that restaurant.  Chop up some pieces of they're legendary cheesecake, mix it into pancake batter and wah-la:  cheesecake pancakes.  It wasn't long after I had this breakthrough idea that I spotted Philadelphia's new [chocolate cream cheese] in Harris Teeter.  I swear, I grabbed the container and sprinted back to my mom like a lunatic  - begging her to buy it.  She said yes, of course, because she's a huge cream cheese fan, as am I.  There's white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate, and we bought the dark chocolate.  It is so delicious.  Try it with graham crackers, banana, bagels, and my favorite - strawberries.  Another amazing way to have it is in these yummy pancakes.  I took my graham cracker pancake batter recipe from my scrumptious s'mores pancakes (here), added frozen chocolate cream cheese pieces, and they turned out perfect.  You get rich, chocolate, cream cheesy goodness in every bite, along with the graham cracker flavor that you would normally get from a cheesecake crust...making it seem like you're eating an actual slice of chocolate cheesecake.  Only it's breakfast.  And a pancake.  Mmmm...that's good eatin' right their.

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Philadelphia chocolate cream cheese (any flavor - white, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate)
Whipped cream (optional)
Graham cracker crumbs  (optional)

  1. Scoop 3/4 cup (about 3/4 container) cream cheese out, and divide it into four.  Place the 4 globs onto an ungreased cookie sheet; cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".
  3. Cut frozen cream cheese into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.  Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.  Stir in cream cheese.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour cupfuls of batter onto the skillet.  Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
  5. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs if desired. 

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