Last Christmas, my friend Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny and I exchanged a few goodies. Not only did I get to sample her famously wonderful Buckeyes and other homemade treats, but I also got to try a few other specialty foods that she sent, one of which was a delicious Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup.
When I think of blueberry syrup, my mind immediately goes to pancakes. Gloriously light and fluffy golden pancakes…maybe with crunchy walnuts, sweet/tart blueberries, or a combination of dark chocolate chips and coconut…and of course drowning in syrup. As you can see, pancake making in my house is a serious business, meaning nothing but the good stuff (i.e., real butter, sugar, etc.), which is why they’re reserved for very special mornings.
And for the everyday mornings? The mornings when I’d like to eat pancakes but don’t want to feel like I ate pancakes? Something healthy and delicious that only tastes like an overindulgence. Part pancake, part muffin, part soufflé, these little beauties are perfect for breakfast. Or dessert. Or basically any time in between. :)
(Yield: 2 servings…makes a great breakfast served with a side of fresh fruit)
2 TB blanched almonds (or raw, unsalted cashews)
1/4 c rolled oats
2 TB all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda (don’t skip this, it’s to balance out the honey’s acidity)
1/2 c cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/4 c milk (low-fat or fat-free is fine)
1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla if you prefer)
1 TB honey
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 TB dried blueberries
Cooking spray or butter (to grease the baking dishes)
Blueberry syrup (for serving)
Preheat oven to 350F; grease 2 (8 oz) oven-safe ramekins (I used half pint-sized mason jars) with a little butter or cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine dried blueberries with 1 TB flour.
In a food processor, process almonds (or cashews) until they look like fine, moist crumbs. Add oats and process until oats are very fine; pulse in 1 TB flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Transfer dry ingredients to a medium bowl and set aside. In the food processor (no need to wash the bowl), process cottage cheese until smooth; pulse in egg, milk, almond extract, honey, and lemon zest until smooth.
Stir wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and let them sit 3 minutes (the batter will thicken as the oats absorb the liquid); gently stir in the blueberry/flour mixture. Transfer batter to prepared ramekins; bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just slightly moist.
Serve with blueberry syrup drizzled on top.