Whole Wheat Almond Pancakes with Walnut Maple Syrup

This is your last chance to plan your V-day menu. Your last chance to dash to the grocery store, make sure your favorite pan is washed, pull down the tray from the top shelf of your cabinet. So, for all you procrastinators, here: a simply delectable breakfast-in-bed pancake recipe.

I love brunch. I love waking up on weekends, taking my time about it, and padding to the kitchen in my pj’s. I love rooting through my cabinet and refrigerator looking for inspiration. (Because who thinks ahead?) And because I love brunch, I have about a gazillion variations on the classic pancake. But when I threw this together yesterday morning, I was blown away: these are, in my opinion, the best pancakes I’ve made.

These have a delicious, nutty flavor. The layers of almond in this recipe–extract, milk, oil–and the deep hues of the whole wheat flour give the batter a full, almost smoky flavor. And the syrup on top adds to the nutty notes. The end result is a dish that’s sweet and earthy, simple to make but complex on the tongue.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to include more walnuts in my diet. I don’t particularly like walnuts–give me cashews or hazelnuts or almonds, please–but they’re healthy and a vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be heard to find in plant-based diets. So I’ve been (somewhat grudgingly, I admit) adding walnuts to recipes whenever I can. But here, I actually prefer the walnuts to other nuts; they blend so well with the maple syrup and complement the almond flavor of the pancakes.

Besides the walnuts, of course, the use of whole wheat flour makes these a healthy choice. (If you wanted to be uber-healthy, you could substitute canola oil for the almond oil.) But you’d never know it from the taste; these are full-blown scrumptious. So go ahead, throw these together for your sweetheart tomorrow morning. Tell them you love them with the gift of a healthy and delicious breakfast in bed.