When I was growing up in California I always looked forward to breakfast on Sundays. That's because every Sunday my mom would make us sourdough pancakes. I would scoot my chair up to the table and await my pile of pancakes. Between each one I would place a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup that we got shipped to us from a family in Vermont. My mom would heat the maple syrup so that the instant it touched those pats of butter it would start to melt them. Oh, it was a little piece of Heaven on my plate every Sunday. I know this is why I love pancakes so much. This morning I had an idea to use some homemade ricotta for some orange ricotta pancakes dotted with chocolate chips for breakfast. I was inspired by a recipe I found for Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes from The Kitchen. I love ricotta pancakes for a couple of reasons. One being that the ricotta makes a super soft and moist pancake. The second reason is that ricotta is high in protein, which bumps the healthy ratio of the pancakes. What I loved about this recipe is that the chocolate chips added just enough sweetness that none of the kids wanted any maple syrup. The pancakes were soft and pillowy with just the right amount of orange, so that you knew it was there but it didn't scream "ORANGE!!!" at you. Plus chocolate and orange have had a little thing going on for ages now, so I had a hunch these pancakes would go over well with the kiddos, and they did. These pancakes have been kid tested and mom approved. —Dabblings
16-18 three inch pancakes
of flour (you might need 1-2 extra tablespoons depending on how wet your ricotta is)
Set the ricotta in a fine mesh strainer about 30 minutes before you want to start cooking to drain off any excess liquid.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the ricotta, milk, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and egg yolks.
Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta mixture, stirring gently until just combined. If the mixture is really runny add in the extra flour. Whisk in a third of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Heat a griddle over medium-high heat, and brush the surface with butter. Using a ladle or 1/4 measuring cup to pour the batter onto the griddle. Put a small amount of chocolate chips onto each pancake (I put 5 chocolate chips onto each pancake). Push the chocolate chips into the batter with the tip of a knife. Cook the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown.