Old-fashioned Nut Pancakes

Nut pancakes on plate

Sometimes it seems like I get into a rut when making breakfast foods – and tend to just make the same two or three foods over and over. So I’m always looking for easy-to-make recipes for breakfast foods. I recently saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Nut Pancakes, and decided to give it a try.

This recipe is a keeper. The pancakes contained lots of chopped walnuts, and had a lovely texture and flavor.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Nut Pancakes
Source: Good Housekeepings’ Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

A hundred-years-ago many families still lived on farms and drank non-pasteurized milk; and, even in towns, much of the milk that was sold was not pasteurized. Back then, if the non-pasteurized milk was not used quickly, the “good” bacteria in the milk would turn it into a sour milk suitable for use in recipes. When making old recipes that call for sour milk, today’s pasteurized milk can be turned into a sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to create a slightly curdled acidic milk.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Nut Pancakes

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice (I used vinegar.)

2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons butter, melted

3/4 cup walnuts chopped

Put the milk in a cup or bowl, then stir in the vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside for at least 2 minutes.

Put the bread flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder,, melted butter, and milk that has been combined with the vinegar or lemon juice in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet to a medium temperature, then pour or scoop batter onto the hot surface to make individual pancakes.  Cook until the top surface is hot and bubbly, and then flip and cook other side.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Walnut Chocolate Cake Recipe

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, June 23, 1913:  Nothing much doing.

cake.photos-crop.a

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today I’m going to go back to a post I did almost two years ago on August 13, 1911. That post was about the difficulty of interpreting old cake recipes using modern techniques, ingredients, and stoves.

The post included a lovely picture of Walnut Chocolate Cake from Lowney’s Cookbook (1907)—but I didn’t actually make the cake.

Somehow every time I flipped through the Lowney’s Cookbook that picture kept pulling me back. It felt like I’d wimped out—and that I still had some unfinished business with that recipe.

So I finally gave in—took a deep breath and made a stab at interpreting the Walnut Chocolate Cake recipe for modern cooks.  Here are the results of my efforts:

Walnut Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3  cup milk

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup walnuts, chopped (+ whole walnuts to decorate top of cake)

Chocolate buttercream frosting

Vanilla buttercream frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 X 8 inch cake pans. If desired, line with waxed paper to make it easier to get the cakes out of the pans.

Combine all ingredients except walnuts and icings, and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (reserve remaining walnuts).

Evenly divide the batter between the two pans. Bake until done (approximately 30 minutes).

Remove cakes from pans while still warm (approximately 15 minutes after removing from oven). After the cakes are cooled put one cake on a plate and thinly spread with chocolate frosting.  Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of chopped walnuts on top of the chocolate frosting.

Top with the second cake layer. Ice with the vanilla frosting. Decorate with whole walnuts.

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The bottom line: The cake was heavier than the typical modern cake—but delicious, and well worth the effort of trying to interpret the old recipe.