This week, I visited my first Cracker Barrel. While my taste buds mostly line up with southern style cooking, I still can’t enjoy grits. You can make them perfect with just the right amounts of butter and I will still not like them. It’s a texture thing for me and I just can’t get over it.

Like water chestnuts. While I am totally OK with their flavor, the texture gives me the same heebie jeebies some people get with nails on a chalkboard.

Unfortunately everything at Cracker Barrel comes with grits. Just so you know. It really has no bearing on this column. I just wanted you to go in knowing you will most likely be trying some grits.

The one thing they did get right is pancakes. They were pretty out of this world. I decided to duplicate the results at home so I could have them whenever I wanted.

After a longer than usual research session, it came down to butter. Lots and lots of butter. While I shouldn’t be surprised these southern style pancakes were just dripping with butter, it was still shocking just how much.

The secret is to pretty much swim the batter in melted butter, then add some at the end around the edges to crisp them up. While in no way good for you, it does make for an out-of-this-world Sunday morning treat.

If you’re like me, finish them off with a healthy sprinkling of pecans and top with maple syrup. Finish off with a blast of Reddi-Whip for a real southern treat.


Crispy edge pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
A few tablespoon of butter to cook pancakes in

1. Combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large-sized bowl. Make a well in the center and add the milk, slightly cooled melted butter, vanilla and egg.

2. Use a wire whisk to whisk the wet ingredients together first before slowly folding them into the dry ingredients. Mix together until smooth.

3. Set the batter aside and allow it to rest while heating up your pan or griddle. A cast iron frying pan is your best friend in this situation if you have one. Heat your pan or griddle over low-medium heat and melt some of the reserved butter to evenly coat the pan.

4. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan and spread out gently into a round shape with the back of your ladle or measuring cup. When the underside is golden and bubbles begin to appear on the surface add more butter to the outside of the cake and continue to cook a few more seconds, flip with a spatula and cook for 15-20 seconds more.

5. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Enjoy!