Cherry-Chocolate-Toasted Almond Pancakes

We usually have tons of errands to run on the weekend, so we get up and get going on Saturdays, grabbing food and coffee while we're out and about, but Sundays are different. Sunday mornings are always the best mornings for a leisurely breakfast.

The question is usually "pancakes or waffles?" This past Sunday, the answer was pancakes. Plain old buttermilk ones for the boyfriend and something exciting and interesting for me. I rummaged through the fridge and pantry, finally coming up with fresh cherries, Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, and slivered almonds. (Olga of Mango & Tomato was my inspiration for using the fresh cherries. I'm not sure I would have thought to throw them in if I hadn't seen her do it.)

I quartered the cherries, coarsely chopped the chocolate chips, and toasted the slivered almonds. Just looking at those ingredients, I knew these were going to be some tasty pancakes.

quartered cherries
toasted, slivered almonds and bittersweet chocolate chips
With the cherries, chocolate, and almonds ready to go, I made my usual buttermilk pancake recipe from Pancakes And Waffles. (It's a great book, and you can get it at a discount using the coupon in my sidebar!) The recipe makes amazing pancakes, but it does use a few bowls -- one for dry ingredients, one for egg yolks and buttermilk, one for egg whites, and one for melting the butter. You also need two mixers. I use my KitchenAid for the yolks and buttermilk and my handheld mixer for the egg whites. I could probably follow a simpler recipe, but I love the fluffy pancakes that result from folding in the egg whites.

I took a little less than half of the batter and poured it into a small bowl, where I added my chocolate, cherries, and nuts.

The untainted (or boring) half of the batter was left for my boyfriend, who prefers his pancakes unadorned. I don't blame him. Every once in a while I really enjoy plain pancakes too.

The nice thing about using my panini grill to make pancakes is that it has two sides. I used one side for the plain pancakes and one side for the cherry pancakes, just in case any chocolate got the idea to sneak out. I didn't want to risk marring the plain pancakes.

Sunday breakfast lived up to my high expectations. The cherries were sweet yet tangy, chocolate always wins in my book, and toasting the almonds beforehand gave them deeper flavor -- more nuttiness. And I know my boyfriend was happy with his stack of light, buttery pancakes too.

What do you like in your pancakes?