These are wonderful to make the night or day before, and have as a quick breakfast for kids in the morning before they go off to school. They will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator, and can be heated and served with syrup, or heated and spread with a bit of butter for those kids who like their breakfast "grab and go style," to eat on the way to school.
They taste like fried cornbread with crispy bacon pieces.
Have the kids drink a glass of milk before or with the Cornmeal Cakes for a complete protein, or give them some nuts or seeds as these, combined with the cornmeal, make a complete protein.
- 8 slices thick bacon
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- corn oil for frying pancakes (about 1/3 cup, more if needed)
Sift together the next six ingredients (dry ingredients) into a small bowl.
Place the eggs, milk, and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine; add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir gently just until combined. There will be small lumps, but don't over-mix or the cakes will be heavy. Add the crumbled reserved bacon, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings; stir to combine.
Make as you would any pancakes: Heat the skillet over high heat and add 2 teaspoons of the corn oil. When the oil is hot start making pancakes, using about 3 tablespoons for each one. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles appear all over the surface. Turn, and cook 1-2 minutes longer, until golden on bottom side. Repeat the process, adding more oil as needed, and reducing the heat if the pan gets too hot. Cover cooked cakes to keep them warm, until all the pancakes are cooked.
Serve with syrup and melted butter.
Bonus Information on Baking Powder and Baking Soda:
If you don't bake on a regular basis, your baking powder and baking soda may have passed their expiration dates. While this doesn't mean they are spoiled, it will affect their strength to leaven your baked goods.
You can test the quality of your baking powder by mixing 1 teaspoon baking powder with a half cup of hot water. If it's still effective, it should immediately bubble (this only works on fast-acting or double-acting baking powder, not slow-acting baking powder). If it doesn't bubble right away, replace it.
If you're in the middle of preparing some baked goods and realize that your baking powder is old, you can make your own. For one teaspoon baking powder, mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. Which brings us to...
Expiration date on baking soda:
While baking soda, cornstarch and cream of tartar (see above paragraph) can replace baking powder, baking powder cannot be used to replace baking soda.
You can test the quality of your baking soda by mixing 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons vinegar. If it's still effective, it should immediately bubble; if not, replace it.
Bonus Information on Cooking Bacon:
A restaurant trick for cooking bacon is to do so on a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook bacon for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn, and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven again and place any cooked pieces on a paper towel; return to oven. Repeat, checking every 5 minutes, until all the bacon is done to your liking.
This is not only easier and less messy that cooking bacon in a skillet a few pieces at a time, but you can cook 12 or more pieces at once (depending on the size of your baking sheet).