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PB&J Banana Pancakes by Dara

As beloved as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are, it seems a shame to relegate that flavor combination to just lunchtime. With peanut butter mixed into the batter and a dollop of jam tucked into the center, these peanut butter and jam pancakes rocketed to the top of my family’s favorite breakfast recipes.

Truth be told, I wasn’t a big fan of PB&J sandwiches when I was a kid. Peanut butter and banana was more my speed. But there is something about the marriage of creamy peanut butter, jam and banana when mixed into fluffy, hearty pancakes that turned me into a PB&J devotee.

If you’re trying to save time on school mornings, make a large batch of these pancakes on the weekend and freeze the extra cooked pancakes. Allow the pancakes to cool, then separate them with sheets of wax or parchment paper. Transfer the stack to a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To heat, place a few pancakes on a plate or paper towel and reheat for 10 to 20 seconds in the microwave. To reheat a bigger batch, place the pancakes on a baking sheet, tent with foil and heat them in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes.

On to the PB&J Banana Pancakes!

 
 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. I like to use whole wheat pastry flour because it has an extra dose of fiber, but all-purpose flour works equally well. If using whole wheat flour, I highly recommend the pastry flour because it has a much lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour. Lighter flour means lighter, fluffier pancakes!

 
 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg. Add the bananas and mash them with the back of a fork. If you have overripe bananas, this is a great way to use them up. The ripe ones are sweeter, which means you can skip adding sugar or maple syrup to the batter.

 
 

Add the milk, peanut butter, canola oil and vanilla extract to the mixture and whisk well to combine.

 
 

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

 
 

Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, or heat a griddle to 375ºF. A griddle is a great option when cooking a large batch of pancakes, but I prefer the texture that the cast-iron skillet adds to the exterior of the pancakes.

Using a scant ¼ cup of batter for each pancake, scoop the batter into the skillet, working with a few pancakes at a time.

Dollop 1 teaspoon of jam into the center of each pancake. I used strawberry jam, but raspberry or blackberry are good options, too.

 
 

Cover the jam with additional batter, using the back of a spoon to seal in the jam.

 
 

When the pancakes start to set around the edges, flip and cook until the pancakes are cooked through all the way. Repeat with the remaining batter, keeping the cooked pancakes warm in the oven or serving as each batch is ready. My growing teenaged boys can never wait when the pancakes are fresh out of the pan, so we always eat them as soon as they’re ready.

Serve the pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit, if desired. A fresh fruit syrup, such as Sommer’s 2-Ingredient Blueberry Syrup, would also be a fantastic accompaniment for these pancakes.

Enjoy!