Not too long ago in college, a group of friends and I decided to make pancakes one late morning after a party. As we began to mix the dry ingredients and cobble together the wet--and whether the pancakes were boxed mix or scratch will remain a secret, mind you--we were struck by a creative urge. A lonely, unopened beer had survived the gathering of the night before and was sitting, room temperature, on the counter. It seemed as if we all had the same idea at the same time, as the bottle called out to us, unwilling to go it alone without his friends, the casualties of our Friday night revelry. "Let's add it to the batter!" someone chimed. And so we did. As we poured the bubbly, malty brew into our pancakes-to-be, we knew we were onto something delicious...and how right we were. The beer lightened up each pancake, adding a yeasty complexity to it that even a few slightly hungover college students could detect and appreciate. Right then and there, I became a believer in the transformative properties of beer when added to baked goods and pancakes.
This morning, the latest blog post on Brown-Eyed Baker, by Michelle, the author, brought me back to that dormitory Saturday again, except that her version uses waffles as the vehicles for beer, and it's a bit more gourmet. She adds a locally crafted beer to a basic waffle batter and tops the golden-brown beauties with caramelized cinnamon apples. This recipe not only makes me excited for fall (hello, caramelized apple season!), but also about the fact there's another major perk to being an "adult," among many: breakfast recipes only get better.