By Laurenda Marie Bennett

Pancake Sunday was a tradition in my family. I looked forward to those mornings when my mother poured her homemade buckwheat batter onto a warm griddle. Yummmm.

I haven’t met a pancake I didn’t like, but over the years I’ve come to find my favorite.

So, what are my favorite pancakes, you ask?

They are fluffy, chocolatey, whole wheat Almond Joy Pancakes, with plenty of chocolate chips, shredded coconut and sliced almonds. Breakfast from the heavens. They’re made with quality ingredients, too, including unsweetened organic coconut, almond milk and the oh so wonderful coconut oil. It's definitely a healthier pancake if you ask me!

Laurenda Marie Bennett loves to cook and entertain. (Photo: Brent Taylor Photography)

Before I moved in with and married my husband, Dan, my then fiance, I lived in a quaint neighborhood with the most amazing breakfast cafe in all of the land.

I’m not exaggerating, which I sometimes tend to do. It’s called Real Food Cafe for anyone who wants to visit (you’ll thank me later). This little hole-in-the-wall serves up breakfast and lunch with fresh ingredients and portions the size of my face. This is where I first met the Almond Joy Pancake -- and a hefty stack of three with the edges hanging off the plate nonetheless! Pancakes for days! They’re everything you would imagine them to be, multiplied by 10 (still not exaggerating).

I don’t tend to eat a lot of starchy carbs and gluten, but weekends (and pancakes) are occasional exceptions. Plus, I don’t feel as guilty when I’m using wholesome ingredients.

Treat your father to a stack of these this Sunday! He won’t be disappointed!

Almond Joy Pancakes

Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves: Five to six people

These scrumptious Almond Joy Pancakes serve five to six people. (Photo: Laurenda Marie Bennett/)LaurendaMarie.com

Ingredients
For the salad

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted and ½ tablespoon for greasing griddle
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • almonds for topping
  • extra shredded coconut for topping
  • Instructions

  • Preheat griddle to 350 degrees or warm a large skillet over medium heat
  • Mix together all ingredients aside from ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • Grease griddle or pan with remaining coconut oil
  • Use ¼ measuring cup to pour batter
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips before flipping (if you didn't mix them into better); I like to sprinkle them myself so I can control how many each pancake gets as sometimes they sink to the bottom of the batter
  • Flip when edges are golden brown and they start to bubble
  • Top with shredded coconut, sliced almonds, and maple syrup (optional)
  • Laurenda Marie Bennett authors the cooking blog Laurenda Marie and is a contributor on food and cooking for 100.5 The River the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. You can follow Laurenda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.

    Source: Laurenda Marie