Pancakes and Cocktails: Three Thanksgiving Recipes

Holiday cooking tends to be all about big, classic dishes: turkey and ham, stuffing and pie. But don’t forget about breakfast—you’ll need strength to deal with family—and when dinnertime rolls around, relax your guests with an apértif. Alumnae food bloggers Lisa Lawless and Stephanie Logerot share their secrets below.

Big Apple Pancake

Lisa Lawless, MA ’94, blogs at Lisa is Cooking and tweets at @lisaiscooking.

The look and the flavor of this pancake so completely outweigh the effort to make it, I could easily make one every weekend while apples are in season. And, I don’t see why apples need to have a lock on this concept. Next summer, I’ll be making these with peaches instead.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 large apples, cored and sliced in ¼-inch thick pieces
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
lemon wedge or confectioners’ sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large, oven-proof skillet, melt two tablespoons butter over medium heat; add apple slices and cook, stirring until tender, about 10 minutes; add two tablespoons of the brown sugar and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, milk, nutmeg, and flour; pour this batter over the apples in the skillet; transfer to oven and bake until puffy, about ten minutes.

In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and remaining two tablespoons brown sugar; cut remaining tablespoon of butter into pieces; when pancake puffs, remove from oven, dot with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and return to oven to bake until browned, about ten minutes more.

As the pancake comes out of the oven, garnish with lemon and/or confectioners’ sugar.

Yields one giant pancake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Stephanie Logerot, BJ ’03, blogs about food and family at Steph Cooks.

Recently, a glance in my pantry revealed no less than three boxes of Bisquick in various states of fullness. I honestly have no idea why I have three boxes of Bisquick, but pancakes were in order. My toddler son loves chocolate chips, and adding pumpkin along with the chips makes me feel virtuous, so these pancakes were born. They don’t taste much like pumpkin, but are very moist and chocolatey. And toddler-friendly. And adult-friendly.

2 cups Bisquick (all-purpose baking mix)
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup chocolate chips (seems like a lot, but we might as well go all the way)

Combine the first four ingredients and stir until the baking mix is moistened and pumpkin is well incorporated.

Stir in chocolate chips. Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto hot pan.

When pancakes are dry around the edges and full of bubbles (after about a minute), flip. Cook another minute or so, until cooked through.

Yields one dozen pancakes.

Boston Bog Cocktail

Adapted from The American Cocktail by Lisa Lawless

This cocktail came from the new book The American Cocktail from the editors of Imbibe magazine. It’s a great little book that presents drinks from each region of the United States. The West chapter includes Texas, and I was proud to see Austin’s own David Alan, the Tipsy Texan, mentioned along with his Loquacious cocktail made with loquats, Tito’s Vodka, and Paula’s Texas Lemon.

I wanted to test a seasonally appropriate cocktail to be sure it would be a hit on Thanksgiving. The Boston Bog is made with fresh cranberries and rum, and it sounded like the perfect option.

This is a serious cocktail that should be offered in small portions, but the tart fruit flavors and sweet apricot and ginger syrup are well-balanced with the alcohol. So on Thursday, at some point after the parade and before carving the turkey, we’ll definitely be mixing these.

For the cocktail:

12 cranberries
3 oz. Appleton Estate Jamaican rum
1 oz. Rothman and Winter apricot liqueur
1/2 oz. ginger syrup
1 oz lemon juice
orange peel, for garnish

For ginger syrup:

2 cups Demerara sugar
6 pieces of fresh, peeled ginger, chopped

You can prepare the ginger syrup ahead of time. Simmer 2 cups of water and stir in Demerara sugar until dissolved. Add chopped ginger, then puree in a blender, strain, and chill.

For the cocktail: muddle the cranberries in a cocktail shaker. Then add the rum and apricot liquer. Add 1 oz. ginger syrup to the shaker along with 1 oz. lemon juice and some ice. Shake until well-chilled and then double-strain into two glasses. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Yields two cocktails.

Photos by Lisa Lawless and Stephanie Logerot. These recipes first appeared on and


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