1 pound uncooked Nueske's bacon, chilled and diced
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla ( optional ) Nielsen Massey is best
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. smoked whiskey caramel
Place bacon bits on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. With slotted spoon, drain crisp bacon on paper towel.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter and place it in a medium bowl with the buttermilk and vanilla.
Separate the eggs, placing the egg yolks into the buttermilk batter. Whisk the buttermilk mixture until egg yolks are well blended, add caramel..
Place the egg whites in a dry glass bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until the egg whites form a soft peak.
Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir until flour is mixed in well. Add the egg whites and fold into batter to create a light and fluffy batter. Don't over mix.
Heat griddle to 400 F or a large skillet over medium high heat. Brush the pan generously with canola oil.
When water splashed on the skillet surface sizzles the pan is ready. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter onto the hot skillet, but don't overcrowd. Top with 1-2 tsp. crisp bacon. When pancake bottoms start to brown and the top starts to have bubbles that pop, 2-3 minutes, flip the pancake and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Wipe pan clean with paper towel between pancakes and add additional oil for each batch.
Of course these need to be served with real butter and real maple syrup or more caramel sauce!
My children grew up on these and maybe yours will too!
Smoked Whiskey Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons smoked whiskey ( Whiskey Del Bac from Arizona is Great)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer into a medium heavy-bottomed pan and set over medium-high heat. Once a thin layer of sugar begins to melt, use a spatula to fold and stir the melted sugar onto the unmelted sugar. Continue to stir until amber in tone, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the cream. Whisk until all the sugar pieces have dissolved. Transfer sauce to a bowl and allow to cool slightly before adding the whiskey and salt.
Real maple syrup or the Caramel sauce to top it off.