Time to take your pancakes to another level with offbeat indie toppings.
Here's what to flip for:
ARE YOU SAPPY?
Maple Syrup Flakes – An award-winning, total reinvention of syrup made by Dori Ross of Tonewood in Waitsfield, Vermont . Her method is top secret, but the mystery makes them taste even better. Especially when the only ingredient is pure maple syrup, so you can feel good about using a lower calorie sweetener that is also chock-full of antioxidants and minerals. And unlike that bag of brown sugar that's solidified in your cupboard, these flakes are always sprinkle-ready.
Bourbon Maple Syrup – As any whiskey geek will tell you, bourbon must be aged in charred barrels made from American oak, and said barrels can only be used once. Mikuni gets used barrels from Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in the Hudson Valley then fill 'em up with medium amber grade maple syrup from heritage sugar shacks in Quebec. The syrup takes on layers of wood and smoke from the charred barrels, along with a hint of the bourbon that had been soaked up by the wood. So good you could drink it straight.
Maple Sugar – At Madava Farms in the Hudson River Valley, the Turner family harvests sap from 800 acres of century-old sugar and red maples. Much of this sap is made into syrup, but some is reduced, and reduced, and reduced until it becomes maple sugar. It's sweet, of course, but also has hints of caramel and a balancing note of bitterness that makes us want to swallow it by the spoonful. Mix with cinnamon and really shake things up.
STILL IN YOUR JAMS?
Apple Caramel Preserves – Is it a spread? A caramel sauce? A jam? Yes! Thin slices of apples are suspended in this jar of swoon-worthy caramel apple. Sharpen your sweet tooth, this is one sugary jam. Sticky, small-batch sweetness from none other than Rare Bird Preserves in Oak Park, Illinois.
Blueberry Bourbon Jam – Whole blueberries. That's the first thing you notice when you open this exceptional jar of "You're My Boy, BLUE-berry Bourbon Jam" from The Jam Stand. Then the scent of bourbon hits you – jam-azing. The brilliance of makers Jessica and Sabrina is their ability to take a main ingredient (in this case, blueberries) and accent it with just the precise touch of something unusual (here, bourbon) – enough that you taste it but not enough that it overpowers.
Drunken Monkey Jam – Bananas and rum? Hello! Banana isn't the first flavor you think of when someone mentions jam. But this slightly chunky jam from the ladies at The Jam Stand is studded with sugar-coated bananas, a splash of rum and a dash of lime – it’s intensely delicious. Bananas at their best. Particularly good on buckwheat flapjacks.
CRAZY FOR CHOCOLATE?
Smoked Chocolate Chips – Yes, that's right. Smoked. These organic semi-sweet chocolate chips from Hot Cakes in Seattle, Washington are cold-smoked over alder wood for more than five hours and moved every 30 minutes to ensure each chip gets the same amount of attention. Fold into pancake batter for a totally delicious, offbeat take on a diner classic.
Chocolate Blueberry Spread – Chocolate and blueberries? Why didn't we think of that? Based out of Oak Park, Illinois, Rare Bird Preserves' small kitchen makes unique and fresh spreads in small batches using their own naturally extracted pectin. Spread between layers of pancakes and stack it up!
Tequila Spiked Chocolate Sauce – Lightly-aged tequila brings out the tropical fruit and caramelized sugar notes in this South American chocolate. It's got a taste of the wild and fun side that earns it the name "One Night Stand," but you'll definitely want a second date, er, helping.
Your breakfast just got a lot more interesting. No waffling.