Serious Eats reviews our pancakes
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Mixed Review: Kodiak Cakes Whole Wheat, Oat and Honey Flapjacks
By, Lucy Baker
I like to start my day off on a healthy note, which means I don’t often indulge at breakfast. But I do have a weakness for pancakes—fluffy golden-brown stacks topped with a fat pat of butter and dripping with pure maple syrup. Needless to say, I was excited to try out Kodiak CakesWhole Wheat, Oat and Honey Flapjack Mix ($7.95). They mix is made with 100% whole grains and egg whites, and has no added fat or sugar.
One of my closest friends had an unfortunate pancake experience as a child. A well-intentioned but overbearing grandparent made him sit at the kitchen table until he finished all his pancakes. The stack was massive, leaden, and oozing with sticky syrup. It was an epic struggle, but my friend finally managed to eat every last bite. Then he promptly threw up. He hasn’t eaten pancakes since.
Even though I love pancakes, I understand where my friend is coming from. Too often they’re heavy, greasy, or gummy. They can sit in your stomach like a brick for hours after breakfast, making you feel sluggish, stuffed, and woozy. But there are also pancakes that are wonderfully light and airy, pancakes that have delicately crisped edges and spongy centers to absorb all that delicious butter and syrup. Ordering them in a restaurant–or preparing them from a boxed mix–is always a gamble. What kind of pancakes will they be?
Preparing the batter was a snap. All I had to do was combine 1 cup of mix with 1 cup of water. Once the batter was ladled into the hot skillet the pancakes cooked beautifully. The batter didn’t spread too thinly, and the pancakes puffed up quickly and were easy to flip. Usually when I make pancakes, the results are a bit sloppy and amoeba-shaped. These came out so perfectly you might think I was a short order cook.
Taste-wise, I’d give these pancakes stellar marks. The predominant flavors were of toasted oats and slightly malty wheat. They reminded me a bit of oatmeal, only lighter and less filling. Despite a hint of honey, they were more savory than sweet. You could easily top them with crème fraiche and smoked salmon as a sort of giant buckwheat blini. Then again, they would also be terrific with bananas, or a few handfuls of summer berries.
I highly recommend this mix. Not only are the pancakes a cinch to make and impressive to look at, the flavor is a complex blend of wholesome and indulgent. These are pancakes I could feel good about eating any morning of the week.