Turn pancakes guest-worthy by making your own topping. Here are six ideas that go beyond the usual maple syrup.
1. Fruit syrups and compotes
If you’re going to dump liquid sugar over your pancakes, it might as well have some antioxidants, right? Try making your own syrups with apricots, blueberries, cranberries or oranges.
2. Infused honey
Sure, you can drizzle any old honey over pancakes, but lavender-and-rose infused honey makes them extra special. (While you’re at it, swirl some of the honey into your tea.)
3. Cooked fruit
For a (slightly) healthier topping, sauté diced apples, pears or peaches in butter with a little sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt until tender. Or make a berry compote to spoon over your pancakes.
4. Bacon candy
For a sweet, salty and crispy topping, bake bacon with sugar until it’s very brown. After it cools, crumble it on top of your pancakes.
5. Flavored whipped cream
Add a dose of vanilla extract or brewed espresso to freshly whipped cream. Or, if you have nowhere else to be after breakfast, beat in some bourbon.
6. Flavored butter
Compound butter doesn’t just have to be for savory food. Mash softened butter with sugar, fruit and spices to serve over pancakes.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.