My hands-down favorite recipe blog is Tammy’s Recipes Everyday Cooking Inspiration. No fancy ingredients, just really good, basic recipes that work well for us. Here are two of my favorite recipes (and the links to the original recipes on Tammy’s site) that are a must have for weekend pancakes or waffles: brown sugar syrup and soft butter spread. They are super quick and easy to make with ingredients I usually keep on hand, plus I know exactly what goes into them without any trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives. Any artificial colors or flavors would come from the imitation vanilla or maple flavoring, but you can always use real vanilla extract (which is another experiment I have been meaning to try, making homemade vanilla extra!)
Brown Sugar Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (8 oz)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla (or maple flavoring)
Heat the first three ingredients on low while you make your pancakes or waffles, or at least until the brown sugar dissolves (do NOT simmer or boil!). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla (or maple) flavoring. The syrup is thin when served warm, but thickens up a LOT when refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups of syrup. I keep it in washed 16 oz CoffeeMate containers in the fridge, and usually double this recipe (we freeze leftover pancake and waffles and reheat for quick breakfasts during the week).
Soft Butter Spread
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1/2 cup canola oil (can use extra virgin olive oil, but has a different flavor)
1/2 cup cool water
I soften the butter for 8 seconds in the microwave (do NOT melt), then whip it in my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment. When it is fluffy, I scrape down the sides and whip it again while slowly pouring in the oil. Keep whipping the spread while slowly pouring in the water next. The soft butter spread will look like whipped vanilla icing.
I use a spatula to scrape it into a plastic container (this one is a re-purposed lunchmeat container, I believe it holds 2.75 cups).
The spread will solidify in the fridge to be a firm but spreadable consistency, like tub margarine. We love this stuff for rolls, toast, pancakes and waffles, garlic bread and making grilled cheese sandwiches (it is not okay for use in baking recipes though, remember it is 25% water), and helps to stretch our butter supply.