Photo: Stacey Ballis

We’ve all done it. We’re hosting a party, which is an excuse to indulge in your favorite treats. Concerned about having enough (not just for the party but maybe some leftovers to enjoy after the guests have gone), we then go way overboard on the stuff we love best. It’s a slippery slope. Having just been through the Super Bowl, I’m sure that my cocktail weenie lovers are still popping little sausages in their faces every time they open the fridge; my chip fanatics have at least three extra bags in various stages of consumption; and my pizza pirates are navigating around leaning towers of pizza.

French onion dip is my kryptonite. An open tub is an empty tub at my house. I will eat the pre-made stuff in a pinch, but my favorite is the old-school stalwart: sour cream mixed with Lipton onion soup mix. Two ingredients, dip perfection. But greedy thing that I am, if people are coming over for a dip-appropriate occasion, I get worried I won’t get enough to slake my desire, and so always make at least double, if not triple, batches. Suddenly you find yourself facing a giant bowl of leftover temptation.

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That’s how this recipe happened, because at a certain point, you need to use that dip to create something greater than itself. Swapping out leftover onion dip for buttermilk in my pancake recipe was a spur-of-the-moment idea that panned out beautifully. Onion has natural sweetness, so it’s not completely insane in a breakfast pastry, and the salty-savory back-note provides some nice counter to a sweet pancake. The sour cream acts as the acid to activate the leavening, as buttermilk does, so you get a nice fluffy cake. And with syrup and butter on top, it has the same delicious effect as dunking your breakfast sausage in syrup.

Plus, it’s an excuse to make extra dip.


Photo: Stacey Ballis

French Onion Dip Pancakes

Makes 9 large or 18 small pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup leftover French onion dip
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and set aside to cool
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Maple syrup and butter for serving

In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Mix the onion dip, milk, and eggs in a bowl until well combined. Pour in the wet mixture and mix until almost combined, but still have some dry spots. Add in the cooled melted butter and mix gently until just combined—you should still have some lumps, but not see any streaks of dry flour. Set aside the batter to rest at room temp.

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Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat your griddle or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot enough for a drop of water to skitter across the surface and evaporate, brush a thin layer of oil on the surface. Drop 1/2 cup scoops for large cakes or 1/4 scoops for small on the skillet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. I usually coax them along with the back of the scoop, since the thick batter will only spread so far on its own. Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on the tops of the pancakes, and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes. Flip over. Don’t press down! I mean it. I know you want to, but resist. These are extra fluffy cakes, and if you press on them they get rubbery. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Cook on the second side about 1-2 minutes till golden brown and cooked through.

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Transfer cooked cakes to a rack over a sheet pan and hold in the oven while you make the rest.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup, or butter and powdered sugar.

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