Cooking “The Goldfinch” Part 3: Blueberry Chocolate-Chip Pancakes

by Cara Nicoletti on January 18, 2014


Sometimes there just really isn’t a ton to say. My brain and body are both feeling stretched pretty thin this week. Between working and teaching and blogging and trying to finish the book, I barely have the brain-power to fully comprehend an episode of The Bachelor these days. No, really. On Monday night I tried to take a break and watch it and I found myself asking an irritating number of questions, unable to turn my brain off for even a second and just bask in the glow of Juan Pablo. On Tuesday night I woke up at three in the morning inexplicably desperate to know the history of instant pudding. I actually dragged myself out of bed to go sit at my computer and read about patents for the MY*T*FINE company. On Wednesday I was on my feet for so long that by the time I got home they looked like tiny footballs and I fell asleep soaking them in the tub with chips and salsa on my lap (a very confusing situation to wake up in).

The light at the end of this exhausting and embarrassing tunnel is that someday there will be a book–a real book full of real-book-smells–with my name on it, sitting on actual bookstore bookshelves. Until that happens though, there are pancakes and good books for comfort, and the knowledge that with all of the terrifying stress and pressure of adulthood also comes the privilege of eating whatever we want, which means we don’t even have to exert the mental energy to choose between blueberries and chocolate chips.


“We just want to know what you remember,” he said. “Probe around in your memory, get a general picture of that morning, you know? Because maybe by remembering some of the little things, you might remember something that will help us.”
He was sitting so close I could smell his deodorant.
“Like what?”
“Like what you ate for breakfast that morning. That’s a good place to start, huh?”
“Um—“ I stared at the gold ID bracelet on his wrist. This wasn’t what I’d been expecting them to ask. The truth was: we hadn’t eaten breakfast at all that morning because I was in trouble at school and my mother was mad at me, but I was too embarrassed to say that.
“You don’t remember?”
“Pancakes,” I burst out desperately.
“Oh yeah?” Ray looked at me shrewdly. “Your mother make them?”
“What’d she put in them? Blueberries, chocolate chips?”
I nodded.
(The Goldfinch 103-104)




Blueberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Makes roughly 16 -18 3-inch pancakes (1/4 cup batter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups buttermilk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, browned (this is optional but recommended. If you’re not feeling it just melt your butter), plus more for greasing skillet
½ cup blueberries
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips

Maple syrup for serving



Heat your oven to 200F (to keep cooked pancakes warm while you’re making the rest). Brown your butter and set it aside to cool. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk and cooled brown butter and mix until batter just comes together (don’t over-mix, that will make for tough pancakes. The batter can and should be a little bit lumpy). Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush with butter. Add ¼ cup of batter to the skillet and sprinkle blueberries and chocolate chips all over. Cook until small bubbles have formed all over—about 2 1/2 -3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute or until bottom is golden. Transfer cooked pancake to a plate in the oven and repeat process with remaining batter.



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Leave a Comment

Susan Corson January 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

Oh yes! A perfect Saturday -rainy morning – breakfast!


Deb January 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

you make me laugh. wish you were here to make me blueberry pancakes!


Gemma January 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

I love this.


Anne Green January 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm

They look decadent but very delicious!


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