There are so many items in the typical pantry that could easily be made from scratch, and yet are most often purchased – pancake syrup is one of those items. I mixed up a batch from scratch one morning when the waffles were almost ready and I discovered we were out of syrup – but read the ingredient list on a bottle and you may never go back to Aunt Jemima. (Pure maple syrup, of course, can’t be made from scratch; it’s divine, but expensive!)
Homemade syrup is divine on Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes!
Syrup is a simple concoction made with sugar and water. Simple syrup is made by bringing equal parts white sugar and water to a simmer, just enough to dissolve the sugar. Continue cooking it and it will turn dark as the temperature increases and the sugar caramelizes – eventually you’ll have a burnt amber mixture that once cool, will be hard candy.
Which is not what you want on a pancake. For more flavour, try making syrup out of brown sugar and water – 2 parts sugar to 1 part water will make a heftier syrup, the brown sugar adding more depth of flavour. Add a teaspoon of maple extract, if you like, or simmer a cinnamon stick, strip of lemon or orange zest or a handful of cranberries until they pop. However you make it, a quick batch of homemade syrup will come together more quickly than the pancakes or waffles themselves, and can be stored in a jar in the fridge for weeks.