Since I view myself as a journalist above all else, I tried to go into this competition as unbiased as possible. I have no inclination toward Vegan or meaty food. I'll eat anything, as long as it's delicious and doesn't make me feel gross afterward. The competition winner will gain my pledge to their pancake services forever.
I cooked from both recipes, so the matter of the chef's skill remained the same. Even though it was my first time using the NYT recipe, it was only my second using the VwaV recipe, so I don't feel they got too big of an advantage.
The recipe was fine, but I always hate getting two different options for the amount of milk to use. It involves maple syrup and vanilla extract, so sweetness was guaranteed. Mixing the batter was fine, although I had to go against my natural inclination to over-mix. And ladling them out was simple. Using this, I cooked about 15 Kirk-sized pancakes (a little bigger than a silver dollar), and they were fluffy and sweet and moist and wonderful. Thumbs up! It's like dessert, right, but it's good for you, 'cause it's pancakes!
Again, two different milk amounts. Why does God do this to me? I got a bit worried about the batter; it was yellower than I'd have expected, but it smelled nice and pancake batter-y. Ladling was a problem. I usually pride myself on ladling out pancakes or sizing balls of cookie dough, but these just weren't falling off right. Too little milk? Too much milk? I could never get them the size I wanted, so I ended up with 22 Big Boy pancakes. This recipe makes a ton!
But it's in cooking that it fell far behind. These guys didn't want to brown, and we all know pancakes should be a nice, golden brown [although, in my opinion, the pancakes in the below video are TOO BURNED. It disgusts me.]. I always fear overburning my food, so my usual method is to turn them too soon. For the first pancakes I'd force myself to wait patiently until there were about five popping bubbles (pancake bubbles look like alien eyes to me). With this recipe, hoo, boy! I'd sit there forever and be like "OK, they are DEFINITELY burned" and there'd be just a bit of brown on them, but they were definitely cooked and ready to turn. What gives?
I wonder if the other ones cooked easier because they had a lot of oil in them already (two tablespoons! Plus two tablespoons of maple syrup), so they'd be a bit oilier than the NYT pancakes, which just had two tablespoons of butter. But I suppose the egg should offshoot that, right? I dunno, this is just a theory.
I can usually get the hang of cooking a pancake by the fourth one, but I made 22 DAMN PANCAKES and not one turned out "perfect" by my standards. Or even "good." I almost want to make them over again, because I feel I must have screwed up somewhere with the batter, but I'm hesitant to waste my time and energy and risk ending up with nearly two dozen subpar pancakes.
And then there's the taste. Sorry, Terry, and what were you thinking, New York Times? These taste awful. Very eggy, like an egg bagel, maybe? Just very eggy. And I like eggs... but I don't like them in my pancakes. They looked like arepas, which are fine, but I'm not cooking arepas, I'm cooking pancakes.
They reminded me of buttermilk pancakes, which I don't like. They're a bit sour. Not my thing. It took me years to realize this, and I just thought every diner served shitty pancakes. They don't, it's the buttermilk. I think.
I managed to eat eight of these big, yellow, eggy things (they looked like pancakes that had never seen the light of the sun - Morlock pancakes, maybe) before calling it quits, whereas I could eat all 15 of the other ones because I'm a big fat pig but also they were smaller.
Looking at the remaining 14, it's like, "I never want to eat you again. EVER."
So again, my apologies for coming across as harsh, but those were the worst pancakes ever, and the winner, hands-down, goes to the Vegan pancakes.