I did a little research to find a recipe that I thought was similar enough to these tasty treats. And I kept seeing these referred to as “Johnnycakes”. Much easier reference than my random Google terms: Tiny corn pancake, silver dollar corn cake, griddle corn patty, etc. If you’re like me, when you Google something of which you aren’t quite sure the name, you type in any and all words to describe it that come to mind. It leads to some interesting queries in my Google drop down box:)
The recreation for my How ‘Tweet it Is Baby Boy Shower turned out fantastic and the rave reviews from party guests confirmed it! So many people asked for the recipe, but one sweet party guest filled me in on the origin of the name. Perfectly appropriate for Memorial Day, as you’ll see…
Simply enough, Johnnycakes became popular during the Civil War among soldiers who made them at their campsites. This particular party guest referenced the old term of “Johnny” for a soldier, although there are various theories as to where the name came from. But it’s no question that among the Northeast, Midwest, and South, Jonnycakes are a popular form of comfort food. And with some fresh summer tomato, bacon, and homemade ranch, you get what I’ve dubbed a true Ozarkian version of the cakes!
Jonnycakes of the Ozarks
makes approximately 25-30 cakes
For the cakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup hot milk
1 tablespoon shortening
Warm one to two tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. As the skillet warms: Mix the dry ingredients, then stir in the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Drop batter by the spoonful on the skillet. You’ll want them to be about the size of a silver dollar. Fry to golden brown on both sides.
For the garnish:
8 ounces homemade ranch
6 slices of cooked and cooled bacon*, chopped into one inch squares
*Make sure you get a thick cut of bacon
15 cherub tomatoes, halved
To make the ranch, I buy a Hidden Valley Ranch dry herb packet and use half the packet with the preparation instructions listed (half a packet will call for 8 ounces of sour cream. You’ll mix the two together and let the flavor meld in the fridge for about an hour). This makes for creamy and thick delicious ranch! Semi-homemade, I guess.
Prepare the bacon using your preferred method (hint – it’s easiest to opt for skillet preparation, since you’ll be greased up and ready for corn cakes when the bacon is done!) Cool the bacon and cut into one inch pieces.
To prepare the tomatoes, rinse fruit and cut each cherub in half.
Top each Johnnycake with a piece of bacon. Dollop ranch on top and place a cherub atop the ranch.
Happy, happy Memorial Day to all! A big thanks to all the troops that serve and have served for our country. This holiday got its start post-Civil War, so the Johnnycake recipe seemed like a no-brainer post for today:) Enjoy!