If you're in need of brunch recipes for a crowd, summon the power of chef Chris Santos. His cookbook Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table is perfect for anyone who's overwhelmed by hosting a brunch party—or any type of gathering, really. And his recipe for Oreo pancakes with vanilla crème frosting, which is a perennial favorite at his restaurant Stanton Social on Manhattan's Lower East Side, might be one of the easiest for a crowd to love. "Oreo lovers rejoice, you finally have an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast," he writes. "And if you are the type of person who goes straight for the filling in the sandwich cookie, you might as well just earmark this page for the crème icing recipe."

Santos is also the owner and executive chef at restaurants Beauty & Essex, and Vandal, both of which, like Stanton Social, are known for their communal style of dining. (Santos is also bringing this style of sharing to the west coast, with the opening of Beauty & Essex in Los Angeles later this year.) It'd make sense, then, that Santos—whose name you also may know from his a regular stints as judge on Food Network's Chopped—encourages guests seated at his own table to "reach across the table and dig into another diner's plate." He says, "My best meals have been the ones that have been intimate and communal at the same time: intimate because I was with close friends, yet communal because of the elements of sharing and community." 

But, honestly, cookie lovers might be hard-pressed to split these Oreo-filled pancakes with anyone else. "While I always have maple syrup on hand for these pancakes," writes Santos in Share, "the crème icing is really all you need."

Oreo Pancakes with Vanilla Crème Icing

  • Yields: About 14 pancakes

For the Vanilla Crème Icing

For the Oreo Pancakes

Directions

  1. Make the icing. Beat the shortening, butter, and vanilla together in the bowl of a standing heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in the crushed cookies. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

  2. Make the pancake batter. Sift the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl. Whisk the milk, buttermilk, eggs, unsalted butter, and vanilla together in another bowl. Pour into the flour mixture. Whisk just until combined. Stir in the crushed cookies.

  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Heat a large griddle or two skillets over medium heat until a splash of water skitters on the surface. Lightly oil the griddle. Using about ⅓ cup for each pancake, pour the batter onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the pancake surface and the bubbles burst, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute more. Transfer to the oven rack to keep warm while cooking the remaining pancakes. If the batter thickens upon standing, thin with a little more milk.

  4. Serve. Spread each pancake with a dollop of the icing. Stack the pancakes in tall stacks, and top each stack with additional icing and a generous sprinkle of crushed cookies and confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve immediately with the remaining icing passed on the side.

Excerpted from the book SHARE by Chris Santos. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Santos. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.