The optional Berry Yogurt Spread is a delicious (and protein-packed) variation to maple syrup. Make it the day before or start it before you start the pancakes so the berries have a chance to cool. You can also simplify and warm the berries and serve them as a sauce over the pancakes, skipping the yogurt.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter in a separate bowl. The batter should be fairly thin and should fall easily off of a spoon easily.
Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Grease with nonstick spray or butter. Drop batter by 1/4 cup portions (or bigger or smaller, depending on your preference). To make hearts, make a "V" shape with the batter and spread into a heart until about 1/4-inch thick. Cook until edges are set and you see small bubbles, about 2 minutes.
Flip carefully and cook through on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Serve, or place cooked pancakes onto a baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree oven. Cook the rest of the batter.
Serve warm with Berry Yogurt Spread—or maple syrup or nut butter.
Berry Yogurt Spread
Place the blueberries into a small saucepan. Warm on low, stirring occasionally, until thawed and starting to break down and release their juices, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool. Stir together with the yogurt and serve with the pancakes.
To Store: Let any extras cool fully and store them in a airtight storage container or freezer bag in the fridge or freezer for later use. Warm in 15-30 second intervals in the microwave until thawed, if frozen, and warm.
Gluten-free: Use gluten-free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour.
Dairy-free: Use oil instead of butter and a favorite nondairy milk.
Cocoa powder has a tendency to be lumpy and those lumps are a little hard to get out without overworking the batter. By placing the cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve, you can get the lumps out to make a better overall batter.
You can also top with maple syrup, nut butter, applesauce or yogurt.