Cooking while Autistic: Johnnycakes Profane with Sweet Chili Syrup Recipe

As promised…

A window into the rest of This Autistic Life…

My special interests: music, poetry, politics, spirituality, but especially…


Yeah. I’m #ActuallyAutistic. Yeah. I got food sensitivities…

And, hell yeah, I’m poor.

  • So nothing here will be bland. G-d, how cream of wheat can make me puke. Contrasting textures & tastes rule.
  • EVERYTHING here can be made from stuff at food banks… Or at least bought with food stamps.
  • There will be lotsa nerdy details.
  • But NO rules. I hate rules. And make things different everytime. More like an outline of suggestions, hints at measurements, random observations.

Enough story. Here’s today’s recipe. And trust me, if ya like sweet & hot, you’re gonna love, love, 🥰 the chili syrup….

Johnnycakes Profane with Sweet Chili Syrup…

Ingredients (4 servings, unless you’re real hungry…)

Chili Syrup

  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar (natural, organic, white, whatev)
  • 1/2 to 1-1/2 T chili flakes (to taste, medium to hot)
  • 3+ cloves fresh garlic, minced and smashed in the coarse salt👇
  • Pinch to 1/8 t salt (to taste, sea, pink Himalayan, iodized, take yer best shot)
  • Powerups: 1/8 t molasses (mineral nutrition, golden color, darkened taste), 1 T apple cider vinegar, dash of fish sauce, Oriental sesame oil, soy sauce (tamari), sriracha)


  • 1 c corn masa (or whatever form of corn meal ya got)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 T butter (to start)
  • Powerups: 1/4 cup (total) nuts, pepita’s, almond meal, sunflower/hemp/chia seeds, raisins, cranberries, mango or other dried fruit


  • Thinly sliced green onions, onions, leeks, chives, garlic chives… pick yer poison.


Corn meal mixture ready to go.
  1. Syrup: In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and salt. Heat over med low heat til clear. Should be done just before it starts to boil. Stir in chili flakes & garlic. Just bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You can store in a glass jar for months in refrigerator… if there’s any left.
    • I highly recommend the molasses powerup. Be cautious with others. They don’t all play nice together. Sweet, hot & salty should dominate.
  2. While sauce cooks & cools, whisk together cornmeal, water, milk, spices, salt, powerups.
    • IMPORTANT: Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes so dough is even and holds shape. Add more cornmeal if still sticky, water if it’s dry. Flour hands and spatula before handling. Go nuts with the powerups. I, personally need the textures & flavors to avoid the yuck factor.
    • I prefer Mexican masa corn flour (Maseca brand available in most groceries, and non-GMO & organic may be available in a co-op or online). It is whole grain, not defatted or degerminated, and lime treatment improves nutrition. But use what you have, even food bank Jiffy Mix.
  3. Melt a tablespoon of butter in skillet or on griddle at medium heat. Wait for foam to stop. (I prefer the butter turns a little brown, for flavor.)
  4. Roll a tablespoon of batter into ball, place in pan, then flatten 1/8 to form pancake. (Flour your spatula to avoid sticking.) If using a skillet, do half the johnnycakes at a time, rebuttering as needed. Cast iron rules.
  5. Cook until first side is browned, about 3 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until both sides are brown.
  6. Serve with chili syrup and garnish with onions.
I now make the johnnycakes thinner, 1/8″…?

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