Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekends = Pancakes

My son's favorite fruit is blueberries. He will eat then fresh, frozen, and in yogurt (though not in ice cream, go figure). But his favorite is in (or on) pancakes.

Pancakes are such an easy thing to make and are so robust that you really can't ruin them. They are made from things that are staples, so no special ingredients are needed to make. Also, the amount of work required to make them fresh is only slightly more then from a box, that its worth it.

Here is a basic recipe:
2 - 2 1/2 cup flour (I like to use the white whole wheat)
1 Tbs baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter, melted (you can use more or less to taste)
2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
cream of tarter

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Combing the butter, milk and yolks. You can add vanilla or other flavorings to the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet into the dry and stir until smooth.

Whip the eggs whites to stiff peaks. You can add a 1/2 tsp of cream of tarter to help stabilize the eggs.
Fold the eggs into the batter.

Cook in a hot pan with a touch of butter to prevent sticking until bubbles form. Then flip and cook until set.

This recipe is very forgiving. The trick is to get the consistency right, if the batter is too thick, simply add more milk, if too thin add a touch more flour.

This recipe can be enhanced by adding any of the following:
use buttermilk instead of regular milk
add blueberries (my son's favorite)
add chocolate chips
add nuts, such as pecans, almonds or walnuts
add some nut flour to the batter
add smashed bananas
add diced apple
replace about a 1/4 cup of flour with cocoa

Make blueberry (or raspberry or strawberry) syrup by warming berries in a little syrup.

To make then even more kid-friendly (like they need it) pour the batter into fun shapes. To make it easy to make the shapes, put the batter into a squeeze bottle with a wide opening (an old honey container works great) but don't add the filling, otherwise it will get stuck in the nozzle.

Here are a few fun suggestions:
letters or numbers, plus punctuation and math symbols
a turtle, pour a round cake and then add feet, a head and tail, then stack with another round for the shell
make mini cake, the size of a quarter: these will cook very quickly, so be prepared
make a really big one
make a face, pour a round cake and add chips or blueberries in a face pattern
make animal shapes

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