Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Another set of Flavor/Picture pancakes. Pumpkin flavored pumpkins. You know I love the flavor matching the picture.

Here's my recipe for pumpkin pancakes:

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup milk

½ cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup brown sugar

1 large egg

Mix these all up so the batter is smooth. If you’re looking for a little more orange appearance you can add yellow and red food coloring.

The only trick to this pumpkin is to get the grill pretty warm and start with the middle sections. As you do each stripe wait a few seconds for it to cook before you start the next one. That’s how you end up with the pumpkin striations.

I also made a tiny bit of “regular” pancake batter and put a few drops of green food coloring in it to get the stems.

It’s Halloween today so my kids carved one of them into a Jack-o-Lantern. I made a little bit of pancake batter mixed with yellow food coloring and set the pumpkin on top of it to get a little depth and light into the picture. I bet a yellow plate would do that for you too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Man, pancake batter can really take some color. I was pretty excited by the way the colors turned out in the Taco Platter (Dec. 13, 2009) and the Corn on the Cob (Feb 16, 2010) but they're pretty wimpy when you quit messing around and add some more food coloring. These look like foam rubber. The color did not mess up the taste.

One trick to keep the color from browning as you cook these: Keep the griddle a little cooler than normal and let the pancakes cook slowly.

I need to say thanks to Carl for coming over and taking the photos. My camera has died. Carl did that fancy out of focus thing on the Roy G. Biv pancake.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Real Trick

Ketchup bottles and timing.

Something great happens when you draw a couple of spots and a smile, then wait a minute before you add more batter to make a round pancake. The pancake batter that was first on the griddle browns more. So draw a face and wait a minute. Then add enough batter to create a round pancake right over the top of the face.

When the round pancake has cooked a little flip it over to reveal your artistic creation. Those features you drew first are now a darker color than the rest of your pancake. You’ve created a smiley face pancake and you've learned the biggest secret to great pancake art.

There are more secrets...

Cut the end off your ketchup bottle so that a little extra batter will come out. Not too much. It's really hard to glue that end back on.

Join the pancake rebel alliance...

I'm going to tell you do something in direct defiance of the pancake experts. Beat the batter with an electric mixer. Science tells us that beating pancake batter will make the final pancake tough. The toughest pancake I've ever seen was my FlapJack Bauer. (See December 29th, 2009) It wasn't too tough for a little butter and powdered sugar.

"The following takes place between 8 AM and 9 AM:" I ate FlapJack Bauer.

So beat the batter with a mixer. It should be thick enough that you can turn the bottle over without the batter running out, but it needs to be thin enough to pour slowly and smoothly into and out of your plastic bottle.


Lumps are death. Lumps will block your “instrument.” When I say “instrument” I mean a cheap plastic ketchup bottle. Lumps don’t squirt out the nozzle very well. It can be somewhat frustrating to be one step away from completing the perfect replica of Edvard Munch’s Scream only to have it ruined by a blocked flow of batter or an explosion once the lump releases. If this happens to you a few times in a row you may recognize yourself in Munch’s work. (See November 19, 2009)

There are more tricks to be posted soon, including my secret weapon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Basic Pancake

Once you've got "round" going you'll want to start messing with other shapes. One big pancake and two little pancakes and you're squarely into copyright infringement.

I’ve decorated the ears and head by smearing chocolate syrup with my finger to get this somewhat familiar looking mouse. The eyes are slices off the end of a banana with blueberry pupils. That enigmatic smile is a slice of strawberry. Chocolate syrup can do a lot for your pancake art, both in decoration and in flavor. If you’re feeling crazy and have the supplies you can paint chocolate syrup on with a paintbrush. This could be an entire field of mostly unexplored pancake art for the right person.


That's the first question people ask. The second is, "Why?" The third is "How?" and finally we come to one I can answer. Let's start with basic pancake art.

These are round or mostly round. They’re decorated versions of the “standard” issue pancake you’ve loved all of your life. These are what you'll get if you order the “funny face” pancake at your local pancake establishment. With these I use a little fruit, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, or anything else you wouldn’t mind eating on a pancake to decorate them. If you'll go back to the pancakes on the blog from 2009 you'll see a couple of really simple pancake examples of this. The sun and the worm are both just round pancakes. So is this cat. He's pretty simple: Strawberry ears sound delicious, a blueberry nose doesn’t smell, and you can see the eyes are slices of grapes. Any questions here? This is as basic as a pancake gets at my house.


I was thinking about Log Cabin and well...

Monday, March 22, 2010

What? A recipe? Not even a picture?

I'm not really keen on pretending that I have the best pancake recipe in the world but in this case, it didn't seem right holding back on you. I had this pancake at Teller's house a couple of days ago and it was great. I had no choice but to beat the recipe out of him. You should make these. Really.

This pancake requires planning ahead. Planning ahead is on top of my list: "Stuff I'm Not Very Good At." Then my wife called from the grocery store . At the top of my, "Stuff I AM Very Good At" list is telling people what to do. The pieces were falling into place.

Soak 1 cup of quick cooking oats in 1 cup of buttermilk overnight.

At pancake time add 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, two eggs, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, and two tablespoons of melted butter. Stir it up.

Plop some of the batter onto your 400 degree griddle and stick blueberries into the batter. Flip it. Eat it. Duh. Duh-licious. I put a little butter and syrup on mine.

I'm pretty sure that because of the low amount of flour in this you could probably use one of the gluten free flour or pancake mixes in place of that measly 1/4 cup of flour and this would still be a good pancake. Most of the gluten free pancake mixes we've tried are pretty bad on their own but this might be the Holy Grail of wheat free pancakes.

THIS JUST IN: I made the recipe and did replace the small amount of wheat flour with a 1/4 cup of wheat free pancake mix. The difference was not noticed and they were so much better than making the wheat free pancake mix on its own.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Viewer Pancakes

Here are a couple more Viewer Pancakes:

The lovely smiling face there is a self portrait submitted by Stephane Sofia. Clearly she's a babe.

The one on the blue table cloth is a very ornate chariot submitted by Bunny Nuhfer. She didn't have time to create a beast of burden to pull it so she hooked it to a frozen porkchop.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Corn on the Cob

It's Pancake Day!

In honor of this I'm trying a new level of pancake art. Not only is this pancake 3-d it is "Flavor Dimensional." The "corn cob" is a rolled up corn pancake. It's not the best looking pancake I've made but it tasted great. I'm going to make more flavor dimensional pancakes.

It's been awhile since I posted a pancake. I had a pan disaster. I'm a juggler and I was flipping a pancake with perhaps a little too much gusto. The pan part flew off the handle, bounced off the stove, and crashed to the floor. It landed on a rubber mat. It melted the mat and was stuck before I could get it up. Turns out once the handle is gone a hot pan is hard to pick up. Who knew? Okay, everyone but me.

I took this opportunity to switch to a giant fancy electric pancake skillet. It stinks on ice. Everything sticks to it no matter how much I spray it. I did do a few Valentine's Day pancakes for the family but they were pretty standard red batter hearts with words in them. I was also not paying a lot of attention. I had an orientation error. When I flipped mine, rather than "Dad," I had written "Dab." I stuffed it into my mouth before anyone caught the error.

In honor of Pancake Day I went out and purchased a new stovetop pancake griddle. This "Corn on the Cob" is the first pancake made on it.

Later this week I'll be posting a couple more "viewer pancakes."