Archive for ‘Kids’

October 31, 2011

Ghosties Cupcakes

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We have been reading the “Three Little Ghosties” book by Pippa Goodhart, this Halloween. It has best illustrations! (by AnnaLaura Cantone"). This is where I got the name for these cute little cupcake treats.

For my daughter’s Halloween Party at school we were assigned a dozen cupcakes. For this recipe I used my Chocolate Cake recipe and Vanilla frosting recipe:

Chocolate Cake

2  cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 package of instant chocolate pudding (only the powder)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Measure out the milk, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes. Scoop a heaping scoop of the batter into each cup. Stick one Reese’s miniature peanut butter cup in the middle of the batter in each cup.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. (The time will depend on your oven.  Since moving and changing ovens I have had to cook these for 21 minutes otherwise they deflate because they aren’t cooked thoroughly.)

 

Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 cup shortening (used the Crisco stick because it’s easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the vanilla bean and extract.  Incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 2-3T for a medium consistency.

Cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

Use a cake decorating bag or a zip lock bag and spoon in the frosting. Cut a big sized corner off the bag. Pipe on the ghosties by holding your bag straight up and down and squeeze some frosting in a spiral motion onto the cupcake. You can also squeeze the frosting out and press down a little then back up and then down again, repeating this action.  

Eyes & Mouth

Melt some of your favorite milk or dark chocolate in the microwave (at 30 second intervals stirring each interval until completely melted) or melt in a double boiler (I use a small pot with a few inches of simmering water, and a metal mixing bowl that is big enough to sit on the pot, not in it).

Allow the chocolate to cool enough to handle.  Pour your chocolate into a zip lock baggie, cut a super small tip off the corner of the bag and pipe on the eyes and mouth. Using dots for the eyes and different shapes for the mouths – oval, sad, circular – filled in solid with chocolate.

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September 7, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

(recipe from Just Get off Your Butt and Bake)

This recipe is a fantastic idea for teacher gifts. My daughter and I made this for her teacher on the first day of Kindergarten. Crispy, sweet, cinnamon-spiced popcorn with a creamy chocolatey swirl is such a perfect snack. Seriously, it almost did not make it to the teacher. Actually I’m pretty glad that we were giving it away because my daughter and I would have eaten it all in minutes. My mom took some home and instead of sharing with my dad and brother, she saved it for herself. Really it is that good.

This would work really well as a Halloween treat for a costume party, or to give away as Fall treats! However, I would eat this at any time of the year and it would make me smile. What will make you smile is that this is very easy to make.

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

12 cups of Popped Popcorn (1 cup of kernels)

1 cup nuts (optional) – cashews, almonds, peanuts, pecans

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Karo Syrup

a pinch of salt

1 stick or cube of Real Butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Almond bark, vanilla chips or white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Pop your popcorn – I use my air popper so that there isn’t the added oil from popping in a pan and it cuts down on the hard kernels too. You could even use microwave popcorn, but I’m not sure how buttered microwave popcorn would taste. Remove any kernels.

You will need about 12 cups of popcorn.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted add your brown sugar, Karo Syrup and salt.

Over medium heat melt the butter and sugar (You can do this part in a microwave by cooking in 2 minute intervals and stirring until completely melted).

While the butter and sugar are cooking get the vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda ready. Once the sugar and butter are melted, remove from heat and add these last three ingredients. The caramel will lighten in color and sort of poof up…this is good!

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Pour the caramel over the popcorn in a very large bowl (or a few big bowls if you don’t have one large). Toss the caramel and popcorn until completely coated (oh and you can add nuts at this point too).

Place your pan or pans in a preheated 250 degree oven.

Stir every 5 minutes and rotate pans. The recipe I used said to cook for 20 minutes for crunchy corn, I think it was more like 30-35 minutes.

Remove the popcorn from the oven and lay out on wax paper on the counter to cool. It will get crunchier as it cools.

Now you can melt the white chocolate and drizzle over all the popcorn – as little or as much as you’d like.

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~Enjoy~

Amanda

August 30, 2011

School Snack Time

 

My daughter started Kindergarten this year! Yes, I am very excited about her being in school, probably as excited as my daughter. As a child, I loved school, especially the beginning of the year! Meeting new friends, teachers, organizing your new backpack and wearing those new clothes that you picked out weeks ago but only got to admire on hangers. A fresh start to a new year was exciting.

My daughter’s first day of kindergarten went smoothly, without emotional breakdown (not that I suspected my daughter would have any problems). She got to go to the “big kid” school, ride the “big van” at daycare and made a new friend. What an accomplished week for my little Kindergartener.  This year she goes to daycare before lunchtime at school so I do not have to make lunches, daycare provides lunch.  However, we do have to send a healthy snack for the morning at school.  So, my daughter and I sat down and made a list of healthy foods she likes and we made a quick reference guide when preparing snacks (I’m a list kind of person, I cannot live without them, they make sense of my world): carrots, apples with peanut butter, whole wheat saltines with peanut butter and jelly, cheese crackers, raisins, air-popped popcorn, fruit cups (homemade), and homemade granola bars.

You know me, if you read my blog, and I like to make everything from scratch. That is the only way to know, really, what is in my daughter’s food. So instead of store bought granola bars, I make homemade bars and send them to school with her. I pack them with high energy ingredients (do little kids really need more energy? yes, yes they do) and less sugar than in the store-bought bars. I use Alton Brown’s recipe – really anything he makes I trust, he’s the science guy of food.

GRANOLA BARS

(adapted from Alton Brown’s Granola Bars)

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups

1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup

3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup

1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup

6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup

1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed

1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries.

Other Add-ins: chocolate chips, marshmallows, peanut butter, cinnamon chips any combination your heart desires.

Nonstick cooking spray

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In place of the first four ingredients, I used about 3-4 cups of my own homemade granola that was already made. If you are not using granola, spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Hope all of you out there enjoy this healthy snack!

August 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup—Cupcakes

This, my friends, will make you weak in the knees if you like chocolate, peanut butter, especially the two combined. Funny enough I know a guy, he doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate – I think someone needs to check his frontal lobe for injury or maybe his medulla oblongata needs adjusting!

Moving on…this was a fun cupcake to make. I was inspired by Amanda Cupcake (it must be in the name!) who made milky way cupcakes and melted milky way candy bars and added it to her frosting—so many ideas went fleeting through my head, but first this one…Reese’s PB Cups!

 

Chocolate Cake

(makes about 30 cupcakes)

2  cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 package of instant chocolate pudding (only the powder)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs

1 bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups miniatures

1 bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups minis (the smallest of them all)

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla to the milk, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/3 of the milk. Once all the milk and dry ingredients are mixed beat the batter for a minute or two.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes. Scoop a heaping scoop of the batter into each cup. Stick one Reese’s miniature peanut butter cup in the middle of the batter in each cup.

Bake for 18 minutes.

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Peanut Butter Ribbon

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Mix ingredients together in a sauce pan. Heat over low heat stirring constantly until peanut butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Set and aside and cool, while making the frosting.

Melted PB Cups for Frosting

Melt 1/2 cup of peanut butter cups with a little heavy cream over low heat until completely melted. Set aside and cool while making the frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1/2 cup shortening (used the Crisco stick because it’s easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter ribbon (recipe below)

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the vanilla bean and extract.  Incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the peanut butter ribbon and milk 1 T. at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 2-3T for a medium consistency.

At this point you may cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place the frosting in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

In your pastry/frosting bag (or Ziploc with the corner cut off) drizzle a little peanut butter ribbon down one side of the bag and a little of the melted peanut butter cups down the other side, just enough coat the side of the bag. Don’t let the two pool at the bottom of the bag or you’ll have a giant glop of the candy without frosting. You want the candy to swirl in the frosting…this is fun!

Pipe on the frosting with your favorite tip (or if using a Ziploc cut the tip as big as you prefer for decorating).

Use the new Peanut Butter Cup minis (in the candy isle) to top.

~Enjoy

Amanda

May 16, 2011

Ratatouille Pizza

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We (my daughter and I) call this pizza the sunshine pizza. It’s so bright and happy and with the roasted marinated peppers as rays of a sun.  This recipe for pizza dough, though, is the bomb. Definitely the best I found. This weekend I got a great opportunity to help out with a catering event. It was a lot of fun and I learned so much in such a short amount of time.  Thanks Anne, it was awesome! (visit her site@ http://annewilesgourmet.com/). There was so much great food! In particular, Anne had set up a grilled pizza station for guests to top their own pizzas. We finished them off on the grill. Such a yummy, fun idea!

So now my inspiration kicked in for this fantastic ratatouille pizza.  I originally saw this idea on www.morethanamouthfull.com. I must say I am not a big fan of eggplant, as much as I want to be, it’s just on the “ok” list for me. But on this pizza it is pretty fantastic mixed with the squash, red onion, peppers and fresh mozz and basil! Perfecto!

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Dough (by Marcy Goldman)

1 1/2 cup warm water

2 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

2 tsp sugar (or honey or agave)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2-3 cups bread flour

Olive oil for brushing the pans and dough.

In a stand mixer. Mix the water and yeast and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the sugar, salt, oil, cornmeal, all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour and mix to make a soft mass.  Knead with the dough hook on the slowest speed of the mixer, dusting in additional flour as required to form a soft, elastic dough, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until almost doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Gently deflate the dough, cover and allow to rest an additional 15 minutes.

Gently deflate the dough.  Press or roll out dough to fit prepared pizza pans.

If dough resists or otherwise retracts, let it rest for a few minutes, then gently coax it to fit pan.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of dough.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

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Thinly slice a yellow squash, Japanese eggplant (it’s closer in size to the yellow squash) and red onion. Slice roasted peppers into thin strips and dice some sun dried tomatoes (you can use fresh thin sliced tomato and layer it with the eggplant and squash.

Brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle some fresh oregano, or brush with a garlicky cream sauce.  Leaving about an inch from the edge of the crust alternate the eggplant and squash (tomato too if you are using fresh) once around. This is where my daughter got excited saying “hey, it’s a pattern!” Next layer some onion slices. Now alternate another layer of eggplant and squash until the pizza is completely covered. Lay the slices of peppers, we liked the sun pattern, you can do whatever way you’d like. Sprinkle a mixture of your favorite cheeses or mix and top with fresh mozzarella, basil and salt and pepper.

Bake 15 minutes, and then reduce heat to 400 F.  Bake another 15 – 20 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly brown.

Or cook your pizza on the grill – 450-500 degrees and cook the pizza on both sides just a little. Dress your pizza with toppings and then finish it off on the grill until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

April 23, 2011

Easter Egg Decorating

Here is a great egg decorating idea that I would like to share with you. I got the idea to marble the eggs and using olive oil from Food Network.

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Food coloring (I used the neon colors for these eggs)

1/2 cup boiling water for each color

1 t. vinegar for each color

10-20 drops of food coloring for each color

(Note: we followed the directions on the food coloring box and also mixed colors to make turquoise and raspberry for the marbling)

eggs (however many you want to color)

olive oil

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Color your eggs the base color – you will want your lightest colors to be the “base” color.

Once you have colored all your eggs and they are dry, mix your dark or “marble” color. (This is where we made turquoise and raspberry.

Drizzle just a little olive oil in the color and using tongs or a spoon, break up the oil just a little bit.

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(I’m not sure how well this works for the store bought coloring kits because the dye in those kits doesn’t seem to color the eggs nearly as fast as food coloring)

Roll your egg in the dye-oil mixture and then remove to a rack to dry.

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The oil also gives the eggs a little sheen!

February 3, 2011

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Well partly whole wheat but I fear using all whole wheat flour in the pancakes will be dry and heavy, but if you have a recipe that is not, please share! (I will try this recipe with all whole wheat and let you know how it is).

As always, I am looking for good recipes that freeze well for future use. Pancakes and waffles are excellent breakfast options that freeze well, and they are loved in my house. As you can see from the photo below we play with our food…IMG_6708-28

We made these pancakes Monday morning for breakfast and we had enough to freeze and use during the week. I love homemade pancakes topped with blueberries and syrup. Toss the blueberries in the batter if you like cooked blueberries – my daughter likes them fresh not cooked.

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon baking powder (use 1 tablespoon if you like cakey pancakes)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 stick melted butter

Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla.

Pour milk mixture into the flour and stir about 10 stirs, then pour in melted butter and stir a few more times – but don’t over mix! Leave it lumpy otherwise you’ll end up with flat flappy pancakes.

Top with your favorite toppings – bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, syrup, powdered sugar, jam or preserves.

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January 25, 2011

Cornflake Crusted Chicken Tenders

So my dinner menu had to be changed a bit this week – the whole chicken I bought was no good. My garage fridge may have had something to do with it. So I am going to have to push out the chicken noodle soup to later in the week. For tonight I made the cornflake chicken strips (pictured below with garlic potato wedges).

Most often to get crispy chicken strips, they are fried and unhealthy, and while they are oh so good, they aren’t something you can eat all that often. And any you buy in the store, or even at restaurants,  are full of preservatives or pressed chicken – ick! But it is probably one of the things most kids opt for when out to dinner. I know chicken strips are one of my daughter’s favorites so I knew I wanted to make a good crunchy homemade version, full of flavor and not bland covered in flour that is not well seasoned.  Cornflakes are a great coating for chicken and keep crunchy when you bake them.   As with fried chicken season the coating generously with spices and salt and pepper, otherwise your coating will be bland.

1 pound of chicken breasts or tenders
1/3 c. parmesan
1 1/2 c. finely crushed plain cornflakes cereal (or ½ c. bread crumbs and ½ c. cornmeal)
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
4T. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.

Put the cornflakes in a plastic bag and press out all the air and seal the bag. Then toss the bag on the floor and step on it until the flakes are good and crushed (you can use a rolling pin or food processor too). Mix together the flakes, flour, onion and garlic powder and season generously with salt and pepper.

Mix butter and eggs. Slice chicken breasts into thin slices (or using tenders) and coat with the egg mixture then dip the chicken in the cornflake mixture.

Place the chicken on the baking sheet and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

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December 19, 2010

Gingerbread House 2010

This is our very first attempt at a homemade Gingerbread house. My daughter wanted to make people, but I wasn’t that ambitious this year – it being my first year and all. So while this house is NOT perfect with crooked windows, bent sides, and short pieces, I’d say this was a relatively successful house.  I definitely have some experience to apply for next year. My mistake was that I forgot to photo copy the template that was given to me, so I freehanded some of the cut outs (that is why we had some crooked and short parts…oops).

Mix the dough and roll it out (according to the recipe below).

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Lay out your templates and cut then pieces out of the dough. The recipe said to roll the dough out on cookie sheets, but I have a tapered rolling pin and it didn’t work well. So I rolled it out and transferred the pices to the sheet – not a great idea!  

Once you roll out your dough use a sharp knife to cut out the templates. We cut out windows and put some crushed life savers in the middle to make “stained glass” windows. It worked very well.

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Bake and cool completely.

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Stained glass windows…cute huh? (check out my uneven bottom – that is what serrated knives are for!)

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Now it’s time to decorate. Advice from my friend Linda (who is a seasoned gingerbread house maker, and the one who provided this recipe) says decorate all panels of your house including the roof and allow the decorations to dry completely so things do not start to slide off when you assemble the house. I think only an hour or so is necessary, the icing (if you use the recipe I will post below) dries pretty fast. We waited overnight, only because by the time we were done decorating it was dinner and bath time…

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After you decorate your house and let it set, comes the tough part. It is time to assemble your house. More advice from Linda – put up the 4 walls and allow those to dry overnight before assembling the roof. This way your structure is solid before adding the weight of the roof and all it’s decorations. You don’t want your house collapsing at this point because you’ve worked very hard up to this point to ruin anything…

 

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For your base I suggest using a piece of cardboard covered in foil. Then you can move your house around if you need. 

Just a note before I explain assembly, I put icing on the bottom of the house while I was assembling to add extra stability. So as you set up your house, add a little icing ot the bottom of each of the walls on the base.

Start assembling with the front or back panel, and one of the side panels. Add icing to the “inside” part of the front or back panel and press the side wall into the icing. Use containers to help hold up your panels as you work and as the icing dries. (see my photos above for holding up the roof…).

Once your 4 walls are up allow the icing to harden over night.

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Once your walls and the roof are assembled you can start creating your scenery…We used ice cream sugar cones for trees and put some icing on them to look like snow.

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At the end I added some powder sugar for “snow” effect. I also saw some fake (non-edible) snow at Pier One that would have been really cute, too.

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Now our happy little crooked Gingerbread house is complete for this year! I am happy with our first homemade house…

 

GINGERBREAD:

These recipes below came from Linda Marrone
6c. all purpose flour
2/3c. shortening
1 ¾c. sugar
1t. vanilla
1 8-oz container sour cream
2 eggs
1T cinnamon
1T ginger
2t. baking powder
1 ¼ t. salt
1t. baking soda

In a large bowl mix shortening sugar, sour cream, vanilla, eggs. With mixer at low speed, beat until well mixed. Whisk together 3 ½ cups flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix into wet ingredients. With hands, knead in remaining 2 ½ cups of flour to make a soft dough. Divide dough and shape into a disk, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is not sticky and is of easy kneading consistency.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll dough on greased and floured cookie sheet. Cut out patterns.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 – 18 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

ORNAMENTAL ICING:

1 16oz. package confectioner’s sugar
½t. cream of tartar
3 egg whites at room temperature
½t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. With mixer, blend until smooth, then beat at high speed until very stiff.

Keep the icing covered as it dries quickly. (3 cups).

 

DECORATIONS (ideas create your own)

You can use a variety of items for decorating the house.

For the roof you can use vanilla wafers, necco wafers. Life savers for wreaths. Ice cream sugar cones for trees. Cinnamon candies, peppermint candies, candy canes, gum drops, M&Ms, rock candy, runts, and any other creative ideas you come up with. You can also opt to get the gingerbread house candy assortment from Wilton or King Arthur Flour or from a craft store.

 

 

December 9, 2010

Pancakes

 

Cinnamon Chocolate w/Powdered Sugar

My 4 year old daughter loves pancakes on Saturday mornings. It’s a ritual in our house. She likes to help mix the ingredients and then patiently waits while the first hot pancakes come off the griddle so she can add butter and syrup all by herself. She’s Ms. Independent these days, you know. Since we make pancakes so often I have tried many different recipes. So many pancakes come out super cakey and I like mine a little thinner. When I was younger and lived with my friend Kim she would make the best pancakes. She and her kids would butter up the pancakes sprinkle some powdered sugar over them then roll them up and eat them. That has been my favorite way to eat pancakes ever since. So the cakier the pancake, the more difficult it is to roll it up! So for this recipe I have noted some adjustments to make those cakey thick pancakes, if you like. This recipe is an adaptation of a Food Network kitchen recipe that was in a pull out booklet in a Food Network magazine.

My Basic Pancake Recipe

1 1/2 c. flour

1T. sugar (my regular recipe has 3T but we are adding so much sugar already)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

3T. melted butter

Mix first 4 ingredients. Then mix milk, eggs, and vanilla together. Then mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix about 10 strokes. Then add butter and mix briefly just to combine. (over mixing the pancake batter will result in flat tough pancakes).

Cinnamon Chocolate Batter

1.            Heat a griddle or large pan over medium high heat.

2.                  Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside

3.                  In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla

4.                  Stir the milk mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture. Do not over mix you will end up with flat tough pancakes there will be lumps resist the urge to get    them out.    

5.                  Using a ladle pour pancake batter onto the griddle and allow to cook until the pancake is bubbly and drying around the edges. Flip and cook another minute or two.

6.                  Serve with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, preserves, jam, fresh fruit, or any of your favorite toppings.

 Creativity!

Now to show off your own creative side and add combinations you like such as raspberry and chocolate, fresh fruit chunks, mashed banana and blueberries or any of my tested recipes below. Like cupcakes, pancakes are fairly easy to alter with your favorite flavors. Think oatmeal too! (that is another flexible breakfast item you can add flavor to with pretty healthy ingredients.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes: Add ¼ cup of pumpkin puree, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg. Decrease the milk to 1 1/4 cup. 

 Cinnamon Chocolate Pancakes: add 3T of your favorite unsweetened coco powder and a 1tsp of cinnamon to the flour. (****these are my favorite****)

 Maple, Cinnamon and Pecan: 3T real maple syrup to the wet mixture and 1 tsp cinnamon to the flour, toss in some finely chopped pecans.

Lemon – Add lemon extract instead of vanilla and a 1tsp of lemon zest (the peel finely grated)