Smiley Pancake Faces:
It’s easy to turn an ordinary pancake into a kid-pleasing smiley face pancake. Simply use raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips for the mouth, nose, and eyes. Place the little decorative food pieces on the bubbling side of the pancake before flipping and cooking that last side.
A platter of smiley face pancakes is sure to start the day on a happy note, producing smiles all around the table!
Numerous Tips and Tricks for Pancake Perfection:
Fresh flour makes a difference in pancake flavor and texture, because the simpler the recipe, the more vital high-quality ingredients are. So buy flour from a health food store, local mill, or natural foods section of the grocery store.
Try using cake flour for super light, fluffy pancakes.
Test if the griddle is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the drops dance and sizzle, it’s ready.
You may want to test the batter and griddle by cooking one trial pancake first.
If your pancakes are browning on the bottom before bubbles appear on top, the griddle is too hot; whereas if the tops become dry before the bottoms are golden brown, the griddle is not hot enough.
Do not over-mix pancake batter because this overdevelops the gluten, resulting in rubbery pancakes. Over-mixing also bursts the batter air bubbles, which are important for light pancakes.
Cook baking soda pancake batter immediately, because the liquid starts reacting immediately, and if you wait too long, the batter will go flat.
Stir the batter gently ONLY until moistened. The remaining small lumps will cook out, so don’t worry about them.
Keep in mind that each cook measures differently, so the batter may need slight adjustments. If the batter seems too thick, thin it with a tablespoon at a time or milk or buttermilk or water; if it seems too thin and runny, blend in a tablespoon or so of flour.
Pancake batter that is too runny equals thin, flat pancakes.
Pancake batter that is too thick means it won’t spread, resulting in thick pancakes with doughy centers.
Pancake batter consistency is important, but sometimes unpredictable, since ingredients, how long the batter sits, and even weather affect the batter.
Keep in mind that batters made with wheat flour will thicken as they stand.
A ladle works for pouring pancake batter, but if you use one, realize that the highter you hod it, the more you risk breaking the air bubbles in the batter. Therefore, hold the ladle near the surface of the griddle.
You want at least an inch of space between cooking pancakes, so remember when you pour the batter that it will spread.
Resist the urge to move pancakes while the first side is cooking, as this will break the seal between the pancake and cooking surface, meaning the pancake will not cook as evenly.
Similarly, turn pancakes only once. The second side never cooks as evenly as the first, and takes only about half the time to cook as the first.
A thin, broad spatula slides easily under delicate pancakes and enables you to flip them without mangling them.
Lift only the edge of a pancake with a spatula to see if it’s golden brown and ready to flip.
Flip gently, don’t toss your pancakes sky-high unless you want them stuck on the ceiling or the floor!
After flipping, cook 1-2 minutes more.
NEVER pat pancakes with the spatula.
Leftover Pancakes and Reheating
Freeze leftover pancakes in airtight plastic bags.
Reheat pancakes in a toaster, toaster oven or regular oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. If using the oven, first place the pancakes in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Reheating pancakes in a microwave is not recommended, as it tends to toughen pancakes.
If you like eating pancakes often, make your own mix to have handy. Simply blend the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Pancake Presentation Tips
Make the pancakes a uniform size and arrange them nicely on a serving platter (kept warm in the oven).
Warm the plates and syrup and butter.
Heat the syrup in a microwave-safe little pitcher for 15-30 seconds.
Serve pancakes with the nicest sides facing up.
Garnish pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa, fresh fruit slices, or nuts.
Warm Honey Syrup
Heat honey to the boiling point and it will become thin and pourable, a deliciously different pancake syrup.
Creative “Letter” Pancakes
Fill a sealable plastic bag with pancake batter (or use a squeeze bottle), cut a hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze the batter out, writing letters to spell your child’s name or initials. Note: The size of the hole will determine the size of the pancake letters.
Sometimes all you need to make a good pancake an awesome pancake is the right topping. Be creative, and you just may discover the best pancake topping ever.
Move over maple syrup. It’s time to try something new!
Below you will find our selection of
Delicious Pancake Topping Suggestions:
Canned fruit pie fillings
Jam (heat in microwave and stir, this makes a nice, pourable consistency.)
Cream cheese (don’t forget all the flavored varieties!)
Simply dust with powdered sugar or cocoa. You could even use a simple stencil (snowflake, heart, star, etc. . .) for a stunning effect!