Cooking Pancakes with the Grandchildren

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VegBlueberryPancakes 001Get cooking pancakes with the grandkids

By Portia Little

It’s a jog down memory lane, recalling special times cooking with my kids in the kitchen. And now I’m able to relive that experience with my grandkids – baking and decorating cookies, punching down the risen yeast dough in the bowl, hearing the cranberries pop while cooking cranberry sauce.

One of their favorite activities is making pancakes. And of course enjoying them topped with maple or fruit syrup. We make them from scratch, with flour, milk, eggs, and baking powder, sometimes subbing white whole wheat flour for some of the regular flour. They love add-ins such as blueberries, raspberries, or mini chocolate chips. Sometimes we pour them into shapes such as teddy bears or bunnies. Lately we’ve been inspired to make some innovative pancake creations such as thin pancakes made with eggs and bananas – yes, just 2 ingredients – that are delicious as is or spread with a nut butter and rolled up.

And we still fall back on a favorite weekend treat, a “ruffly bubbly” pancake, sometimes known as a Dutch baby, that’s baked in a cast iron skillet. It’s fun to watch it puff up while baking, and to enjoy spread with fruit or jam and topped with powdered sugar.

Cooking with your kids or grands is a good way also to teach simple rules: Before starting wash your hands in soapy water; read the recipe before you start, and gather all ingredients, utensils, and pans that you need. Clean up pans and utensils afterward. Don’t leave a mess in the kitchen!

THREE INGREDIENT PANCAKES

1 medium ripe banana

2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 

Mash banana with a fork until smooth. Add flour and egg; stir well with a whisk.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. (Or use a nonstick skillet.) Spoon batter onto skillet, using one-third cup batter for each pancake. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

 

FLOURLESS 2-INGREDIENT PANCAKE

 

1 ripe banana, mashed with fork

2 large eggs

 

Mix together well, pour into skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook about 1 minute, turn to cook other side. If you’d like, you can spread the pancake with almond or peanut butter and roll up to eat.

 

RUFFLY BUBBLY PANCAKE (OR DUTCH BABY)

 

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 eggs

½ cup flour

¼ teaspoon salt (may omit)

½ cup milk (regular, low-fat, or non-dairy)

Fruit preserves, confectioners’ sugar

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet and set in oven to melt while oven is heating up. In bowl, beat eggs slightly with fork. Stir in flour, salt, and milk; batter will be lumpy.

Carefully take skillet from oven; turn to coat bottom with butter. Stir remaining butter into batter. Pour batter into skillet. Return to oven. Bake 18 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven; loosen with spatula and place on plate. Spread with preserves; sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes 4 servings.

 

PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH

 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 eggs

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Combine flour and baking powder in large bowl. Beat eggs with fork; stir in milk, salt and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry; it’s okay if you see a few lumps. Let the batter rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat a griddle to 375 degrees or a skillet on the stove over medium heat.

When cooking surface is hot, spray with cooking spray. For each pancake pour about ¼ cup batter onto griddle. Cook until pancakes bubble up and bottoms are golden. Flip pancakes and cook until tops are brown. Makes 4 servings.

 

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

 

1 ¼ cups flour

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup milk

½ cup pumpkin puree (from canned pumpkin, not pie mix)

1 egg, beaten with fork

1 tablespoon canola oil

 

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a bowl. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg, and oil together in a separate bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until just moistened. Okay if slightly lumpy.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto griddle; cook until bubbles form and edges dry, 1 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on other side, about 1 minute.

 

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Portia Little is the author of theme gift cookbooks including Bread Pudding BlissNew England Seashore Recipes & RhymeThe Easy VegetarianCooking withCoffee; and Lusty Limericks & Luscious Desserts. Visit her website: www.portialittle.com

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