Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boys ♥ Pancakes

I started this post thinking that I was going to write about the evils of mixes and chocolate-frosted sugar bombs for breakfast. But that would make me a huge hypocrite because, well, we have our share of Toaster Strudels and that cereal-that-shall-not-be-named-that-shouldn't-even-bother-with-the-cereal-part-because-we-all-just-want-the-marshmallows. We try to do better. We're not perfect.
           I was also going to tell you how it's really not that much more work to mix pancakes from scratch (it isn't) and how I have made these pancakes so many times that I can do it with one eye open and only half a sip of coffee down my throat and that I don't even need the recipe anymore (this is truly I think the secret to all cooking longevity), but I realized while making these the other morning that these pancakes are really about my boys. They started as a need to find a small batch recipe that suited the breakfast needs of a toddler and his mama. Then expanded to feed another toddler while the previous one morphed into a teenage boy while I wasn't looking.
These pancakes are about little boys getting their first start cooking in the kitchen. Pulling chairs up next to the stove to mix, pour, and stir. About requests to have them shaped into hearts with strawberries inside, Star Wars vehicles, and bats and ghosts. To experiment with peanut butter and bananas between two pancakes when my oldest son created a portmanteau "panwich", because the fact that he knows what a portmanteau is and delights in creating them makes me beam with pride. That the little one prefers his with powdered sugar instead of syrup like his mother. About sleepyheads at the breakfast table with mouths full of pancakes, "Mom, you make the best pancakes." ♥ ♥ ♥ Pancakes. Who knew?

Small Batch Buttermilk Pancakes
makes about 5 to 6 4-inch pancakes
I often mix up the dry ingredients and store it in snack size plastic bags for one less step in the morning, or I measure out the dry ingredients the night before. These are great plain but we have also been known to sprinkle a tablespoon of chocolate chips to each pancake after it's poured in the pan, or a few fresh blueberries, or small-diced strawberry.

1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbls. veg oil

In a small bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Measure 1/2 cup buttermilk, add the egg and oil to the measuring cup and mix until fully incorporated. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps are fine. Spoon about 3 Tbls. batter onto a medium-hot greased pan or griddle. If using an add-in, sprinkle on top of the pancake now. Cook 1-2 minutes until edges look dry and bubbles form across the surface. Flip and cook 30 seconds to a minute on the other side.

Freestyle heart making: Spoon about a tablespoon of batter on the right side. Spoon a second tablespoon of batter on the left side creating a V-shape. Smooth out your heart shape.

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