Kids can cook up these letter-shaped pancakes

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – Let your kids help out in the kitchen with these fun letter-shaped pancakes. You can make a small batch so you don’t end up over-indulging on the carbs. Jennifer Luck Hale and her daughter Emma show us how it’s done.

Small Batch of Pancakes (2 small eaters, or 1 smallish kid and one grown-up watching their carbs)
(a variation of a pancake recipe from the Joy of Cooking)

Melt:
• 1 Tablespoon Butter
Dry:
• 1/2 cup flour (approx. half whole wheat / half all-purpose flour)
• 1 Tablespoon sugar (or 1/3 of a mashed banana)
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 +/- teaspoon salt
Wet:
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup milk
Medium Batch of Pancakes (1 adult +2 small eaters)
Melt:
• 2 Tablespoons Butter
Dry:
• 1 cup flour (approx. half whole wheat / half all-purpose flour)
• 2 Tablespoons sugar (or 2/3 of a mashed banana)
• 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
Wet:
• 2 eggs
• 2/3 cup milk

Large Batch (2 adult + 2-3 small eaters)
Melt:
• 3 Tablespoons Butter
Dry:
• 1 1/2 cup flour (approx. half whole wheat / half all-purpose flour)
• 3 Tablespoons sugar (or a mashed banana)
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet:
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put Butter in pancake pan and put on the lowest heat. Turn off heat after a minute or two so the butter doesn’t burn.
  2. Mix up dry ingredients, whisk together a bit.
  3. Pour milk into measuring cup, add egg, whisk together well.
  4. Add wet and dry together, add melted butter. Leave a little butter in the pan for cooking the pancakes.
  5. Turn heat back on to medium and use spatula to spread remaining butter around pan.
  6. Before butter burns, add a spoonful of batter, spread into desired shape with spoon.
  7. Watch for little bubbles to come up to the surface of the pancake. When the bubbles pop and leave a little bubble-sized empty hole, it is time to flip.
  8. Flip it.
  9. Remove to plate after a minute or so, before it burns.
  10. Get another pancake (or several) going, as long as the pancakes are not sticking, no need to add more butter to the pan.

Notes:
• Even very small kids like to “help” and feel a part of the process. Make this about them, and try not to get too uptight about spills. You can measure out the flour, then hand it to your child to put into the bowl. To a very little one, this feels like participation, and makes them feel included and important to you.
• Pancakes are best as soon as they cool enough to eat, so they are perfect for making with kids. Keep going until they stop eating them immediately, then turn the heat down and make fun pancakes. It is easier to experiment with complicated (non-round) pancakes after the pan has been used for several batches, and when no one is starving.
• Lower heat gives you more control, and also works better for thicker pancakes -so the outside doesn’t burn before the inside is done cooking.
• If you want thin, crepe-like pancakes, add extra egg and milk and cook on medium-high heat.
• You can add all kind of things to the batter, but they can affect how the pancakes cook. For fruit, I prefer to just put it on top.
• Add whipped cream on top for extra yumminess.
• I prefer pancakes with an egg on top, over easy, no sugar.
• Locally grown and milled flour is very fresh and makes the best pancakes, and if you can find that then you can use all whole grain without sacrificing fluffiness. Regular all-purpose flour is fairly flavorless, so I like to use at least some whole wheat pastry flour or other specialty flours for better nutrition and because it tastes so much better. But the gluten in the AP flour keeps them holding together better.
• Getting your kids to appreciate the flavor of whole grains early might also help them make healthier choices throughout their life.

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