Now you don’t have to be a full-fledged pancake artist, but you can try something a little different to get a new look for your breakfast goodies. We have had great luck with a pancake pen that lets you squeeze the batter in a precise line. If you don’t have a pancake pen, you can improvise with a ketchup or mustard dispenser or squeeze bottle.
When you’re making letter or number pancakes, the first rule is to keep the griddle well-oiled or greased. A too-sticky surface is a recipe for pancake disaster. Next, you want to have a batter that is just fluid enough to be squirted in a clean line, not too lumpy or drippy. And last, as you create the figures, move swiftly and evenly across the griddle. Backtracking or staying too long on one spot will ruin your creation.
This simple pancake recipe is quick to mix together and it’s is just the right consistency for numbers and letters. It also came in handy on a recent birthday, for which we made a whole pile of “8”s.
Basic Pancakes (adapted from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup milk
3 T. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg
Oil for griddle
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk. In a separate small bowl or glass measuring cup, measure out the milk, then whisk in the butter and the egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently whisk until flour is moistened (batter may be a little bit lumpy). Carefully pour the batter into a pancake pen or squirt bottle.
Heat a well-oiled griddle until it is hot enough so that a drop of water sizzles immediately. Squirt the design on the griddle. Flip when the pancake is bubbly and golden brown, about two minutes. Cook for an additional minute, then transfer to a warmed plate. Makes 12 to 16 letter or number pancakes, to serve 4.
Happy New Year!