October 10, 2012

Halloween-shaped pancakes – My first attempt at making pancakes with a squeeze bottle

Yesterday we had pancakes for lunch and they weren’t just any pancakes – they were spider webs, pumpkins and witch hats! Not surprisingly the kids LOVED it. And I had no idea I was such a Pancake Picasso.

I won’t lie, it was a little more work than your typical pancakes – so don’t make these as you rush out the door for church on a Sunday morning. Make these when you have time for some experimenting and don’t mind making a little bit more of a mess. All you need is a pancake griddle and a squeeze bottle.

This all started when I found an Extreme Pancakes kit at Barnes and Noble on super, duper sale. I paid less than $5 for it and it came with a squeeze bottle, a book, and it looked like fun. I don’t think you need a real kit. . .

TOOLS NEEDED

Squeeze bottle. I bet you could find them at the Dollar Tree. Think squeezeable ketchup bottle. If you think you want to be the next Pancake Picasso you can invest in a fancy pants – Tovolo Pancake Pen (Amazon). Looks easy to clean, which would be my number #1 requirement. But the spout looks kind of big?

Non-stick surface. I used the Cuisinart CSK-250 GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet – it was amazing, but I think it’s super overpriced (I got it free as a gift). You could probably be fine with a $20 pancake griddle like this one – Presto 07047 Cool Touch Electric Griddle.

Nice big flipper. If you’re going to be making big creations a nice wide and flat pancake flipper would serve you well. I used two spatulas and kind of worked it that way. But I had some mis-flips. 🙂

PANCAKE RECIPE
This apparently is the best recipe for using in a squeeze bottle. I found it worked great! Credit: Extreme Pancakes

2 cups whole milk (I used non-fat)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled a bit)

How to prepare

  1. Add milk to bowl, whisk in lemon juice. Set aside. The lemon apparently thickens milk and adds some tang – you could use buttermilk instead.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a big bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Whisk egg and melted butter (let it cool a bit, don’t want to cook the eggs) into the lemony milk. Pour together with dry ingredients. It’s recommend you mix with an electric hand mixer – you want ZERO lumps because lumps clog the squeeze bottle.

HOW TO MAKE SQUEEZE BOTTLE PANCAKES
These are my very “technical” descriptions about how to do things. It’s just like coloring and with a little practice you’ll get it!

Mine did not look this good.

Spider web – Draw an X then add a + to it. This gives you eight “prongs” then connect by drawing circles over it. You can make the circles a little droopy to make it look more like a web.

Spiders – Big circle for body, little circle for head, eight legs. Add pinchers if you’re brave.

Pumpkin – Draw an oblong pumpkin shape, add stem, squirt a bunch in the circle, using an upward/downward motion to mirror the lines in a pumpkin.

Witch Hat – Draw a triangle. Fill it in. Add a line across the bottom.

If you want to write words  you really should write them backwards, so when you flip them they are right side up. Or you can just write them so thin that they cook thru to the other side (at a low heat) without a need to be flipped. But if you want to master the backwards writing – check out this template (click to enlarge).

You can have a lot of fun with this. I hope you do. Here are some photos from my first attempt at being a Pancake Picasso. Experiment with different shades of pancake by putting down your first layer, waiting a minute, than adding a second layer – which will end up with a lighter tone.

These shapes were easier to make than spider webs. Easier to flip.

Not so pretty. Smaller webs are harder than big ones to make, but easier to flip.

If you’re kids can’t identify what you put on their plate and they say “What is this mommy?” – just respond, “It’s a mystery object, can you guess what it is?” . . . then say “yes, you got it!” after a couple guesses. Worked for me.

Prefer waffles? Don’t miss this homemade waffle recipe with butter.

Have you made fancy pancakes like this before? Share your tips! I’d love to know how it worked for you. What are your favorite shapes to make?

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