Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When life gives you flat pancakes...

Last night I mixed up a batch of pancake batter from a recipe I saw on a blog. It appealed to me because you make it the night before and it's all ready in the morning, you just add an egg and some baking powder. I told my teenager he could go ahead and make them if he wanted to eat before I got up. Of course little guy slept late, so I did too. I awoke to the clang of dishes and the smell of something cooking. When I came into the kitchen there was no batter to be seen and he told me he had already made all the pancakes and they were warming in the toaster oven. As I moved to open it up he said, "They came out a little flat..."

You know it's all in the recipe. I don't know how long I have been searching for a perfect pancake recipe, but they are either too thick, too eggy, too cakey...what I want is a recipe for Cracker Barrel pancakes! They have that perfect blend of tenderness with a crisp and buttery outside. So, of course it's not just the recipe, but the method of cooking makes a difference too. I make mine on a cast iron griddle pan, but even that does not yield the results I want. You might be asking why I don't just use a mix. To me a pancake mix is like cake mix. It only has one purpose and it sits on the shelf (like a single purpose appliance) and is only used when needed. You can always make pancakes with pantry ingredients and you never have to buy anything special.

About those flat pancakes...they certainly were flat. I don't know what went wrong. It could've been that we used white flour because we didn't have any wheat. It could've been the baking soda or the fact that we used powdered milk instead of real because we ran out last night and no one wanted to go to the store that late! I was about to turn my nose up at them (in my head so as not to hurt feelings), when my brilliant teenager said, "They aren't too bad with Nutella on them!"

There is this amazing little French bakery called Baguette & Co. in a tiny little pass through town not far from here where, aside from the most delicious breads and pastries, you can get crepes with Nutella in them. A friend of ours just gave us a giant jar of Nutella, which was a real treat because I had looked at it in the grocery store the day before and decided it was too expensive--and she didn't even know about it!

These pancakes were that thin, so I slathered them each with a healthy tablespoon of Nutella, rolled them up, dusted them with confectioners sugar and WHA-LA! Talk about yum--maybe not Baguette & Company yum, but certainly delicious and very easy to eat with your hands!

What's the moral of this story? When life give you flat pancakes, fill them up with something...Or is it that Nutella makes everything better?

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