Nothing says the weekend like a big family breakfast. Eggs, bacon, french toast…and of course, pancakes. At the Chatelaine Kitchen, whether it’s our ricotta oat bran pancakes, our gluten-free buckwheat pancakes or our best buttermilk pancakes we definitely take pride in our pancake-making skills.
Just for fun, I decided to see what other wonderful creations we could come up with using pancake batter. It turns out that our best buttermilk pancake batter is pretty versatile. (For the recipes below, I omitted the vanilla, peaches and poppy seeds.) I also tested them with (ahem) store bought “just add water” pancake mix and it worked very well; just make sure you use a plain pancake mix — some of these applications are more savoury than sweet.
1. Pancake pops: How cute are these little devils! And so easy — no changes to the pancake batter at all, just simple pancake medallions on a stick that your friends and family will love.
To make: Prepare pancake batter according to recipe. Lightly coat a large frying pan with butter and set over medium heat. Spoon small circles (2-3 tbsp depending on how large you want your pops) into pan leaving enough room for the sticks. Lay a wooden stir stick over the pancake — it should reach up to the centre of the pancake). Cook until bubbles form on the top of each pancake and the batter has closed over the stick, about two minutes. Using a wide spatula, flip and continue cooking until the bottoms of pancakes become golden — about two more minutes. Stack pancake pops and serve right away or place on a plate and keep warm in a low-temperature oven while cooking remaining pancakes. Drizzle with maple syrup.
2. Toad-in-the-pancake-hole: I loved when my mom used to make me toad-in-the-hole for breakfast. It was simply toast and eggs — but prepared this way it was a novelty. This version is delicious — and can be dressed up as sweet or savoury. Simply drizzle with maple syrup, or serve with butter and crisp bacon.
To make: Prepare pancake batter according to recipe directions. Lightly coat an 8-inch frying pan with butter and set over medium heat. Place a 2 or 3-inch greased metal ring (cookie cutter) in the centre of the pan. Ladle one cup of batter around the ring. Crack an egg into the ring. Cook until bubbles form on the top of each pancake and the egg is stable enough to flip, about three minutes. Gently twist the ring and remove from the pan. Using a wide spatula, flip and continue cooking until the bottoms of pancakes become golden and the egg is cooked to your preference (test it by gently pressing the yolk). Enjoy with sweet or savoury accompaniments.
3. Breakfast corndogs: I couldn’t help wondering if pancake batter would make…well…good batter. And guess what? It does! I didn’t even have to adjust the batter recipe. I admit, these corndogs are a little indulgent — but so fun.
To make: Pour enough oil into medium pot to reach two inches in depth. Heat oil over medium heat to between 325F and 350F. Prepare a half recipe of batter, and drop breakfast sausages in pancake batter to coat. Carefully slide coated sausage into oil and cook for five minutes, or until golden and the sausage is cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and leave until cool enough to handle. Push a wooden skewer into the sausage from one end to the other. Repeat with as many sausages as desired.
4. Chocolate chip pancake muffins: These are as easy as pancakes! A simple tweak on pancake method and these little charmers are ready to go.
To make: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tin well (pancakes have a tendency to stick — so make sure you grease right into the corners). Prepare pancake batter according to recipe directions. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips (adjust if you are making more or less batter). Ladle into the muffin tins, leaving 1/4 inch room at the top. Bake until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean, about 15 min. Remove from oven and remove from pan as soon as they are cool enough to handle.
*Don’t let the muffins cool in the pan or they will stick.
5. Broccoli bites: If you have some extra vegetables in your fridge, like broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini — these make a great Friday night snack. Sprinkle with just a touch of salt and they are addictive!
To make: Pour enough oil into medium pot to reach two inches in depth. Heat oil over medium heat to between 325F and 350F. Prepare a half recipe of batter according to recipe direction. Cut broccoli into small 1-inch florets. Drop florets into pancake batter to coat. Carefully drop broccoli into oil and cook until golden and crisp, about three minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt. Eat immediately!