Our son loves pancakes, so we make them a lot around our house--for lazy Saturday morning brunch or for a quick weeknight meal. I recently bought a pancake pen*, which makes the process even simpler. Just unscrew the bottom of the pen, add your ingredients, then turn it right side up and shake to combine (markings on the sides of the pen and on the green cap ensure that you don't even have to dirty a measuring cup).
The pen also makes it easier to create fun pancakes (we've used it to fill cookie cutters placed on the griddle to make star- or heart-shaped pancakes, or you can spell out letters--see our first try above).
Some nights when I am working late, Josh and James will make pancakes for supper, and the Log Cabin's new all-natural mix is a good fit for this. It doesn't have any weird-sounding ingredients and is made with whole grains. Add some turkey sausage and fruit and it's a healthy and quick meal!
After we make plain pancakes for James, Josh and I like to add toppings--usually the typical pecans or blueberries, but our most recent favorite is sliced bananas and coconut (we first started eating it during a trip to Florida, and it is SO good when the bananas get caramelized a little by the skillet).
On weekends, my go-to pancake recipe is an extremely buttery (and definitely not healthy) one from ex-Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl. The Gourmet Cookbook is a booster seat of a cookbook, and everything I've cooked from its pages has been delicious, but the recipe I use the most is this one:
From The Gourmet Cookbook
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Whisk together milk, eggs, 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, and melted butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the egg mixture until just combined.
Heat a skillet and grease with 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil (or cooking spray) over medium heat. Make pancakes using 1/4-1/3 cup batter per pancake, adding more oil or cooking spray to the skillet between batches.
How do you prefer your pancakes? Hearty? Fluffy and light? Drenched in syrup?
* Get the Tovolo pancake pen online here, or buy it locally at Kitchen Collage in the East Village. That's where I found mine; it's priced very reasonably at $10-ish.