Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daughter Makes Peanut Butter Pancakes

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

With refined flour, sugar and grape jelly, these pancakes wouldn't appear at the top of my list of healthful foods I would wish for my daughter. But she made them herself, so I count this as a win. Anything that disabuses kids of processed factory foods is a good thing, in my book. Plus, this recipe does include protein-rich peanut butter. And making these pancakes from scratch means you know they're not like the processed food currently being served in D.C. schools, with all the chemical additives and preservatives.

You could even make them a little healthier by replacing some of the refined flour with whole wheat.

These pancakes come from a book called Gadgetology, by Pam Abrams, that bills itself as "kitchen fun with your kids, using 35 cooking gadgets for simple recipes,crafts, games and experiments." The gadget for this particular recipe is the old mechanical rotary beater. We had one when I was growing up. It's the same mechanism as an electric mixer, except you crank it by hand. When you're not using it to beat eggs, it's a fun thing to chase your sisters with. (Try to avoid getting the beaters caught in their hair.)

Around our house, we whisk things by hand. But as my daughter learned, when making pancakes with peanut butter in the batter it's best to use a big, loose whisk rather than a smaller, tighter one. With a tight whisk, the peanut butter tends to get caught in the wires and turn into a clump. In fact, I would advise starting your mixing with a spatula before applying the whisk (or rotary beater).

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter and 2 large eggs. (You might want to start this process with a spatula to incorporate the peanut butter.) When the mixture is smooth, add 1 1/4 cups milk and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted. Beat until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Pour the batter onto a moderately hot griddle to make pancakes the size you desire. They are ready to flip when bubbles form on the top and then break. This recipe will make 6 to 8 regular-size pancakes, or more than a dozen smaller ones.

To serve, lay one pancake flat on a plate, spread your favorite fruit jelly over it, then top with a second pancake, forming a sandwich. Dig in.

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