Monday, April 29, 2013

Simple Pancakes and Sinfully Easy Strawberry Syrup

Pancakes are one of those things that are ridiculously easy to make, but seem like they'd be a pain without one of those just-add-water mixes. Even though making them from scratch only involves a few ingredients, the thought of all that measuring first thing in the morning tires me out. What can I say? I'm just not a morning person.

Basic ingredients
Luckily, I found a recipe for a good pancake mix (along with several others). One batch of the mix makes enough for around five batches of pancakes. I can make the mix whenever I want and then just add the wet ingredients and have pancakes in the morning. That's an acceptable level of effort for me.

What? It fits..
I usually make a double batch of the mix; that's as much as the biggest bowl I own will hold. Actually, it's a little more than the bowl will hold, so I make a bit of a mess as I mix it all up. However, the end result is
enough mix for 10-11 batches of pancakes, so I don't have to make it all that often.

After I had made it a couple times – and had to look up the recipe each time – I got smart, and just wrote it down and taped it to the container. This also helps prevent me from thinking it's just regular flour and trying to make bread out of it...which has almost happened a couple of times.
This level of mess is not unusual for me
Children walking nearby may get messy as well

These pancakes are one of Zoey's favorite meals, so it made sense to make them for her birthday. I thought I'd get fancy and make them in shapes, using cookie cutters. That was a Bad Plan. It probably would have worked okay if I had chosen simpler shapes and thought to spray the cutters. However, it was morning so I did neither. A couple problems arose. First, because the batter couldn't spread out, it went up, making the world's thickest pancakes. I could adjust for that, however, and the pancakes cooked fine. Unfortunately, I had to mangle them to get them out of the cutters.
It started well...

What? It's OBVIOUSLY a stegosaurus...
Lesson learned; pancakes should be round unless made by someone with the talent to free-hand shapes. In case there was any doubt, I am not that person. It doesn't really matter, since both of my kids get their pancakes cut up before eating them anyway, but I feel like they should at least know the pancakes were cool at one point.

To compensate for the lack of neat pancakes, I made some strawberry syrup to go on top of the boring rounds.

The syrup was really easy to make – equal parts sugar and water, and about twice that in strawberries. I think. I didn't really measure the berries, just threw them in. They were frozen and stuck together, so measuring would have been a pain in the rear, and it was still morning.
Sugar.  With water.  MIB style

Since I used frozen berries, I didn't worry about chopping them up since I knew they'd get mushy when they thawed anyway (yay for less effort!). If it was later in the year, and local berries were ripe (curse you, people that live in areas that already have ripe strawberries...I'm looking at you, Californians!) I would probably cut them in half and/or mash them up a bit before adding them to the sugar and water.
And some berries

As is, however, I just dissolved the sugar in the water, added the berries, and stirred every once in a while as I made the pancakes. The berries were so soft, that I just had to mush them a little with the spoon to get them to fall apart fully. By the time the pancakes were done, so was the syrup. The recipe made a lot, so I have a pint jar of deliciousness left in the fridge; we didn't exactly go light on it, either! I'm sure Zoey will take care of that in short order. Unless Randy beats her to it, that is.
Who needs pancakes?  Just eat the syrup!


6 c all-purpose flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c powdered milk
½ c sugar
3 T baking powder
1 ½ T salt

Mix all ingredients together. And store.

Makes approximately eight 6-inch pancakes.
2 c pancake mix
1 ½ c water
2 T oil
1 egg

Pour pancakes onto a hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form and pop. Flip. Cook until pancakes puff slightly and steam.

1 c water
1 c sugar
2 c strawberries (10-15 large berries)

Create a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat (between 6 and 7 on my dial) until all the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.

If working with fresh berries, quarter the berries and mash them slightly with a fork or the back of a spoon. Frozen berries can be added whole.

Add the berries to the simple syrup and heat to a boil, stirring occasionally, and breaking up large clumps with the spoon.

Boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat, and allow to cool and thicken for 5-10 minutes.


  1. Bummer. I was really looking forward to trying this out but my dairy intolerant daughter means this won't be happening. I've tried quite a few recipes and they're all bland as hell. Not good. Finally I discovered bisquick doesn't have milk and I haven't looked back. (I'm not a morning person either.)

  2. :( Sorry it wasn't more useful! You can still have the syrup, though.

    I looked it up, and coconut milk powder or just plain coconut milk is a substitute for powdered milk. I'm not entirely sure of the ratios, but you could try leaving out the powder all together and just replacing the water with coconut milk.