Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Year of Holidays: Petrifying Pumpkin Pancakes

I find the Halloween section in The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays to be especially adorable. First recipe up on my mental agenda was Petrifying Pumpkin Pancakes (pg 223). There was just one hitch. The Commissary had no canned pumpkin. At all. For weeks. American women are crazy for Autumn pumpkin products, and they cleaned the shelves in a frenzy that the re-stock couldn't keep up with, I guess. The hoarding is contagious. When I finally found pallets of pumpkin stacked in the produce section, I grabbed eight cans. EIGHT CANS. I am not going to use eight cans of pumpkin this Autumn. Better start baking pie. Mmmm...piiiiie.

Once I snagged my pumpkin puree, these pancakes jumped to the top of the dinner menu, much to Matt's horror. He scoffs at the thought of "breakfast food" for dinner. He refused to eat these pancakes, and opted for leftovers instead. More for me.

The thing that makes these pancakes so cute is that a bit of the batter is pulled out, then flavored with molasses and dyed brown with food dye. Ree says to use a spoon or a plastic squirt bottle to make faces/words/anything you can think of with the brown batter, let the design set on the hot griddle for a few seconds, then pour a normal pancake on top.

I'm here to tell you, don't use a spoon unless you want to scream at your griddle in frustration. It's possible this fun holiday treat was accompanied by a good bit of not-so-restrained cursing.
Methinks my griddle was too hot--just one of a number of problems.
Once I remembered that I had a medicine syringe thing laying around somewhere, and I got the griddle temperature down from molten hot, the experience improved dramatically.
SO CUTE, and Charlie loved them.

My one complaint is that, because of the sugar in the molasses, the brown parts tasted kind of burnt and unpleasant. Pour enough syrup on anything and it'll taste good, but next time, I'd omit the molasses and just use food dye. The design is there to look fun, not to add a layer of flavor.

Conclusion: Liked them. Charlie is so delighted with his Halloween pancakes that I expect to make them next year, too. And so tradition is born. I now house a gallon bag full of them in the freezer. I need to remember in the future that Pioneer Woman is trying to feed an army. I also did some with letters and hearts and other designs, so they don't have to be Halloween themed. 

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