Custom Pancake Bar & Reading List

Custom Pancake Bar 1

Sometimes I forget that my kids don’t always know where things come from (“Is the corn in cans different from corn-on-the-cob?”) or where things go (“What happens to the water after we flush it?”).

So I like to show them the extra steps for things when I can.  Of course, I don’t have wheat growing in my backyard so we won’t be grinding that into flour to make pancakes completely from scratch any time soon.  But what I CAN do is grab some colorful books to demonstrate the process.

I wanted to make a “Custom Pancake Bar” with my girls to show them how versatile pancakes could be.  But even without the grinding of flour, I still wanted to do more than just stir up a box mix.  Pancakes are easy anyway.

We’ve drawn with pancake batter and celebration pancakes are always fun, but I realized that I had yet to post an actual pancake recipe on this blog.  I’m calling this recipe the “Overnight or Now Pancakes” because I like to make the batter the night before, but it could also be used right away.

I am not, by any means, a morning person.  So I like to get things ready the night before:  breakfast, school lunches, my coffee maker … whatever CAN be done WILL be done.

Like this batter.  All made up and left to sit in the fridge until needed.  I also set up the griddle and toppings and even our plates the night before.

Because having kids means I’m often required to do things before I’m caffeinated.

Which can be … interesting.

Custom Pancake Bar 6

We had a lot of fun with this, though, because we personalized all of the pancakes.  Some had just mini chocolate chips or raisins, others sprinkles, and some a combination of everything.  A few had walnuts and cinnamon sugar, which is quite possibly my new favorite.

My daughter even made a face for one with walnut eyes, a chocolate chip mouth, and sprinkle hair.

There are other toppings you could incorporate, like blueberries or pieces of apples or bananas.  Coconut is also good (kinda like I used on my Tropical French Toast).  Just remember to use extra butter when flipping to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Before I share the recipe, I want to talk a little about the books we read.  I picked them all up at the library, but I’ve included (affiliate) links to Amazon in case you’d rather have your own copies.

Pancake Picture Books

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle

This one is great because it shows the ENTIRE process for making pancakes from scratch – including harvesting wheat and churning butter.  The colorful illustrations demonstrate that there is an awful lot that goes into making our meals, but the story is told in a way that is playful.

There is also a board book version of Pancakes, Pancakes that is abridged.

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola 

This wordless picture book is a delightful story about a woman who wakes up and decides to make pancakes.  But she’s out of eggs and milk and needs to get some more from her chickens and cow.  She even gets maple syrup from a nearby farmer.  But when she gets back with the syrup, her pets have turned her kitchen upside down and she can no longer make her pancakes … but luckily her neighbors had the same idea!

The pictures are pretty straightforward but drawn in a charming way.  And because the wordless pictures are easy for kids to “read,” it works well for either story time or reading-to-self for even the youngest of readers.

Mama Panya’s Pancakes

This story is a little different.  It also includes some steps in making pancakes, like buying flour and spices, but it focuses more on the people doing the cooking.  It tells us about a boy named Adika who is headed to the market with his mother, who also happens to invite everyone he sees back to their place to eat their pancakes with them.  It’s a wonderful tale of joy and generosity with a positive message about sharing.

There is a recipe, but my kids were more interested in the background information.  They were eager to hear all about village life in Kenya, and as soon as I started to read off the glossary of Kiswahili words, my 7-year-old jumped up to grab a paper and pencil so she could take notes.  I loved the way this book helped me to show my kids that things as basic as shopping with mom or sharing exciting news with friends (or making pancakes) are universal concepts practiced all over the world.

The Runaway Pancake 

This is a fun story which is based off of a fable from Norway and Germany about a pancake who really doesn’t want to be eaten.  He rolls through the forest trying to escape everyone who is trying to eat him, but makes the wrong decision to trust a seemingly kind but very hungry pig.  It briefly mentions how pancakes are made, but the real draw here is the silly story and cute illustrations.  It’s also one a beginning reader can read on their own.

And now … back to the recipe!

I’ve made these to have a noticeable taste of vanilla, and strongly suggest that you invest in some Madagascar pure vanilla extract because it has simply done AMAZING things with everything I use it in, from cookies to cheesecake to, well … pancakes!

But the vanilla in the recipe could easily be halved if (for some strange reason) you’re not a big vanilla fan.  And you could stir in your add-ons ahead of time (like chocolate chips or walnuts or sprinkles) instead of doing it the pancake-by-pancake way.

The individual way was an awful lot of fun for my kids, but just make sure to keep safety in mind!  Remember that flipping pancakes can cause splatter — and nobody wants to be pelted with splashes of hot butter!

When it comes to making the batter, we did it the night before and stuck it in the fridge.  It’s easy for kids to put together, which makes it nice for them because they are so involved in the whole process.

One of the things I wanted to mention, was that we decided to add some extra milk to the batter the next morning.

I don’t know why I did that.  I blame it on the caffeine deficiency.

Anyway, my point is that the pancakes still tasted great, but were much thinner than I had intended them to be.  It’s not necessary to add the extra milk like I did.  If you follow the recipe and don’t add any extra milk, your pancakes will be thicker than the ones photographed here.  Just stir the batter when you pull it out of the fridge in the morning and start frying!

Custom Pancake Bar 7

I used an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter.  My oldest daughter measured out one or two, but I mostly did that part.

And (again) make sure there are plenty of reminders of how hot the griddle gets and how much we realllly don’t want to touch it.

Cooking is fun, but safety is important too.

Custom Pancake Bar 8

Some of the add-ons made things a little sticky, so make sure to add more butter, or non-stick spray, when flipping the pancakes.

You can see where we made some with only one topping, like mini chocolate chips, and others which were combinations of toppings, like the one with chocolate chips, walnuts, and cinnamon sugar.

Custom Pancake Bar 9

Don’t those look delicious??

You can see where the cake sprinkles seeped color into the rest of the pancake, but the flower sprinkles held their shape and color nicely.  Both tasted nice, and the thicker sprinkles gave a little sugary crunch to the pancake.

I put them on the platter with the topping side up and spread them out so you could see which was which.

Leftovers refrigerate and freeze nicely.

Let’s get cooking…

Overnight or Now Vanilla Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons (half stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Optional:  Toppings like mini chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, chopped fruit, etc.

Combine the milk and vinegar and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to “sour” into buttermilk.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk eggs, melted butter, and vanilla into the milk.  Then whisk the milk mixture into the flour until the large lumps are gone.  Make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated, but don’t over mix.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or use right away.

Before cooking, stir in any extras you’d like.  For example, you can mix in about 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberry pieces, or something similar.  Or you can do the Custom Pancake Bar (see below).  For the Custom Pancake Bar, do not mix anything extra into the batter.

To make pancakes, preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat.  Coat surface with butter or nonstick cooking spray, and spoon about 1/4 cup of batter onto cooking surface for each pancake.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook 2 minutes or until browned on the other side.

Serve with syrup.  Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen.  Makes 15 to 20 pancakes.

For Custom Pancake Bar:  Do not mix extras into batter.  Leave batter plain.  After scooping batter onto griddle, sprinkle your toppings over the pancake.  When it bubbles, flip the pancake and cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned on the other side.

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Click here for the free printable PDF copy of the recipe:

Overnight Or Now Pancake Recipe

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Happy Cooking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Strawberry Butter

Strawberry Butter 1

I made some Strawberry Butter with my kids for a fun sweet treat, so I wanted to share it with you.

It was super simple to make (just 3 ingredients), and it made for a fun snack or breakfast dish.

It’s the type of dish you could make when you wake up in the morning for a fresh homemade breakfast with very little effort.

Strawberry Butter 2

The first time we made it, my oldest daughter said it was actually too sweet, so we adjusted it for less sugar the next time, which is what you’ll find in the printable recipe below.

It was also a nice way to use up some extra strawberries, since my girls prefer to eat strawberries only when they’re fresh and crisp.  Once they start to get soft, I have to incorporate them into a recipe.  They won’t eat “mushy” berries.

But mushy or crisp strawberries both work for this.

You could use the butter to top any kind of bagel or English muffin or pancakes, but we like it in the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which is what you see in my photos.

Make sure your butter is completely room temperature when you start, to make it a quick and simple process.  If you’re going to make it in the morning, leave the butter out overnight.

You can refrigerate this Strawberry Butter if you don’t use it all right away, but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.  Or at least don’t use it right out of the fridge, because it will be too stiff.

Strawberry Butter

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup diced strawberries, fresh or frozen

In a small bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir in the strawberries and mix well by hand.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving for best results.  Best if used within three days.

Note:  You can use salted or unsalted butter for this.  The salted butter will balance out the sweetness.  And you can use fresh or frozen strawberries, but keep in mind the frozen strawberries may add more juice to the butter, and be sure to thaw them fully first.

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And click below for the printable PDF version:

Strawberry Butter

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

I recently made some Sweet Honey Scones (they’re awesome btw, you should try them) and I was still in the mood for scones, but also really in the mood for chocolate.

This was my solution.

And a pretty darned great one, if I do say so myself.

These Triple Chocolate Iced Scones are thick and crumbly like a biscuit, but moist too and so very chocolatey.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 2

I’ve been eating these for breakfast and dessert.

I love versatility.  ;)

They’re freshest within the first 2 or 3 days, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  They are SO easy to eat.

Oh, and the “triple” in the name comes from them being chocolate scones with chocolate chips throughout and topped by a decadent chocolate icing.  *drools*

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

Getting set up.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 4

After you mix together the dry ingredients, you’ll cut in the cold butter.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 5

Then comes the cream and vanilla (yum!) and the chocolate chips.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 6

Looks good once it all comes together, no?

Knead it gently to pull it together.  Overworking the dough will make it tough.

And sprinkle some cocoa powder instead of flour over your work surface to keep it from sticking.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 7

Shape the dough with your hands into a circle or a square.

A circle will make 8 large wedges.  The squares above come in a count of 16, but as you can see in the photo below, I further cut these squares down by slicing them diagonally to make small triangles.

Which made it easier to eat two or three or four at a time…….

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 8

The dough is just slightly sticky enough that you may have to reshape it after cutting, especially if you use a pizza cutter like I did.

But that’s okay.  They reshape easily with your fingers.  Just press the dough where you want it to go.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 9

The icing is optional, technically, but such a nice touch.

Just blend the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and stir in a little vanilla and water until you’ve got smooth ribbons of chocolate easily dripping from your fork in thin ribbons.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 10

The baked scones, pre-icing.

Try not to over bake them or the bottoms will burn.  The bottoms will be a little darker than the rest anyway, but keep an eye on them towards the end.

They’ll be done when they look puffy and solid, and there’s no indent left behind when you touch the top with your finger.

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

How wonderful do these things look covered in icing??

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 12

Cover your work space with waxed paper or something similar to catch the drips of icing.

To decorate your scones like this, scoop the fork into the icing and then wave it back and forth over the scones to drizzle them generously with the liquid yummy-ness.

Let the icing dry completely before storing.  I usually let things like this sit for at least an hour (or more) to make ultra-certain that the icing is hardened all the way through and won’t get smooshed when I stack them in a container.

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.

Add the cream and vanilla to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened.  Add the chocolate chips.  Knead it gently with your hands to pull it all together.  Do not overmix.

Sprinkle a little cocoa powder over your work surface, and shape the dough with your hands into a circle or square about 8 inches across and one inch high.  Cut the circle into 8 large wedges or cut the square into 16 smaller squares.  If you’d like mini triangles, as shown in the photos, cut the 16 squares in half diagonally to make 32 pieces.  Place them an inch apart on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is set and leaves no indent when you touch the top.  Let rest on pan for two minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar and cocoa powder with a fork.  Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of water and stir well.  Continue adding water a teaspoon at a time until the icing smoothly drips from the fork in thin ribbons.  Drizzle the icing over the completely cooled scones.

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To print the free PDF of the recipe click here:

Triple Chocolate Scones

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Sweet Honey Scones

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe from Roaming Rosie

I first made these a few years ago, and I recently changed the recipe a little.

So here are the updated Sweet Honey Scones!

These scones are crumbly yet moist and permeated with a distinct honey flavor.  And boy do I love me some honey.

But why “sweet”?

Not only are these made with honey, but they also have a small amount of sugar in them, which you don’t always find in scones.  Plus, I added in some vanilla, which adds a beautiful aroma and pairs well with the honey.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe 2

Just a few basic ingredients.

Make sure the butter and cream are cold.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe 3

Once you cut in the cold butter pieces, you’ll mix together the honey, vanilla, and cream and stir that in.

Stir just until everything is moistened.  You don’t want to over mix the dough or the scones will be heavy.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe 5

To bring the dough fully together, gently knead it.

I knead it right in the bowl, since all you’re really doing at this point is making sure it comes together.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe from Roaming Rosie

On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a square or a circle.

Shape it with your hands by patting it out into the shape you want.  A circle will make rather large wedges, and the square pictured above can be further cut down to make small triangles by cutting each of those squares diagonally.

Oh, and I find a pizza cutter is the easiest way to shape your scones. :)

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe from Roaming Rosie

Spread out your pieces on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving some space to spread.

Brush the scones with cream and sprinkle generously with raw sugar.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe from Roaming Rosie

Then bake until set and browned.  The bottoms will get dark much faster than the rest, so keep a close eye towards the end of the baking time.

And, as you can see, some of mine were touching because they were close together on the cookie sheet.  But as long as you gave them some room to spread, they’ll be fine.  Even if they touch a little.

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe from Roaming Rosie

Don’t those look delicious?!

Here’s the recipe, and the printable version below:

Sweet Honey Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, sliced
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.

In a small bowl, mix the honey, vanilla, and the 1/2 cup whipping cream.  Add that to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened.  Then knead it gently with your hands to pull it all together.  Do not overmix.

Sprinkle a little flour over your work surface, and shape the dough with your hands into a circle or square about 8 inches across and one inch high.  Cut the circle into 8 large wedges or cut the square into 16 smaller squares (at this point you could also cut each square diagonally to create 32 triangles), and place the pieces an inch apart on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with the reserved heavy cream and sprinkle with the raw sugar.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are just browned.

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Click here to download the free printable PDF:

Sweet Honey Scones Recipe

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Eggosaurus Dinosaur Shaped Eggs

Eggosaurus dinosaur shaped eggs

When I first saw this dinosaur shaped egg mold I very nearly squealed with excitement.

How cool is a breakfast that’s shaped like a brontosaurus??

If your answer is DUDE THAT ROCKS then we’re probably on the same page about this.

The pictures below show my journey of eventual success.  It wasn’t overly successful the first time I did it, but it only took a couple of tries.  And, you know, I could still eat the mistakes.  So no biggie.

Anyway, here are my tips:

  1.  Grease the pan AND the mold with nonstick spray.
  2. Separate the eggs whites and yolks ahead of time in separate little bowls.
  3. Try to hold down the mold with a spatula or something while you pour in the egg, so that it doesn’t leak out from underneath.
  4. Make sure the pan is hot when you pour in the egg and cover it as it cooks (like with a pan lid) so that the top of the eggs cook as well.
  5. Move the entire mold with the cooked eggs to the plate and remove the mold from the eggs on the plate instead of in the pan.
  6. Practice it a couple of times before you attempt to serve it to children.
  7. Enjoy!

Eggosaurus dinosaur shaped eggs

Mine might not be quite as pretty as the example picture from the manufacturer, but I was totally happy with the results.

Next up?  Pancakes!

Rawr.

You can get the Eggosaurus on Amazon, but beware:  the prices tend to fluctuate.  You really shouldn’t pay more than ten bucks for this, but I haven’t really searched for it anywhere else.  I actually bought mine from ModCloth, but they don’t carry it anymore.  If you find it anywhere else, please let me know!

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast … with Sprinkles!

Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast with Sprinkles!

You wanna know what we love in our house?

Sprinkles.

Sprinkles are the bomb.

Tiny, sugary confetti bursts of celebratory color.  Perfect for just about anything.  Including pancakes.

For my girls’ birthday breakfasts this year, they got homemade pancakes.  With SPRINKLES!

Because… why not?

It looked awfully impressive, but was such a simple way to add joy to a special day.  Such a fun way to start out a birthday!

Anyway, I used some overnight pancake batter (I’ll get around to posting that recipe… someday) to make the pancakes, threw a couple on their “Frozen” plates, drizzled some syrup, and scooped on the cake sprinkles!

You could also add sprinkles to the batter, but I stuck to using the pop of color just as a topping.

I also stuck in a few candles and lit them just before placing them in front of the girls (whose birthdays are one day apart, so candles for both of them at the same time totally works).

Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast with Sprinkles!

And if you love sprinkles as much as we do, check out:

Milk Sprinkles   Vanilla Fairy Fudge Recipe  Elf Sized Chocolate Chip Confetti Cookies   Sprinkle Cookies

Enjoy!  And please share your sprinkle pics with me on Facebook!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns

Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns at RoamingRosie.com

These flower shaped cinnamon buns make breakfast a little extra special.  :)

And it’s pretty quick to do with the help of store bought cinnamon rolls.

I popped those babies out of the can, formed a flower near the top of the pan {one roll in the center and 5 around it to act as petals} and then cut the remaining 2 rolls in half to use for the stem and leaf.

I was pretty happy about how much it actually resembled a flower even before I added the colored sprinkles.

Once you pull the buns out of the oven, add some colored sugar sprinkles right after spreading on the icing – otherwise the icing will start to harden just enough for the sprinkles to not stick.  You have to be kind of quick about this step, so pick out your colors ahead of time.

Now, I made these for my mom on her birthday because she is a gardener and she likes flowers…. but while I was sprinkling on the bright colors, I realized it would also make an impressive centerpiece for any springtime or Easter breakfast or brunch.

Well, that is, it would make an impressive centerpiece if you transferred the buns to a platter instead of being all lazy like me and serving it right on the cookie sheet…..

Either way:  enjoy!

And if you’re a big fan of sprinkles, check these out:

Jack O' Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Milk Sprinkles

Milk Sprinkles

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkles Cookies

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