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We received a pancake mix created by a restaurant in Texas.  The pancakes were good.  The directions were interesting.  They came from the chef who was responsible for perfect, uniform pancakes. You and I are interested in pancakes that taste good; he wants the perfect presentation to go with them.

So here are his directions. Then we added six tips of our own. Finally, we added some recipe ideas, how to morph everyday buttermilk pancakes into apple cinnamon pancakes or pumpkin pancakes and more.

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Directions from a Chef.

Spray, then towel. Spray the griddle with a nonstick spray (I use a light coating of oil) and then wipe the griddle with a paper towel.  A thin coating of oil on a heated griddle means more uniform cooking and color.

Pour high. Use a ladle to get uniform-sized pancakes.  With a steady motion, pour the batter from a height of ten inches to make nice, even circles.

Watch the edge. The easiest way to tell if the pancakes are ready to turn is to watch the edges.  When the edges are no longer shiny, they’re ready to turn.

Press gently. After flipping the pancake, wait a few seconds and then press the center lightly.  This will reduce the doming the effect and make your cakes more attractive.

Our Tips

Don’t over mix the batter.  Leave a few lumps in it.  If you overmix the batter, you will develop the gluten and the pancakes will be tough, not tender.

Make sure the griddle is hot.  A few drops of water sprinkled on the surface should dance.

Use the right measure. To get the right size of nice, round cakes, use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measure with a handle on it. (The chef says to use a ladle. That works too. But use the same amount of batter each time.)

Hot pancakes are better cakes.  Heat the serving plates in the oven on the lowest setting and serve the pancakes on these heated plates. Keep extra cakes warm in the oven.

Keep that leftover batter.   Store it for up to several days in the refrigerator.  If it gets a little thick, revive it with a little milk and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder for each cup of batter.   (Don’t over-stir it.)

Freeze extra pancakes.  Place them on a baking sheet and freeze them without stacking.  Once frozen, place them in plastic bags, secure the tops, and keep them for up to six months in the freezer (not the freezing compartment of the refrigerator, which is not as cold as a freezer.)

How to make very good apple, zucchini, pumpkin, & banana pancakes!

My mother grated apples and added them to her pancake batter. It was very good. Better yet, add cinnamon chips to batter with the apples to make cinnamon chip apple pancakes.

You can also add grated zucchini, mashed bananas, or pumpkin puree to your batter. You may have to adjust the liquid; your garden inclusions will add moisture to your pancakes.

The pancakes will cook the same way and are terrific and healthy change of pace and they’re healthy. Every cook should have these four recipes in his or her arsenal.

Cinnamon Chip Apple Pancakes

Add the following to two cups of pancake batter:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup grated tart apple
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cinnamon Chip Zucchini Pancakes

Add the following to two cups of pancake batter:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cinnamon Chip Banana Pancakes

Add the following to two cups of pancake batter:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cups mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Pancakes

Add the following to two cups of pancake batter:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dry ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup cinnamon chips