German Oven Pancake

It’s a quiet Sunday morning. Little beams of golden light stream through the open window, and a gentle breeze drifts in. There’s a sense of calm as the tiny flames of vanilla Bourbon and maple buttermilk candles on the kitchen counter flicker and dance. Outside, the green on the trees and vibrancy of blue in the sky are the opening chapters of a perfect day. A sense of peace, like a giant quilt, feels as though it’s being drawn over the home.

A morning like this calls for something sweet and warm. A German Oven Pancake turned out to be just the thing. This breakfast treat is a more eggy, puffy version of an American pancake. And the best part: you bake it in the oven instead of standing around the stove flipping flapjacks. To top it off, this delightful breakfast takes just minutes to make and calls for simple ingredients you probably already have on hand!

German Oven Pancake

Adorn each individual slice however you’d like. Try some warm maple syrup, jam or fruit. I had mine in the traditional German way with powdered sugar and lemon juice (I added blueberries as well!). My fiancĂ© kept it classic with plain old maple. It’s fantastic either way. I’ve also heard of people baking apples or other fruit into it.

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Here’s the recipe:

German Oven Pancake

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

3 tbs melted butter, divided

1 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, sugar and 2 tbs of the melted butter.

Stir in the flour just until combined. Add the last tbs of melted butter to the bottom of a 9-inch pan, then pour in the batter. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges start to brown. The pancake should rise and get nice and puffy! Also, be prepared for the glorious scent of warm butter that will fill the home. ❀

German Oven Pancake

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Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Lately, I’ve become incredibly interested in foreign breakfasts. It’s fun to take a peek into a morning meal the way another culture might experience it, and my goodness there are so many amazing foods to try.

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

I originally discovered aebleskiver at a cultural food festival in downtown Tucson called Tucson Meet Yourself. An eclectic mix of pop-up stands featuring foods from around the world, cultural demonstrations, performances, sounds, excitement and people, this October festival is something I look forward to every year.

During my very first time attending, I came across the “Danish Foods” booth and saw people walking away with trays of these glorious little dough balls, drizzled in jam and powdered sugar. I came to find that they were called “aebleskiver,” known also as Danish pancake balls and I fell in love from the moment I tried them. A lightly fried, crispy texture on the outside and a fluffy doughy center, they taste similar to, well, pancakes but slightly more airy. They’re typically enjoyed with a bit of jam and icing sugar, but they have been known to be paired with chocolate sauce, coulis, butter and maple syrup–really anything you can think of works.

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Originally in Denmark these little morsels were cooked with a slice of apple in the center. The word “aebleskiver” actually translates to “apple slices”, but that tradition isn’t as commonly upheld anymore, although it sounds positively delicious.

To make Danish pancake balls, you’ll need an aebleskiver pan, which you can easily find online or in specialty cooking stores.

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

So let’s get to the recipe. It’s a bit messy, but they are so fun to make.

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

2 tbs sugar

3 eggs (yolks and whites separated)

7 tbs butter

Melt the butter in a small dish and set it aside to cool. Put the egg whites and one tbs of the sugar in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a hand-mixer until the egg whites stiffen. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the yolks, flour, salt, baking soda and remaining tbs of sugar. Next, with the hand-mixer on low, gradually mix in the buttermilk until the batter is smooth. Slowly add the butter to the mixture.

Then, gently fold the egg whites into the batter. The egg whites will make the batter feel bubbly and almost spongey–this gives the aebleskiver their fluffy texture.

To cook them, set your aebleskiver pan on the stove at medium heat and prepare each hole with about a tsp of vegetable or olive oil (butter unfortunately will burn too quickly).

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Now, here comes the tricky (but super fun) part. Pour a tbs of batter into each hole and wait about 1-2 min or until the sides start to brown. You’ll want something to be able to flip the balls over to check them–some people use crocheting hooks or forks. I used a kabob stick. Once it looks golden brown and crispy, similar to the way a pancake looks when it’s ready to flip, turn it 90Âș onto its side. Some of the batter will pour out to the side. Add about another half a tbs, and then flip it over completely to the other side. Adding that extra amount of batter allows them to form into balls instead of just puffy discs.

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

When both sides look thoroughly cooked and crisp, set them aside in a dish and add a bit of jam and fruit, chocolate chips, icing sugar, applesauce–whatever your heart desires ❀

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)

Sweet Potato Waffles w/ Homemade Caramel Sauce

I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself with this recipe, but fall is my absolute favorite season, and I can’t help but celebrate it year round.

These waffles are seriously like a burst of autumn on your taste buds–perfectly crispy on the outside, light and fluffy when you dig your fork in. If I could have sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and spiced lattes every day, I probably would. I’d also probably pretend that the leaves on the trees outside my apartment window are those gorgeous shades of goldenrod, butterscotch and deep scarlet. Something about it all just makes my heart sing. I’m patiently waiting for October to come around every year.

Sweet Potato Waffles

While I can’t make the leaves change color (and they don’t really change in AZ anyway), luckily we can still cook whatever we want. Reminiscent of a lightly spiced pumpkin pie, these sweet potato waffles are topped with pecans and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.  I like to cook mine in a Belgian waffle-maker so they turn out as thick and fluffy as possible. The caramel sauce adds that punch of sweetness in addition to the little pieces of sweet potato throughout, and the pecans add a nice crunch. Perfect for a rainy fall morning–and perfect for a sunny summer one, too.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Sweet Potato Waffles

1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes (About two large sweet potatoes)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

A pinch of allspice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, separate egg whites

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tbs brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

With a fork, poke a few holes in your sweet potatoes and put them in the microwave for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and squishy. Scoop the pulp out with a large spoon and add to a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, milk, vanilla, brown sugar and egg yolks (keep egg whites separate in a small bowl) and beat on lowest speed setting or stir well enough to remove most of the clumps (Don’t beat on high or it will splatter! Also, don’t worry about getting rid of all of the clumps. We want some of them there ^_^). Beat the egg whites until peaks form and set aside for now.

In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until everything is uniform. Again, clumps of sweet potato are okay. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Spray your waffle maker with a non-stick spray and use a medium heat setting or the setting you would normally use. Drizzle them with caramel sauce, sprinkle some pecans and indulge!

To make the caramel sauce (and you totally should, it makes a huge difference), refer to the recipe here at Sally’s Baking Addiction blog. Her recipes are fantastic. I used unsalted butter and added a few shakes of salt.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pancakes

So the inspiration for these bad boys came about on a dark and stormy morning (the morning of my birthday, to be exact). Well, it wasn’t really dark and stormy at all–just a bit cold (I’m a January birthday). Although, I really don’t know how much room I have to complain about the cold seeing as I live in Arizona, a desert land mocked for its relentless heat. But hey! I swear it does get a little cold in the winter here.

Living in Tucson at the time for college, my boyfriend and I were on our way up to Mt. Lemmon, a popular go-to spot for Tucsonans, to sit at our favorite lookout point and paint pictures. It’s sort of become this yearly birthday tradition for us, although since moving up to Scottsdale, we’ve started to lose grip of the tradition a bit (sad face). Anyway, I had heard great things about a little divey place called Bobo’s Restaurant. It’s one of those Tucson gems that’s a little rough around the edges and helps make the city the eclectic, quirky, diverse place that it is. We sat up at the breakfast bar, which felt reminiscent of an old diner, the sizzling sounds of steaming bacon mixed with the scent of hot syrup and fresh coffee.

We ended up both ordering these huge pancake plates, and let me say, they were delicious. I confess, they were so decadent and plentiful, I couldn’t quite finish them all (though I tried my very best)! Gigantic in size, these pancakes were filled with warm apples and covered in a sweet, crunchy, cinnamon-sugar glaze. Kinda like apple pie on a flapjack.

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As I watched them being made, I thought, I have got to give this a go.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pancakes

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1 egg

1 1/4 cup buttermilk*

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 tbs melted butter

2 tbs sugar

1/2 gala or granny smith apple, skinned and cut into chunks

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, put a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with milk (preferably whole milk) until you get to 1 1/4 cup.

For the Topping:

A few slices of butter at room temperature (about 1/2 tbs for each pancake)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon (Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, only)

With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla, mixing just until the clumps of dry flour are gone. Be sure not to over mix. Then, add the sugar, melted butter and apples, stirring until combined. Cook on a griddle or large pan over medium temperature with a bit of butter, but keep watch!

Once you flip your pancakes for the first time, take a chunk of butter and spread it across the cooked side of your cakes, then sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar over the top. When the other side looks done, flip it over one last time to allow the butter and cinnamon sugar mixture to crystallize. It only needs about 30 seconds. This is what gives them that nice, crunchy texture, almost like an apple streusel. Stack them on a plate, pair with a nice big mug of coffee and cream, and enjoy!

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