I'm quite a bit like Lena in that I also like to make a fuss for special days. That said, I feel qualified to tell you one of the secrets of being the person who makes a fuss for special days: plan your surprise early in the day.
Why is that important? Because if you wait until dinner time to surprise your birthday boy or girl, they may wonder if their day has been forgotten, but if you catch them early in the morning, they'll feel loved and cared for all day long. I promise, give it a try!
With that in mind, these birthday pancakes are a great way to kick off the next special day in your family. The recipe isn't extraordinary — just basic pancakes — but, by using a squeeze bottle to make notes or drawings in the batter, you can make these pancakes an extra-fun birthday morning surprise.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups milk
A pinch of salt
Olive oil or butter (for oiling the griddle)
Maple syrup (for serving)
Preheat your oven to 250° and warm a large griddle or skillet to medium heat.
As your cooking elements heat up, lightly whisk the eggs in a large bowl — just enough to break up the yolks. Then, whisk in the flour, baking powder, milk, and salt. The batter should be mostly smooth, but a few lumps are fine.
Now, spoon about a cup of the batter into a small squeeze bottle.
Spread a few tablespoons of oil onto the griddle and use the squeeze bottle to draw a shape on the hot pan. You can write the birthday child's name or age, draw a heart, or even draw a birthday cupcake. Allow your drawing to cook for about a minute, then ladle more batter over the top to form a traditional, round pancake shape.
When the surface of the pancake batter starts to bubble, use a spatula to flip the pancake over. Be steady and confident as you flip to avoid breaking the pancake. Cook the pancake until the second side is golden brown, then slip the pancake onto a bake sheet in your warm oven. Repeat with additional pancakes until all of the batter is used up.
Once all of the pancakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and distribute them onto plates. Pour a generous drizzle of maple syrup over the top and enjoy surprising your birthday boy or girl.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.