And Valentine’s Day Eve!
And Mardi Gras!
Today is Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent for most Christians. Shrove Tuesday is also called Pancake Tuesday because many people eat pancakes to celebrate this final day before the great fasts of Lent begin! Food history states that people wanted to use up all their lard/butter/milk prior to the beginning of Lent and made sweet, decadent things.
Hence, Fat Tuesday was born!
While many people make donuts today, I love the pancake tradition so much better. Because who doesn’t like pancakes for dinner? (and who also thinks large pots of hot oil on the stove are slightly frightening…)
These pancakes were inspired by the fluffy pancakes featured on Buzzfeed’s Tasty website. I tweaked the recipe a bit and actually ended up with a slight variation of my Belgium waffle recipe – a sweet batter with egg whites folded in at the last second to keep the resulting breakfast treat light and airy. But instead of cooking the batter in a waffle iron, you cook it in a mold on the stove (Buzzfeed uses a small non-stick skillet).
Since I don’t have a tiny non-stick skillet, I used a cookie cutter as a mold! And since it is Valentine’s Day Eve, I knew my pancakes had to be heart-shaped.
A super sweet way to celebrate Pancake Tuesday.
The batter starts out with the dry ingredients.
Flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together in a large bowl and set aside.
Then assemble the wet ingredients in another bowl.
Skim milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and two egg yolks (save the whites!). Whisk the wet ingredients together and set aside.
Finally, transfer the egg whites to a bowl and whip them with an electric mixer (or by hand if you want to work those arm muscles) until stiff peaks.
Now, we assemble!
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Then add in the whipped egg whites and gently fold them into the batter.
In a non-stick pan heating over medium-low heat, place a greased heart-shaped cookie cutter. When the skillet is hot, pour in the pancake batter until it comes up about ¾s of the way of the heart.
Place a lid over the skillet (I used a cookie sheet) and cook for 4-5 minutes until the pancake is cooked all the way through. Flip the pancake out onto a plate, using a sharp knife to release the pancake from the cookie cutter.
Place on a plate and dust with powdered sugar.
And a drizzle of syrup.
The pancakes are light, airy, and absolutely delicious!
If this isn’t a perfect way to celebrate Pancake Tuesday/Valentine’s Day Eve, I don’t know what is.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Dash of cinnamon
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Separate eggs, placing the egg whites in a clean, small bowl and the egg yolks into the bowl with the milk mixture. Whisk the milk mixture to emulsify the eggs. Set aside.
- Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Set a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. If you are worried that your skillet may not be super non-stick, wipe the surface with a paper towel that has a bit of vegetable oil on it. Set a greased heart-shaped cookie cutter in the skillet to heat.
- When the skillet is hot, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add in the egg whites and gently fold them in.
- To cook the pancakes, pour in enough batter to fill the cookie cutter about three-quarters of the way up. Place a lid (or a cookie sheet) over the skillet and let the pancake cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the pancake is cooked through.
- Turn the pancake out onto a plate (cooked side up!), using a sharp paring knife to free it from the cookie cutter. Continue to make pancakes until all the batter is gone.
- Serve up the pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar and warm syrup.