Red Velvet Pancakes For Valentine’s Day

valentines day babiesTo all of my Valentines, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I made these pancakes this weekend in preparation for breakfast on Thursday with my Valentines (since I will be working both jobs that day and won’t be seeing them other than at breakfast before bedtime really). These hold up great frozen in proportioned Ziploc baggies (where is my endorsement deal from them?) for about a month, so this recipe makes tons of pancakes. Enjoy the love-fest all month long!

Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

6 cups all-purpose flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 eggs

4 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups 2% or whole milk, or almond milk, or half and half (no 1 % or skim)

6 tablespoons red food coloring

6 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, melted

Mix all the dry ingredients in a really large bowl. Mix all the wet in a medium-sized bowl, whisk these

Because I love these old cards...

Because I love these old cards…

thoroughly, this is like when making a cake, once you combine wet and dry ingredients you are going to want to leave lumps so that these pancakes are nice and fluffy.Combine everything in the large bowl, slowly whisking until it’s well combined. (There should be no flour in the bottom of the bowl, but small lumps of flour in the mix are good)

Heat very flat frying pan, or griddle, to a medium high heat. (If your first batch of pancakes turns too dark or cooks super-fast, lower the heat. They should take a while to cook.)

Pour out batter onto griddle and leave them alone as the bubbles form. When the uncooked side is fairly covered in popped bubbles, flip. (The edges will also look dry)

After flipping, allow them to rise (DO NOT press them down! This will make them heavy instead of fluffy!). The reason you are cooking at the lowest possible temperature is so they can cook through without burning or squishing, all of which are bad for pancakes. The best time for this side is about ½ the time they spent on the other side cooking. Experiment with the timing until you get a feel for it.

*This is also fun if  you toss in chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder and  reduce sugar to 1/2 cup, and reduce red food coloring to about 3 Tablespoons. Then you have Pink Chocolate Chip Pancakes!*

Sizzling on a griddle...

Sizzling on a griddle…

You can use regular syrup (BoyChild II is a purest). I also (thoroughly) enjoy melted butter with a sprinkle of powdered sugar as my topping. (Of course, I like any pancake best this way, you know, dripping with buttery goodness…) But if this is all too pedestrian for you (or there is someone to impress) try the following glaze recipe poured hot over the top.Vintage VDay

Cream Cheese Glaze:

Remember Cream Cheese Frosting? Get 2 cups out of your fridge (What you haven’t been keeping some in there for mid night snacking straight from the Tupperware “just in case”?! Well, then whip some up real quick).

Put the 2 cups frosting in a microwave safe bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of water.

Heat on 50% power 30 seconds at a time, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. If your mix is still too thick, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time.

Space VDayServe glaze warm over hot, buttered pancakes.

Do you have a special Valentine’s Day meal? Please share in the comments or email me at mamaskitchentable@gmail.com.

eggcellent valentine

eggcellent valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day my loves!

An Island cake (part 2)

The ingredients are all listed in part 1. There are several steps to decorating this cake, it will take a while, but they are all very simple. You will want to start with readying your decorations.

Grass: Put the coconut in a ziplock baggie. Add about 3 drops of green food coloring. Seal the baggie. Shake the baggie. (this is a great task to hand the child at your feet asking to help) If the coconut isn’t a medium green throughout, add additional drops of green, shaking the baggie well in between adding the coloring. Now you have grass! You can store this baggie as is in the fridge till you need it and if there are leftovers  you can even freeze it.

Sand: Place about 1/4 of the Nilla wafers into a baggie. Seal the baggie. Smush the wafers, you need to eliminate all large pieces, don’t crush till powder throughout, it will just get mushy on you in the frosting and won’t look right. (this is another great task for that kid whose done making grass)

Ocean: In a medium sized bowl fold (with spatula, NOT a hand mixer) small amounts of the Cornflower blue paste color into the cream cheese frosting. You want the color to be somewhat blended, not smooth color throughout. Leave some portions white and some too dark blue.

Thatch: Take the triscuts and break them length wise into a bowl. You will want the random shreds and the longer pieces.

Plan your cake: Do you have a side of the cake (other than the center) that is slightly higher than the others? That’s where your hut should go. The opposite side will be the ocean, next a strip of beach, the grass up to and around your hut. If there are any natural curves in the surface use those as best you can it will help the separated sections look better.

First frost your land. Use the Lemon frosting all the way to the line for the ocean. This layer should be just as thick as the top frosting layer on a regular cake. Now place one of the small round cakes upside down (so it is perfectly flat on the side facing up) where the hut will go. Frost about 1/2 inch of chocolate across the small cake’s surface. Place the other small round cake right side up on top of the chocolate frosting. Place 4 wooden skewers through all 3 cake layers in the “corners” of the circle, make sure that the skewers are about 1 inch in from the outer edge of the small round cake. Gently cut the skewers level with the top layer of cake. (don’t forget these are here later when you cut the cake!)

Now you will fill in the ocean, fill from the edge you made with the lemon frosting to the end of the pan. Smooth as little as possible, which will make the blue ocean look more like waves and varying water colors.

Next up is sand, use your hand to shield the ocean as best you can. Pour small hand fulls of sand onto the beach at a time until you cannot see the lemon any longer and the beach area is filled out.

Now frost the hut with chocolate. Try to get the entire hut covered as best you can without getting too much chocolate in the lemon. Small errors will get covered by the grass. You want about 1/2 inch of chocolate all around the two small cakes, including the top.

Now the “bamboo poles” that make up the exterior of your hut! Place the  Pirouette cookie wafers one at a time, side by side all the way around the exterior of the small circle cakes. You will want to gently push each wafer all the way through the lemon frosting and the orange cake until you hit the bottom of the pan. Make sure you are pushing them down the sides of the small circle cakes, through the layer of chocolate frosting. (this will help both the cakes to not slide and the “bamboo” to stay straight) The tops of the wafers will stick up above the top of the cake layers. Take 1 cupcake and place it in the center of the hut. Frost all around the top of the hut with chocolate. Use the larger pieces of triscuts to bridge from the center out to the wafers. Sprinkle the shreds into bald spots, completely covering the chocolate with “thatch”.

Now fill in around the hut and all the way to the sand with the coconut grass.

With dry palms, gently press grass and sand slightly into the lemon frosting. (this will help it stay put better). Fill in any bald spots you might have accidentally created.

Place your umbrella in the sand at an inviting angle and admire your handy work!

*Note: the remaining cupcakes are good with or without frosting to hand to little ones who feel they might die if they don’t have a piece of the cake they have been staring at for 3 or 4 days.*

*Also, do not wrap this cake in saran wrap or anything else! Store in open cool dry air. Otherwise you will have a soggy mess with droopy bamboo and all.*

Visit the Luau party page for all the recipes and posts involved in this party!

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

This basic frosting is an important recipe to have in your baking repertoire. This recipe will cover 1 medium to large-sized cake. Cream cheese frosting is versatile and goes with most cakes. It is also is perfect for coloring and shaping it to whatever you need it to be. So chalk this recipe up under your culinary wing spreading (the ladies here did when I showed them) and wait to make it till the short people are in bed so no one catches you licking the beaters all by yourself…

You will need:

A hand mixer (don’t try with a spoon/whisk/etc)

16 oz cream cheese (softened, not melted. Let is sit on the counter in its package for the day or overnight and it’ll be just right)

1/2 cup butter (also softened, not melted. See above)

32 oz (2 medium-sized bags) of powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Always, unless otherwise instructed in the recipe directions, mix liquids then add solids. For the purpose of baking (including this recipe) cream cheese and butter are liquids. So you will blend thoroughly all the ingredients except the powdered sugar.  Then gradually add sugar, continuing to mix until smooth. This is called creaming (baking term). Voila! You have frosting! You can add whatever color (I recommend paste to keep the consistency thick and creamy) you need.

Do not store this in fridge or freezer. Make what you can use and use it. Baring other toppings or cake ingredients it will keep on your counter just fine for about 2 and a half weeks.