Bite Of Minnesota: New Year’s Pancake Bar

Bite Of Minnesota: New Year’s Pancake Bar

Celebrating the new year traditionally happens with a bang. Whether it’s the pop of the champagne cork or the boom of fireworks, a new beginning is something to celebrate.

After years of less-than-satisfactory celebrations, I now prefer to celebrate with a small group of friends at dinner, complete with fun cocktails and solid food to ring in the New Year.

But, what about those that want to skip the evening festivities in favor of celebrating the next morning? How about New Year’s Brunch? It’s certainly not a new concept, heck; we all have to eat, but what about doing something a little more special than normal? How about a pancake bar?

 Crystal Grobe)

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

Over the holidays I dug out my aebleskiver pan from Aunt Else’s, a company that used to sell aebleskiver products locally, and made the cutest little Danish pancake balls filled with apple and manchego. It got me thinking about ideas for New Year’s brunch because they are so customizable and can be filled with a variety of ingredients. However, they are a little tedious and require a special pan so I moved onto Plan B for brunch: pancakes.

Chances are you have a griddle or a pan to make pancakes. Make it a little more fun and interactive by giving your guests the opportunity to choose their pancake ingredients. Please note: this also works for waffles! Prepare the batter and ingredients the night before or the morning of and place them into small dishes for easy grabbing. Don’t forget to get the kids to join in too.

Ideas include:
• Green apple and cubed manchego
• Shredded cheddar and crumbled sausage
• Peanut butter and jelly
• Almond butter and sliced strawberries.
• Apple pie filling and toasted walnuts
• Nutella and banana
• Crumbled bacon and swiss cheese
• Roasted squash cubes and blue cheese crumbles

The options are endless and it gives guests something to do while sipping their morning champagne or mimosas. It’s best to use a plain pancake batter for this one and Martha Stewart has a solid buttermilk pancake recipe here. I prefer to pour batter onto the griddle and then add my ingredients to the pancake, but they can also be served on top of the pancakes if preferred. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven in between batches.

If you do happen to have an aebleskiver pan, watch this video from my friend, Chad, on how to properly cook aebleskiver. I learned the technique from him years ago when he used to sell at the Mill City Farmers Market. If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

Best wishes for 2015!