Pancake topper ideas
• Heat lemon curd, then drizzle it over pancakes and sprinkle with fresh blueberries — From Karen DeMasco, pastry chef at Locanda Verde restaurant in New York
• Make banana syrup by slicing and microwaving an overripe (black) banana until very soft and syrupy. Spoon over pancakes with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt, toasted pecans and a dash of cinnamon — From Lourdes Castro, author of “Simply Mexican”
• Saute fresh pineapple cubes in brown sugar, then deglaze the pan with a bit of coconut milk and reduce till it has a syruplike consistency. Pour over the pancakes and top with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes. — From Roger Stettler, executive chef for the Four Seasons Resort Maui
• Mix ricotta cheese with a dash of honey and spoon over pancakes topped with blueberry jam. — From Jill Donenfeld and Josie Gordon, authors of “Party Like a Culinista”
• Saute apple slices with butter and sugar, then spoon them over the pancakes. Sprinkle with toasted pecans, then drizzle with dulce de leche. — From Daisy Martinez, author of “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night”
• As soon as you pour the pancake batter into the pan, top it with granola and fresh blueberries, then continue cooking as normal. — From Barb Stuckey, author of “Taste What You’re Missing”
• Make a simple syrup using a 2-to-1 ratio of brown sugar to water. Simmer, then add grated fresh ginger and diced fresh mango. — From Rafael Gonzalez, executive chef at Fountain Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia
• Top chocolate chip pancakes with warmed Nutella and chopped toasted hazelnuts. — From Kathleen King, owner of Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, N.Y.
• Top pancakes with chopped fresh figs, crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of agave syrup. — From Matt Christianson at Urban Farmer restaurant in Portland, Ore.
• Combine sorghum syrup, lemon zest, orange juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then drizzle over the pancakes. — From Hugh Acheson, author of “A New Turn in the South”
• A pancake version of croque madam: Stack dollar-size pancakes, layering fried egg and ham between them. — From Michael Uhnak at Besaw’s restaurant in Portland, Ore.
Topping ideas from Associated Press
When is a pancake not just a pancake? When it’s scattered, smothered and covered with fruit, fillings and love.
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, what better gift from the heart can you present than breakfast in bed — or in the dining room or patio.
Chances are, as long as mom doesn’t have to do the cooking, she’s going to be pleased no matter where the meal is served.
As pancake toppings go, maple syrup is swell and certainly traditional, if not particularly inspired. But if you’re going to go to the trouble of griddling up a stack of hot pancakes for Mom on Mother’s Day — or for anyone on any day, for that matter — consider going the extra step and whipping up a more creatively delicious topping.
Gainesville resident Rebecca Myers completely throws caution to the wind. She starts her short stack with a sweet potato pancake mix. She then rolls the pancakes around a maple and cream cheese filling.
“I add a little maple syrup to cream cheese frosting,” Myers says about her pancake filling.
“Or you can drizzle it on the cream cheese (frosting) just before rolling it up in the pancake.
“I also make plain pancakes filled with cooked blueberries and some cream cheese frosting.”
She likes to dust both variations with a little powdered sugar.
Alex Guarnaschelli from the Food Network’s “Chopped All-Stars” suggests simmering one part molasses, two parts honey and a splash of water with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. She also adds a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped, crisp bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat to create a uniquely sweet and savory topping.
In the tastiest of surveys via the The Times’ Life Department Facebook page, Sandra Sargent Warwick shared that she likes to smother her pancakes with chocolate chips and add a dollop of Cool Whip.
“You don’t even need maple syrup,” she writes. “Yum.”
Another Facebook friend of The Times, Jennifer Collins, suggests serving up your pancakes with blueberry syrup and sliced bananas.
Creativity isn’t limited to just toppings. Pull out the cookie cutters to trim your pancakes into fun shapes like flowers, or pour the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle to create free-style forms on your griddle. You could even use the squeeze bottle method to spell out “I love you.”
If you’re short on time, you can always reheat store-bought pancakes to serve as the foundation of your meal. However, if you choose that route, you’d probably want to pay special attention to your presentation to make sure your time in the kitchen is seen as a labor of love and not some last-minute ditch effort to score brownie points with mom.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.