Sooo, ya, I did make some Mac and Cheese Pancakes. But first, a backstory…
It all started a few months ago when my husband was in NYC for a business trip. He randomly stumbled across a restaurant called Shopsin’s, the type of place that you can get kicked out of for not following the rules.
Luckily, he did not get kicked out and got to enjoy some very delicious Mac and Cheese Pancakes, along with a very unique dining experience.
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Mac and Cheese Pancakes
First of all, if you look at the menu, there’s like hundreds of options. I would get kicked out just by taking too long to order. Second of all, there are so many interesting choices to eat, tons of soups, pancakes, sandwiches – everything.
These, along with lots of rules: No more than 4 people in a group, you can’t substitute, no cell phones, one meal per person. If I had an awesome restaurant, I’d make up a bunch of rules too.
We were able to find a copy of the cookbook he wrote and I highly recommend it. With all the hype & funny quirks surrounding the restaurant, the bottom line is he has really good recipes, complimented by very funny writing.
I plan on reading it cover to cover – but for now, I just skipped to the Mac and Cheese Pancake recipe so I could share it with you guys… And they are sooo good. One could probably assume that, just based on the components in the name, but they are like really, really good.
He uses Aunt Jemima frozen pancake mix, but since I had all the ingredients for pancakes, I just made my own (Sometimes I make things from scratch because I’m too lazy to go to the store, ironic?).
There is a specific technique to this too – you have to drop the pancake batter, then drop already cooked pasta on top, then sprinkle it with cheese, and then flip it over.
By doing this, it makes the outside layer of cheese all crusty (like the edges of a grilled cheese sandwich), but the inside, underneath the crusty layer, is like gooey mac and cheese – but in a pancake. I mean…
HOW TO MAKE FLUFFY PANCAKES FOR MAC N CHEESE?
Everything begins with the batter. If they are too thick, they will be gluggy and undercooked on the inside. If the batter is too runny, the pancakes will spread out and not fluff up.
I like to test the batter with a spoon or ladle, gently lifting it above the bowl’s rim. It must be thick, but it must also be able to run slowly and smoothly off the spoon. A few lumps are fine, but I like to smooth out my batter as much as possible with a wire whisk.
HOW TO COOK PERFECT PANCAKES?
- First, preheat your nonstick pan or griddle on medium heat. Once it’s hot, reduce the heat to low-medium. Allow about two minutes. This is an important step that is well worth taking. Grease the pan lightly with a small amount of butter (yes, even nonstick pans), and wipe away any excess butter with a paper towel.
- Pour your batter into a 1/4 cup measuring cup to ensure perfect, evenly sized pancakes. Begin pouring from the center, then slowly pour in a circular motion until the batter forms perfect round shapes.
- Allow the pancakes to properly cook! Don’t overcook them on high heat, and don’t flip them too soon. Allow the underside to cook until it is a beautiful golden brown color, and then flip when bubbles form on top and around the surface (batter side).
- How do you perfect that flip without making lopsided pancakes? Slide a good, plastic spatula underneath the pancake. Instead of using your entire arm, gently flip them with your WRIST. You’ll understand what I mean when you’re standing in front of your pan, ready to flip. THIS MAKES A HUGE DISTINCTION.
Alternative Video: How to Make Delicious Mac n Cheese Pancakes?
HOW TO MAKE MAC N CHEESE PANCAKES?
- Cook your pasta according to package directions and set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt to make the batter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg before adding to the flour. Remove any lumps with a whisk before adding the mustard and a handful of cheese. To combine, stir everything together.
- In a medium-sized frying pan, heat a little oil or butter. Pour a generous ladle of batter into the pan, swirl to distribute, and cook on one side.
- Drop a handful of cooked pasta onto the uncooked batter before turning it, then top with a handful of cheese. Turn your pancake carefully so that the batter cooks and the cheese crisps up. Serve straight from the pan, crispy side up.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Make use of your pantry! I keep buttermilk on hand all the time (my husband is a native Southerner), and I don’t mind whisking the occasional egg white for lofty pancakes, but on a Tuesday morning at 7:10 a.m. I’m not reaching for either because I’m counting down the seconds until the school bell rings. All-purpose flour, a little sugar, milk, eggs, and baking powder are the only ingredients in these pancakes. Because the baking powder is responsible for the rise of these pancakes, it’s important to aerate the batter thoroughly with a whisk and to allow the batter to rest before cooking.
- A single mixing bowl is ideal for this task. There’s no need to get multiple bowls dirty. Simply whisk the dry ingredients together first, then add the milk, oil, and eggs and whisk to combine.
- Always allow the batter to rest. After mixing, allow the batter to rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the flour to properly hydrate and the baking powder to activate. Refill your coffee and take out your favorite pancake pan; the batter will be ready to go by the time you return.
- Cast iron is ideal for cooking. Cast iron is my preferred skillet for pancakes because it heats quickly and browns the pancakes without using too much butter. A nonstick pan or griddle can also be used.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the pancake Fluffy?
When the flour is dry, the gluten molecules are nearly immobile, which means that they do not move much. … When chemical leaveners, such as baking powder, create bubbles in a cooked pancake, the gluten network traps these bubbles and allows a pancake to rise and stay fluffy yet still keep its shape.
What happens if you make pancakes with self-raising flour?
Fear not, you can still make your pancakes. Self-raising flour contains salt and baking powder so it tends to make a thicker batter – meaning it may make a fluffier American-style pancake. But you can still mix away and get flipping.
Can self-raising flour replace plain flour?
Yes and no. If the recipe calls for plain flour with the addition of baking powder (or another leavening agent), self-raising flour can be used instead, simply omit the leavening agent.
What materials do you need to make pancakes?
Just flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, an egg, a little butter, and milk. Like a muffin batter, just two bowls are needed. One for the dry ingredients, and one for the wet ingredients. Then the two are simply stirred together and the pancake batter is ready to be ladled onto a hot skillet.