What's Mom's food passion? Gooey, rich chocolate, flaming boozy bananas or fresh blueberries with tangy yogurt and crunchy granola?
All three are at home atop Sunday morning pancakes, though never at the same time. Even the classic salty-sweet combo of bacon and syrup is a more-than-adequate companion for fluffy pancakes. A few crispy strips doused with sticky sweetness is a pork lover's delight.
Sunday is Mother's Day, and that's the occasion when small cooks — and big people who don't normally cook — take to the kitchen. The troops like to marshal there in the morning to give Mom a few more minutes to loll around in bed. (We don't want to burst your bubble completely, but she is probably not sleeping but rather fretting over the mess you're making. Do her the biggest favor of all and clean up.)
A Mother's Day pancake-fest is a simple undertaking for children but versatile enough to include sophisticated combinations. For some, there's nothing like a melting square of butter and the spreading drip of real maple syrup. But a slather of the hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella and a sprinkle of chopped Ferrero Rocher candies will appeal to Mom's decadent side. Heck, serve it for breakfast as well as a dinner dessert.
Make your own pancakes if you'd like; we've included a recipe for Fly Off the Plate Pancakes, a Taste section reader favorite that first appeared in the You Asked for It column in 2002.
Frozen varieties are tasty as well as convenient. Less mess for you, too (or Mom, grudgingly). You can find a variety of sizes, including silver dollar. We used Kellogg's Eggo brand for this story, and they were perfectly adequate. Boxed mixes, some requiring that you only add water, are a good middle ground.
Below are some topping ideas; take them as is or use them for inspiration to come up with your own.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8586.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet, then add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and a couple pinches of cinnamon. Slice two bananas and add to bubbling mixture along with a tablespoon of lemon. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat and add 1/4 cup rum (optional). Baste bananas, then serve over pancakes. Whipped cream is optional.
Heat maple syrup with some dark rum, then add raisins. Let the raisins rehydrate and plump up, then pour the mixture over pancakes.
Apples, Honey & Nuts
Slice apples thinly, drizzle with honey, then sprinkle with nuts. Think Granny Smith and almonds, Red Delicious with walnuts or Honey Crisp with pecans.
Sour Cream & Brown Sugar With Sliced Strawberries
Mix sour cream and brown sugar and dollop on pancakes; cover with sliced strawberries and sprinkle with more brown sugar.
Blueberry Yogurt, Blueberries & Granola
A thick blueberry yogurt (we like Yoplait) goes on the pancakes first, followed by a handful of blueberries and a sprinkle of crunchy granola.
Cherry Garcia Ice Cream & Dried Cherries
You know Mom, so you know her favorite ice cream flavor. Any will do, but we're partial to Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. There is plenty of cherry flavor, plus chocolate chunks. Garnish with dried cherries.
Nutella & Ferrero Rocher
Upscale and lush. Spread warm pancake with the chocolate-hazelnut spread, then sprinkle with the chopped hazelnut-chocolate candy. Don't want to spring for the candy? Use chopped pecans and mini-chocolate chips.
Mango Chutney, Whipped Cream & Toasted Coconut
Make your own mango sauce by simmering fresh mango chunks with mango nectar, or heat mango chutney. Spread mango melange on pancakes and top with whipped cream or topping and toasted coconut.
Bacon & Maple Syrup
Two strips of crispy bacon, whole or chopped, and real maple syrup.