Aebleskivers – Dutch Pancakes

nutella filledjelly filledHappy New Year!!!  I hope you have all had an amazing time celebrating with family and friends. We spent the countdown at home this year with our 2 boys.  This was the first year that they actually made it until midnight (or technichally the first year that we haven’t tricked them with the East Coast countdown.. heehee).  We had a fondu night complete with cheddar beer fondu, beef broth fondu (for steak) and my favorite, chocolate fondu with lots of fruit and donut holes for dipping.  It was such a fun night full of games, music and of course food.

Breakfast consisted of bacon, eggs and these delicious gems called Aebleskivers [pronounced eb-el-skee-vers].  These Dutch pancakes do require a special pan if you want to make them round (you can technically just cook the batter flat on a skillet), but if you have the chance to pick one up, you are in for a treat! pan I purchased mine (actually my sweet momma bought it for me) from World Market.  I understand William Sonoma and Amazon also sell them.  These are to die for!  They are slightly crisp on the outside and dense yet fluffy on the inside.  Generally, they are served rolled in powdered sugar with some kind of fruit preserves (or Nutella).  You can also just serve with butter and syrup.  I like to pipe preserves or chocolate into the center of the pancake for a little extra wow factor.

Historically, Aebleskivers were made in hammered copper pans but today, the pans are generally made from cast iron or aluminum with a non-stick coating.  You will also want to have something to turn them with.

stick I used a little wooden stick I had for making caramel apples.  You can also use a chop stick, a fork or even a knitting needle if you really want to do it like  a pro.

These are such a fun treat! They are a blast to make and even more fun to eat.  There are several different recipes online, most call for either yeast or baking powder as the leavening agent.  I can’t wait to try the yeast ones but the baking soda ones apparently require a little less effort.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

5 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 cups milk

4 Tbsp melted butter

Directions:

dry ingIn a mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt).  wet into dry ingIn a separate bowl, whisk butter, milk and eggs together.  Add liquids to dry ingredients until evenly moistened.

butter panfill cups

Place aebleskiver pan over medium-low heat.  When pan is hot enough to make a drop of water dance, brush pancake cups lightly with melted butter and fill each to slightly below the rim with batter.

first turn

Cook for approximately 1 minute then poke your dowel (or whatever you are using) into the center of the batter and pierce the bottom.  Gently pull shell to rotate pancake until about half the cooked portion is above the cup rim and uncooked batter flows down into the cup.

turn all

ballsCook until crust on  bottom of ball is again firm enough to pierce then rotate ball with skewer until ball is closed.  Continue cooking, rotating the ball if needed until the batter in the center is completely cooked.  You will want to pull one of the pancakes apart slightly to test the center.

fill nutella

rolled in psAt this point, you can pipe filling into the center.  Roll in powdered sugar if desired.  Serve warm.

Aebelskivers

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

5 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 cups milk

4 Tbsp melted butter

Directions:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  4. Heat pan on medium-low heat until hot enough to make a drop of water dance.
  5. Using a 1/8th measuring cup or ladle, fill each half sphere in your pan almost to the top.
  6. Let cook for approx. 1 minute or until a good crust forms on the bottom of the pancake
  7. Pierce your skewer into the bottom of the pancake and swipe it up, turning it 1/4 of a turn so that the batter once again fills the half-sphere.
  8. Let cook for at least another 30 seconds before turning again to complete the ball.
  9. At this point, you will just keep cooking and turning until the inside of the ball is completely cooked (you can test this by poking with a toothpick or splitting one slightly and peeking inside.
  10. Remove from pan.
  11. Pipe with filling if desired.
  12. Roll in powdered sugar.
  13. Serve warm.

I found this recipe here http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/danish-pancake-balls-aebleskiver.

 

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Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad

This is such a beautiful, fresh, delicious salad.  I love the creaminess of the avocados mixed with the acidity of the tomatoes and the nuttiness of the asparagus, all with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing… mmmm…. so so good.

Ingredients:

1/2-1  lb asparagus (I only use 1/2 but original recipe calls for 1 lb)

1 large Haas avocado

1 pint cherry tomatoes (or any other small, colorful tomato, original recipe calls for 6 cups which is a little much for me.  I found 1 pt to be perfect but it’s up to you.  Maybe if they were fresh from my garden I would increase that amount)

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

a dash of red wine vinegar (optional, I like the tanginess)

Directions:

Asparagus – Start by washing. Hold one spear of asparagus. Starting at the cut end, bend slightly until it snaps (should be about 2 inches or so above the cut).  This will eliminate the tough, woody section of the asparagus and leave you with the most tender part.  Now, lay your snapped asparagus alongside the rest of the bunch.  Cut the bunch even with your 1 snapped spear.

Place enough water  in a medium skillet to slightly coat the bottom of the pan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Place spears in water and cover again.  Steam for 3-5 minutes or until your spears are tender but still firm.  I used very small spears and 3 minutes was perfect.  If you use the thicker spears you will need to increase that time.

Afer they reach the desired tenderness, drain and immediately submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once chilled, drain on paper towels until dry.  Cut into bite-sized chunks (I quartered each spear).

Wash your tomatoes, drain thoroughly and place in medium-sized bowl with asparagus.

Mix all ingredients for dressing with a whisk or a small food processor. Pour over asparagus and tomatoes and toss.

Cut open avocado and de-seed (If you need tips on this, see 7-layer dip recipe). Run knife through avocado all the way to the peel making 1/2 inch squares (see picture above).  Run a large spoon between peel and flesh to remove the avocado.

Add avocado right before serving because it will be at its brightest color and flavor. Separate cubes with your fingers then toss slightly into salad.  The avocados break up very easily so you don’t want to be stirring very much.

This recipe does not fare well for left overs due to the avocado’s speedy oxidation, so if you don’t think you will be eating it all in one sitting, you may want to only mix  half the tomatoes and asparagus with half of the avocado and seal the other half of the avocado (with seed in tact) in a plastic bag. This way your avocado will still be fresh the next day for leftovers. 

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

1/2-1  lb asparagus (I only use 1/2 but original recipe calls for 1 lb)

1 large Haas avocado

1 pint cherry tomatoes (or any other small, colorful tomato, original recipe calls for 6 cups which is a little much for me.  I found 1 pt to be perfect but it’s up to you.  Maybe if they were fresh from my garden I would increase that amount)

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

a dash of red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Rinse asparagus.  Bend one spear slightly starting at the cut end until the asparagus snaps.  This will be a good indicator of where the woodiness ends and the tender asparagus begins. Line the other asparagus up and cut even with snapped spear.  Cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Place enough water  in a medium skillet to slightly coat the bottom of the pan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Place spears in water and cover again.  Steam for 3-5 minutes or until your spears are tender but still firm. Drain and drop into ice water to stop cooking process.  Drain well.
  3. Add tomatoes. (Do not add avocado until ready to serve)
  4. Combine dressing ingredients and blend in a food-processor or  blend well with a wisk.
  5. Pour dressing over asparagus and tomatoes.  Toss.
  6. Before serving, slice avocado in half, remove seed.  Slice lightly with a butter knife inside the peel into small squares.  Scoop out with a large spoon into salad. Toss gently.
  7. Serve