Mini Muffin Pancake Bites
One night recently, I realized I was really at a loss as to what to make for myself for dinner. You see, on top of working super long hours recently, including weekends, my husband is also taking a continuing education night class once a week. This means that on this one night every week, I’m on my own for dinner. I already think it’s hard enough to come up with something new and exciting to make for dinner when it’s the two of us, but it’s even worse when it’s just dinner for one. Sure, I could have a bowl of cereal, or make a quick sandwich, but sometimes you just want something more. Something more tasty, something more satisfying. And really, something different. After doing some research on the Internet for some ideas, I came upon a brand new recipe recently posted by the Pioneer Woman for Muffins that she made for breakfast. That recipe inspired me for dinner.
Who says breakfast food can only be for breakfast. Let’s face it, breakfast food is yummy, satisfying, generally easy to make, and pretty much good old-fashioned comfort food. So what if you want to indulge in a little breakfast for dinner? And when I’m making dinner for one, breakfast for dinner seemed like such a no brainer. So, I borrowed heavily from the Pioneer Woman and made my own mini muffin pancake bites. Let’s do this! I started with melted butter. And come now, any recipe that starts with melted butter is a winner in my book.
As a short cut, because of course, I was just cooking for myself, I started with a store-bought pancake mix. Yes, I know, it’s super easy to make your own pancake mix, and it uses items everyone probably has in their pantry. But, after a day at work, using premade pancake mix was just simpler. So, I put together the pancake mix and added water and mixed it together. To my pancake batter, I went ahead and added the melted butter. Normally, when making pancakes, I add butter after I’ve cooked the pancakes and just before I drown it in maple syrup. But since these are supposed to be one bite mini muffin pancakes, the one bite needs to pack a punch because I’m surely not going to take the time to dollop butter on every single bite that comes out of the oven. So, problem solved by adding melted butter directly into the pancake batter. Stir it all together so that the melted butter is completely incorporated into the pancake batter. The batter will be a little thick, don’t worry about it.
Now that the pancake batter is ready to go, generously grease mini-muffin pans. Take a spoon or a small ice cream scoop and start filling the mini-muffin pan with the pancake batter until it’s about 2/3 – 3/4 full with pancake batter.
Here’s where the fun begins and where you can get creative with ingredients that are around your house. You could, of course, make plain mini-muffin pancakes, but what’s the fun in that? Why not spruce it up with the addition of fresh fruit that you might already have around your house? Bananas, strawberries and blueberries would be perfect.
Just dice your fruit into small bite-sized pieces that you can mix into your pancake batter. Remember, these are mini-muffin pans, so your bite-sized pieces have to be that much smaller or else your fruit will overwhelm your mini-muffin pan.
Why stop at fruit? What about mini chocolate chips? Who doesn’t love chocolate chips in their pancakes?
When you’ve got the fruit chopped up, start playing. Just load the fresh fruit directly into the mini-muffin pans, right on top of the pancake batter. Just apply gentle pressure and embed the fresh fruit right into the pancake batter, that way the pancake batter will act as adhesive for the fruit as it bakes in the oven. Add the fruit in any combination you like, only banana, only strawberry, only blueberry, mix it up with banana and strawberry, anything your heart desires.
And don’t forget the mini chocolate chips. Add the chocolate chips right in with the banana or right in with the strawberry, or even on its own for just a chocolate chip pancake bite. Have fun and get creative.
Once you’ve added the fruit and the mini chocolate chips to the pancake batter, it’s time to cook the mini muffin pancake bites. The mini muffin pans will go into your pre-heated 425 degree oven. You will need to bake the mini muffins for 10-12 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure that they don’t get overcooked. You want the mini muffins to rise and brown on the top, but not burn. The edges will get a little crispy, and the muffins will double in size and really start to rise out of the pan.
When the mini muffin pancake bites have finished cooking, pull the mini muffin pans out of the oven and let them sit for a minute or two. When they are cool enough to handle, turn the mini muffin pancake bites out onto a cooling rack to cool slightly. When you serve these mini muffins, you want them to still be warm, but it’s not necessary for them to be scorching hot. When you’re ready to serve the mini muffins, serve them along side warmed up maple syrup so that they are easy to dunk and dip and eat.
These mini muffin pancake bites become really fun, creative finger foods. The mini muffin pancake bites can be picked up with two fingers and just dunked right into the dipping bowl of warm maple syrup. The warm maple syrup pairs perfectly with these flavor bursts of mini muffin pancake bites made with melted butter and filled with fresh fruit and melted mini chocolate chips. These little mini bites are fun for kids and adults alike and are a quick and easy thing to make for brunch on a cold weekend morning. It’s surprising how filling just a few mini muffin pancake bites can be. A fun, creative and different way to enjoy a traditional breakfast food!