Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pancake Bowls with Scrambled Eggs

I am such a sucker for baking pans. If I see one in a shape I don't have, I want it.

There's probably a name for this sickness, but I'm not looking for a cure - it's just too much fun. I just love seeing the looks on people's faces when I've baked something ... weird different.

The Bake-a-Bowl from Good Cook is feeding my addiction, for sure. You use it to bake single-serving BOWLS. Like brownie bowls or bread bowls or potato bowls or cookie bowls.

Or in this case, pancake bowls.

Yup, pancakes.

Now, let me admit one thing here. I like waffles much more than I like pancakes. I like the crisp crust on waffles more than I like the softness of pancakes. BUT ... I figured that the Bake-a-Bowl would add some crispness to my pancakes as they baked. No divots and wells, but a nice crisp outside.

And I was right.

Since this was all about the shape, I used Krusteaz pancake mix to make the bowls. I'm sure other brands would work, but I happen to like this one - If you use something else, just follow package instructions. Or, of course you can use your own recipe.

Pancake Bowls with Scrambled Eggs

For the bowls:
2 cups Krusteaz pancake mix
1 1/2 cups water
For the egg filling (per egg):
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons diced red and green bell peppers
1 tablespoon diced onion
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grinds black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray the inside of the Bake-a-Bowl cups and the undersides of the top piece with baking spray. In a small bowl, combine the pancake mix and water. Divide the batter among the six Bake-a-Bowl cups.

Place the top on the Bake-a-Bowl, and make sure it's seated evenly - there will be a gap between the top and bottom pieces, so don't worry about that. Bake at 350 degrees until the bowls are cooked through and nicely browned, about 30 minutes.

Flip the pan upside-down and remove the bottom pan. Wait about five minutes, then remove the bowls from the pan. Serve warm with the egg filling.

While the bowls are resting for that five minutes, make the eggs:

Heat the butter in a nonstick pan and add the peppers and onions. Cook until the vegetables are softened.

In a suitably-sized bowl (depending on how many servings you're making), whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add this to the cooked vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are done to your liking.

Fill the warm pancake cups with the egg mixture. Serve immediately.

For something sweeter to go with your pancakes:

I filled some pancake cups with yogurt and strawberries, but there are soooo many more options. Maple syrup and lightly cooked apples would also be great - or fresh peaches, raspberry syrup, and whipped cream - or anything that you'd serve with pancakes or waffles.

Give them a try!

Tips for using the Bake-a-Bowl 

I've been playing around with this pan a lot since I've started using it - it's just so much fun - and I've got some handy tips for you. I hope you'll find them helpful.

  • Make sure you spray the bowls and the undersides of the top piece with baking spray, or whatever you use on cake pans - the Bake-a-Bowl pan is nonstick, but you want extra insurance.
  • To get perfectly even bowl tops, make sure your oven rack is level. It's not terrible if they're a little uneven - it makes it more obvious that you made the bowls and didn't buy them.
  • Batters are not all the same - some rise more than others, so if the size of the bowls is critical, you might want to bake a few test batches to see how much batter you really need. There's a fill line inside the cups, and that's a good place to start.
  • You don't have to bake full-size bowls, if you want smaller servings. Just use less batter in each bowl.
  • If you're not sure how much your batter is going to rise, place the Bake-a-Bowl on a baking sheet or on a sheet of aluminum foil during baking to catch any drips.
  • The bowls tend to brown more on the bottoms than on top, so if that top browning is important, you can remove the top piece after the bowl shape is set and continue baking.
  • You can bake in the top part of the Bake-a-Bowl, either to make fillings for the bowls, or to use up extra batter or make dome-shaped baked goods for other uses.
  • For baked goods that rise aggressively, like bread, you might want to weight the top of the Bake-a-Bowl during rising and baking. Anything oven-safe will work, like a cast iron frying pan, a grill press, or even a clean brick.
  • The Bake-a-Bowl can be used for things other than batter or dough, like meat mixtures or vegetable "nests." You can also use it to form already-cooked products, like waffles or tortillas.
  • Think outside the oven - you don't have to use this for baking - you could also use it for molding Rice Krispies treats, for example.
  • If you're baking something like meatloaf in the pan, after the meat is baked well enough to hold its shape, you can turn the Bake-a-Bowl upside down on a baking sheet to finish baking while draining excess fat from the bowls. Be careful! It's hot!
  • A bowl is not always a bowl - it can also be a dome. For example, you can bake cake bowls, fill the centers with ice cream, then serve the bowls upside-down so the ice cream center is hidden. Surprise!
  • A bowl isn't always hollow. You can use the Bake-a-Bowl like a standard baking pan, without the top that creates the hollow. It's not quite as impressive as a bowl, but it's still a unique shape.
  • Have fun and be creative! This is a unique pan, so some of your experiments might not work, but the ones that do work will be pretty impressive.

I received the Bake-a-bowl from Good Cook at no cost to me.