Hotcakes At Home: Build A Better Hotcake (with The Kids)

Hotcakes are a favorite comfort food. Satisfying and easy to make, they're perfect for any meal. And children can help, creating an opportunity for family bonding.

"My family and the company I work for love hotcakes," says Brian Murphy, senior development chef for Bob Evans Restaurants and creator of their new Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes. "At home, my son helps me make the batter and watches to make sure they're done just right."

Murphy's hints for making your hotcakes taste as good as the professionals' are:

• Use water 55 F. or colder. If the water's too warm, it can produce a chewy, tough hotcake instead of a light and fluffy one.

• Don't over-mix the batter. Lumps are good.

• Avoid tapping hotcakes with a spatula.

• Let kids help-they'll get a kick out of scooping, pouring, sifting and decorating.

Here's how Murphy makes his favorite hotcakes:

Caramel Banana

Pecan Hotcakes

1/2 cup vanilla pudding

1/2 cup cream cheese

2 servings hotcake batter mix

2 tbsp. honey roasted pecans

1 banana sliced into 1/2" thick slices

Caramel sauce

1 tbsp. powdered sugar

Whipped topping

Vanilla cream cheese mixture: combine vanilla pudding and room temperature cream cheese. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate immediately and store up to five days.

Pour batter for hotcakes on a 350 F. griddle. Dispense half of the pecans and banana slices onto each hotcake immediately. Grill until bubbles form and each hotcake is dry on the edges. Flip and grill until golden brown.

Place first hotcake upside down on a plate. Place 4 tbsp. of vanilla cream cheese mixture on the upside down hotcake. Then place the second hotcake upside down on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top hotcakes with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with whipped topping.

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