Anyone who cooks for kids knows that the cardinal rule is: Looks are Everything. Kids are far more likely to try new foods if it's presented in a fun, appealing way. Hence the popularity of broccoli "trees", smiley-face pizzas, and mashed potatoes shaped like Spongebob Squarepants.
But what if you're not the creative kind? What if your attempt at a heart-shaped pancake always ends up looking more like a shapeless blob? We recently reviewed an appliance that lets even the most challenged baker turn out baked treats worthy of Martha Stewart: the 5-in-1 Tasty Baker.
The 5-in-1 Tasty Baker is a bit like a waffle maker -- except it's not. You can use it to make not just waffles, but also pancakes, muffins, breads, cakes and brownies. Just pour batter onto the nonstick molds, close the lid and let it bake. When it's done, you end up with cute, bite-sized treats in cute, kid-friendly shapes.
Today we made whole-wheat pancakes. The recipe couldn't be simpler:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Just dump everything into a bowl and mix. Plug in the Tasty Baker and set it to a 3. When the green light comes on, open it up and pour the batter into the molds. The little batter scoop that comes with the Tasty Baker is perfect because one scoop is just about the right amount you need for each mold. Close the lid, wait for 3 or 4 minutes, then lift the lid. This is what you'll see:
Now use a silicone spoon to lift each little pancake off the molds. The nonstick material is wonderful! I initially sprayed the mold with cooking spray, but I don't think I actually needed to. The recipe above made about 4 batches, and each batch lifted off the molds beautifully (and since nothing really stuck to the surface, clean-up was a breeze).
Aren't they adorable??? Can you imagine the Oooh's and Awwww's at our next playdate or party? Our version has seven shapes -- birthday cake, dog, cat, train, heart, smile face, blocks -- and they're perfectly bite-sized (or two-bite-sized, if you're being polite and trying to refrain from stuffing them into your mouth) and so much fun to eat. My kids loved preparing them with me, and they loved eating them even more!
Any pancake recipe will do, but it would have been nice if the instructions had included a couple of recipes, or recipe ideas. Also, I wish the molds could have been interchangeable, so that you could buy extra molds and make 7 of a single design, instead of 7 different designs (for example, for a Valentine's Day party, you're only going to want the heart mold).
The Bottom Line
The 5-in-1 Tasty Baker is easy to use and clean, and kids love the results!
So we've done pancakes, but they don't call this the 5-in-1 for nothing. We've still got cakes, brownies, muffins, breads and waffles to make! Stay tuned for more review posts as the kids and I continue creating all kinds of yummy treats with the 5-in-1 Tasty Baker!
I received a product sample for this post, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.