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Penny Pancakes

penny pancakesThe idea of penny pancakes

I’d forgotten about penny pancakes, but my son hasn’t. I discovered that when a FaceTime call came in one morning.

“Mom, I just had a flashback. Whose idea was penny pancakes? Did you wash the pennies before you used them? How old were we?”

To which I replied, “Old enough to know not to swallow the pennies. And yes, I did wash the pennies before I used them.”

Whose idea? My sister Ida Marie implemented this. She was staying at our house with our kids while we were out of town. She considered calling them “Magic Pancakes” but (according to another sister who was also there) her conscience would not allow her to call them magic. I’m not sure if she called them surprise pancakes or gave them another name.But it was a good idea, that’s for sure. Pennies don’t cost a lot and they’re fun for a kid to pull out of a pancake. Nickels work well also. I don’t recommend dimes because they are smaller and easier for a child to miss when cutting into a pancake.

penny pancakesHow to make penny pancakes

For starters, you must exhibit the element of a surprise treasure! Secondly, this works best on a dreary, grumpy morning when you or the entire family needs a boost. If your kids are young enough, this is guaranteed to work. The rainy indoor atmosphere will change to sunny in a few minutes. The kids forget about their frustrations and focus, instead, on finding treasures in their pancakes.

Thirdly, find coins in your coin purse or some other stash. Put them into warm, soapy water and slosh them around. Drain the water. Rinse the coins (I used a separate container for easier removal of soap taste). Drain the coins and pat dry (not entirely necessary, but it made me feel better.)

pemmy pancakesThe recipe

Use your favorite pancake recipe, or use our favorite: Dave’s waffles. You can click on this link and it will take you right to the recipe.

Put pancake batter on your griddle; allow it to bubble up and, just as the edges are getting firm, place coins into the pancake. Be sure you have enough batter and that it is thick enough to hide the pancakes.

When the edges are firm, flip the pancake. Remove from the griddle and put onto a plate. 

Serve with a tinge of mystery to your kids. Let them dig in and search for the treasures! Of course they get to keep what they find!

If your children have never done this, be sure to watch them closely to make sure they find the treasure before taking a bite of it. You know your kids. Trust your instinct in how old your child needs to be to handle a penny pancake. You can also put the same number of pennies in each pancake. You can tell a child he must find all the pennies before he can bite into his pancake.

If you think this is unsafe, then don’t do this with your kids. You know your children and whether or not you can trust them to find the pennies. If you can’t trust them, then wait until they are older or don’t do it at all. It’s your kitchen – and your call.

The first penny pancakes were introduced to our household over thirty years ago. We’ve made many penny pancakes in the ensuing years and made many memories with penny pancakes. 

Pinterest Penny Pancakes

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