I will be the first person to tell you that kitchen gadgets are unnecessary. That the only two pieces of equipment you'll ever need are a good, sharp knife, and a Microplane grater. That's it. These two items will allow you to perform almost any task needed in today's kitchen. But, heaven help me, I love gadgets, from donut machines to the latest little appliance that makes four pies all at once, I find them simply irresistible.
I christened my newest acquisition this morning -- an Ebelskiver pan for making Danish filled pancakes. I was pretty chuffed when I picked this up a month or so ago at Williams-Sonoma for 15% off, then was intensely annoyed when, closer to the holidays it was reduced to 50% off before I'd been able to use it. At any rate, I've now put it into service, and can't wait to use it again.
There's a bit of a learning curve involved, so don't be surprised if you burn a couple in the first batch, or add too much filling (jelly, say) and have it bubble over and burn on the pan, setting off the smoke alarm, and then raising a huge blister on the thumb of your left hand when you try to rid the pan of the offending pastry, but I digress. The process is simple if a bit messy, but they go from pan to table in just minutes. Pressed for time, I decided to use the pancake recipe on the Bisquick box, adding a bit more milk to thin the batter, along with a tablespoon of a granulated sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and some gratings of orange peel. For fillings I chose what was easiest to grab - milk chocolate chips from the cabinet above the stove, and blackberry jam because it just happened to be in the front of the refrigerator.
I melted butter in a small dish and brushed each well with an ample amount using a silicone pastry brush. I poured about a tablespoon of batter into each well and working quickly added various fillings. It wasn't as easy to center the fillings as I thought it would be, but my skills improved with batch number 2.
Flipping them over was a breeze. I used a chopstick rather than the official Ebelskiver flipping tool, and it worked great. I just pushed down on the one side and when the opposite side crept up out of the pan, I flipped it over to brown.
A dusting of powdered sugar later, some warm syrup drizzled on top, and I had a tasty breakfast unlike any I've had before.
I'll be trying these again, and soon! I was delighted to learn that books of recipes are available, so I'll be adding one or two to my bulging cookbook collection and will try recipes from sweet to savory and give you the skinny. In the meantime, grab yourself a pan and try them for yourself. I'll be waiting to hear of your success.