Puffy Poffertjes

Stefan came back Saturday from his annual trip home to the Netherlands. He brought me a special surprise. A poffertjes pan!

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Poffertjes are a traditional dutch foodstuff. They’re a lot like American silver dollar pancakes. In the Netherlands, Poffertjes aren’t really eaten as a breakfast food. They’re served as brunch or lunch or as a dessert. Since maple syrup isn’t indigenous to Europe, poffertjes aren’t traditionally eaten with syrup either. They’re served with powdered sugar, butter, and sometimes lemon.

The poffertjes pan looks like this:

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It generally comes in two designs: cast iron and non-stick. Stefan got me the non-stick type, which I was really thankful for because it would have been a bitch to stick pieces of butter into each indentation before pouring the batter. Also, the cast iron is probably really heavy and unwieldy. Now, the poffertjes pan is not to be confused with an evelskiver pan which looks like this:

Aebelskivers are Scandinavian fried dough balls. The aebelskiver pan has much deeper indentations so you can actually fry the dough in each individual indent. An aebelskiver is quite delicious and it comes out almost spherical and tastes like a doughnut (here’s a recipe). However, if you want pancake-like poffertjes and you use an aebelskiver pan, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

As this traditional recipe for poffertjes shows, they’re not a classic pancake mix, either. The batter is made with yeast instead of baking powder and uses buckwheat flour instead of refined, all-purpose flour. However, being that I am a lazy American chefette, I decided that for my first foray into the world of poffertjes, I would use the traditional American Aunt Jemima pancake mix (thank goodness my Dutch fiance had all ready gone to work because if he had tasted this abomination of his cultural icon, his head may have exploded).

There really wasn’t much to it. I just waited until the pan got hot, gently spooned the pancake mix into the indents on the pan, and used a small espresso spoon to flip each one individually once the edges were cooked:

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Once they were on the plate, I buttered them and added powdered sugar to taste (which for my tastes was A LOT):

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My parents and I enjoyed a delicious Dutch delight!

Oh, and if you’re interested in making your own poffertjes, you can actually try making them on a skillet. However, I would recommend getting your own pan. You can buy them from Amazon.

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