This recipe was inspired by a recent meal at Denny's. They make some pretty darn good hamburgers at our local one and kids eat free Tuesdays and Saturdays - woot woot! On this particular occasion, we spotted something new on the menu, Pancake Puppies. Say what?
That name had my attention. It tastes like a pancake but the texture is a bit thicker like a hushpuppy. And you dip it in icing! It is truly an indulgence. And I knew after we gobbled them up that I wanted to try to make these marvelous little fried dough balls at home.
Now, I always have a disclaimer with recipes like this that I can never get anything exactly like the restaurant recipe. I can come close but never exact. And that is true for this one. It is close, not exactly the same, but still super yummy! And hey, I will never turn down a fried dough ball.
3 cups pancake mix (don't pack into measuring cup, just scoop and scrape off excess)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. oil (plus more for frying)
cinnamon sugar, icing, or maple syrup for dipping
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
Pour several inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Begin heating it up to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. It's important to use a cooking thermometer to get it to the right temperature and not overheat the oil. In a large bowl, combine pancake mix, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in milk.
Then add in beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons of oil.
Give it a good stir.
Give it a good stir.
Scoop batter up using a spoon or one of these small cookie scoopers and drop into the hot oil. Don't over fill your scooper.
Two things to really remember when making these. Don't make them too big and don't let your oil get out of control hot. No one wants to eat a "Burned on the outside, raw batter on the inside" Pancake Puppy. A generous teaspoon of the batter is enough. Keep an eye on your oil temperature by using a cooking thermometer.
Drop those puppies into the oil. See how much they puff up? That's why you don't want to scoop a lot of batter in. They cook fairly quickly. Flip them over once during cooking so the get evenly brown on all sides.
Don't try to cook too many at one time. Small batches work best so you have a chance to flip them around as they cook. Continue with this process until they are all done.
When they are finished frying, place them onto a paper towel lined tray to drain excess grease. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of oil. Or make icing to dip them in.
To make the icing, stir together powdered sugar, milk and extract in a small bowl. Stir until smooth - then serve.
Cook's Notes: There are a few ways you can serve these. You can just sprinkle them with a bit of Cinnamon Sugar and gobble them up. Or serve with some maple syrup or icing to dip them in (or both!) I think a maple flavored icing would be outstanding with these. Hmm...I might have to make up another batch now that I think about it.
Pancake Puppies is a registered trademark of Denny's restaurant.