Friday, March 4, 2011


     Eh?  What does aebelskivers mean?  You may wonder if it's a rare disease, or another word for underwear. Wait a minute, is it a bad word?   Fear no more my friends, it's none of the above.  It's actually quite a good thing.  An aebelskiver is a traditional Danish pancake that is in a shape of a sphere, unlike the flat "flap jacks" we all know as pancakes. 
     I first stumbled upon aebelskivers while flipping through the pages of a 'Williams-Sonoma' magazine.  The appearance of the pan intrigued me, the little sphere of goodness  that came out of the pan mystified me and the whole concept was completely foreign.  I had to try it! 

THE pan
     Later, I was talking to my mom about aebeslkivers and how I wanted to buy this little pan to try them out.  I thought I was being very modern in introducing this new-to-me-traditional-food-sphere to her.  Guess what?  My mom was waaaaaaay ahead of me.  She had not only heard of them, she made them.  In fact, she had an actual aebelskiver pan in her kitchen at that moment.  What-what?!  Turns out my great grandmother, Lily Tockey (on my Dad's side) was Dutch/German and she used to make them as well.  Want to know what else?  The pan my mom had was hers.  Amazing!  It seems I didn't just want to try to make these spheres of happiness,  I HAD to!  If both my great-grandmother and my Mom had made them, then so must I!  So, this morning felt like a good day to try a new recipe!  I'm glad that I did.  This recipe comes from Sunset Magazine (sorry, no traditional family recipes yet). 

Aebleskivers or danish pancake balls
Yield: Makes 12 or 13 pancake balls


  • 1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2 3/4  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cardamom or ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  cup  milk
  • About 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine


1. In a bowl, mix flour with sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg to blend with milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.
2. Place an aebleskiver pan over medium-low heat. When pan is hot enough to make a drop of water dance, brush pancake cups lightly with melted butter and fill each to slightly below the rim with batter.
3. In about 1 1/2 minutes, thin crusts will form on bottoms of balls (centers will still be wet); pierce the crust with a slender wood skewer and gently pull shell to rotate the pancake ball until about half the cooked portion is above the cup rim and uncooked batter flows down into cup. Cook until crust on bottom of ball is again firm enough to pierce, about another minute, then rotate ball with skewer until the ridge formed as the pancake first cooked is on top. Cook, turning occasionally with skewer, until balls are evenly browned and no longer moist in the center, another 10 to 12 minutes. Check by piercing center of last pancake ball added to pan with skewer--it should come out clean--or by breaking the ball open slightly; if balls start to get too brown, turn heat to low until they are cooked in the center. Lift cooked balls from pan and serve hot (see notes). Repeat to cook remaining batter

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