Inspired by an idea she saw in Real Simple, my mom (Jody) got to work scheming up ideas for seashell pancake designs, and today, we finally got around to making them! The article, which showed how you can make edible autumn leaves out of pancake batter, suggested one use a turkey baster to do the drawing. We found plastic squeeze bottles to be an easier alternative because they offer more control.
For our template, we used some shell pictures from my mom’s field guide and some simple shell designs she printed off of the internet, including a sand dollar, scallop, and sea star.
To begin, we made a simple pancake batter from scratch (or you can use a boxed mix). Then, we made it slightly thinner by adding almost 1/2 cup water (so it would be squeezable). We heated our griddle to about 375°F (190°C) and added a thin layer of canola oil to prevent sticking.
To make the pancakes, we started by squeezing the outside of the design onto the griddle, along with any markings we wanted to show up when we flipped them. Patience is the real trick here. You want your outlines to show, so they must be significantly darker than the rest of the pancake. Wait for 3-5 minutes or so before squeezing in the rest of the batter (filling in your outlines). Flip and admire your artwork!
Start with simple designs, such as the moon snail, sand dollar, and sea star, and then work your way up to the more intricate whelks, murexes, and conchs.
The sea’s the limit!