{How You Do It} Christmas Tree Gingerbread Pancakes

Editor’s Note: Please enjoy Erica’s second installment in her {How You Do It} series where she shares TWO amazingly fun breakfast recipes for the kid in all of us. (Look at that pancake- OMG!) For the {How You Do It} series, we ask guest contributors to share a snapshot into their life with food. Erica & Dianna have both become permanent guest contributors. Read more about Erica on our “Who Are We” page. – Christina

The holidays in my family have always been filled with traditions.  I never truly appreciated all the traditions my parents started with my sister and I until I had my son; I want his holiday memories to be filled with cookie making, St. Nicolas Day, making gingerbread houses, and my favorite – Christmas morning brunch.

We would wake up and open all our presents while my parents had coffee and watched us (usually because it was around 6am – ha!)  After, my dad always made (and still does) delicious stuffed French toast; just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Instead of making my dads French toast, D and I decided to start our own brunch tradition –Christmas Tree Gingerbread Pancakes and Fruit!  I found this easy gingerbread pancake mix on ehow.com a couple years ago:

2 cups complete light and fluffy pancake mix. (I use Bisquick)
1 1/2 cup Betty Crocker gingerbread cookie mix.
2 1/4 cups water.

Mix the ingredients together and separate the batter into three separate bowls – one large, two small.

In the large bowl mix in some green food dye

In one of the small bowls mix yellow food die, leave the last bowl just as mix.

Heat your non-stick pan to medium heat before putting in the batter.  You can get pretty creative with the making of the actual tree, but I am no artist.  I make a triangle with the green for the tree, and circle on top with the yellow for the star, and a square at the bottom for the trunk.

D is obsessed with dried cranberries, so I use those as the decorations on the trees.  You can use any fruit, or my personal favorite – chocolate chips mmmm!  Just put them onto the batter before flipping the pancakes.

I place some orange slices and dried fruit under the tree for presents, and you are ready to eat.  I find that with the cookie mix these pancakes are sweet enough without syrup (especially if you use chocolate chips.)

Although D and I have just started making our family traditions around the holidays, these pancakes will be around for years to come. For those who wanna dabble with my dad’s (Pop Pop) french toast recipe…

Pop Pop’s Stuffed French Toast

Italian Bread
Egg
Milk
Cinnamon
Cream Cheese
Fresh Fruit or Fruit Preserve

Cut the Italian bread into inch thick slices

Mix the egg, milk, and cinnamon together (for every 3 egg use about ¼ cup milk and ½ tsp cinnamon) and pour into a cake pan

Soak the bread for 30 seconds on each side (or until fully saturated) in the egg mix

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat; cook the French toast until browned on both sides

Between two slice of the toast spread desired amount of cream cheese

Top with fruit and ENJOY!

What are your Christmas breakfast/brunch traditions?

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