Tapping Heels Griddle Cakes

About the Name:

This recipe is named after the 16th book in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories:  Clue of the Tapping Heels.  As with last week’s post, there are two versions of this book.

The version of the book written in 1939 confirms Nancy Drew is still 16, while she befriends an elderly lady with 25 cats and resolves to help her.  There isn’t much mystery as to who’s the culprit.  Nancy pretty much sets out to find evidence against the guy she thinks is guilty.  There’s also some racist material involving an American black man who pretends to be Egyptian, though it is interesting as a modern reader to see how different stereotypes applied to dark-skinned Americans vs Egyptians in 1939.

The revised edition, written in 1969, is somewhat similar but with more of a focus on investigating the strange tapping.  The tapping was present in the original edition, but Nancy ignored it until the last chapter, preferring to investigate the bad guy.

Like my previous post, I have not recently read the revised edition.  Griddle cakes, or pancakes, are never directly mentioned in the text of the original 1939 book, however breakfast is mentioned several times including a scene where Nancy makes breakfast for Bess and George.  The text does not say what she made, but it seems reasonable that this could have been the recipe.


About The Recipe:

The are no differences between the two versions of the cookbook.

Griddle cakes, also called pancakes, flapjacks or hotcakes, are probably the most popular breakfast bread dishes, and one of the oldest.  There are mentions of pancake-like dishes even back to 5th century B.C.

Taste:  These are ordinary pancakes, light and fluffy.  The ‘Nancy’s suggestions’ portion of the recipe involved cooking the pancakes in syrup, a suggestion that adds quite a lot to what might otherwise be a basic recipe.

Ease of Preparation: These are not hard.  The hardest part is getting the temperature of the griddle correct so that they don’t burn and are not under cooked.

Clarity of instructions: The cookbook is not clear.  It does not say  what temperature to heat the griddle to, nor does it tell how to know when the pancakes are done. An experienced cook would not be troubled by these omissions, but a novice might find it difficult to follow.  Even I, who have cooked pancakes before, wound up with a few slightly burnt and undercooked pancakes.

Presentation:  They look like any other ordinary plate of pancakes.  The Presentation quality can be affected by how burnt or undercooked they are.


Conclusions:  Very good pancakes, but could use a bit more instruction.  I found the best temperature was medium, around 5 on the dial of our electric stove.  The flavors were very good and made up for the lack of instructions, but I’m still knocking off two points for not telling the cook when to take the griddle cakes off the stove.

Verdict:  8/10


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