NEAR WEST SIDE — Faster than glaze seeping into the craters of a warm wonut comes the latest pastry mashup: a deep-fried, maple-glazed, bacon-topped pancake.
"It just tastes like breakfast all at once," said its creator Leah Wilcox, owner of the Babycakes pancake truck. She tried them out on customers last Wednesday and Friday and sold out.
Wilcox said the pull of the fried pastry bandwagon was just too strong to resist.
"People have been turning everything into a doughnut. So I was like, I could do it with pancake batter," she said.
But unlike the original cronut, the wonut, the doughscuit or the crognet, Wilcox has yet to figure out a clever name for her breakfast-cakey thing, which she said is somewhere between a Dutch baby (a German pancake) and a Danish pancake called Ebelskiver.
"I thought about 'Patty Cake,' but my boyfriend says that's stupid. Everybody's coming up with these Brangelina names," she said.
For now, she's calling it a maple-bacon pancake doughnut.
It's a mouthful. Wilcox first bakes the pancakes, made from a bacon-studded buttermilk batter, so they puff up. Then she fries them, glazes them and tops them with more bacon.
They're small, about 2 inches in diameter, and come three to an order for $4. She'll have them on the Babycakes truck this week, but customers should check her Twitter feed for updates.
Wilcox has fried pancakes before and stuffed them with marshmallow fluff — her take on a deep-fried Twinkie. While they were tasty eaten on the spot, she said they didn't hold very well on the truck, which isn't outfitted for cooking on-board (she cooks in advance in a commercial kitchen on the Near West Side).
The pancake doughnuts held up just fine, said Avi Schwab, a Web developer at the University of Chicago who ate them Friday. His trick: warming them for 10 seconds in the microwave.
"You know how you get a nice, really fluffy pancake and then you soak it in maple syrup and it gets all moist? That's what it was like, but with an outer shell," said Schwab, who also runs the Twitter account @uchiNOMgo, a food truck tracker for the Hyde Park area.
A few days earlier, Schwab had tried a crognet — a cross between a croissant and a beignet — from the new La Boulangerie truck. He has yet to tire of this whole doughy fad.
"I'm not gonna wait in line, for like two hours for one, but when they come to me, I'm totally happy to indulge," he said.
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