Yield: About 75 little puffballs; can be halved

Cook’s notes: When you make the aebeleskiver, you may add a tiny dollop of jam or a sliver of apple just after you fill each hole, but it’s easier to serve jam and applesauce on the side. These are delicious with syrup, apple butter, or any jam; I’ve seen one suggestion to serve them with a honey butter, but I find that a bit over the top. (Though for my dad, who would butter a doughnut if he could get away with it, this would be heaven.) You could also flavor the batter with cinnamon, vanilla, a liqueur, or a spice such as cardamom, which gets heavy use in Scandinavian baking. These will serve anywhere from eight to 12 people, though it’s likely that people will eat however many you’re willing to churn out.

4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour (for these, I prefer a Southern flour such as White Lily)
Unsalted butter for the pan — several tablespoons (easier if at room temperature)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

In a blender or by hand, blend egg yolks, sugar, salt, oil, buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, and flour until very smooth; transfer to a bowl. Beat egg whites in a mixer on high speed or by hand until stiff. With a rubber spatula, fold a large dollop of egg whites into batter to lighten the batter, then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Heat an aebleskiver pan on medium-high heat. With a table knife, scoop up a bit of butter, then scrape a tiny blob of it into each hole in the pan (it should melt immediately but not burn; adjust heat as needed), then fill each about three-quarters full of batter (I use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop — it looks like a small ice-cream scoop). When bottom is golden brown and edges are set, which happens almost instantly, turn each pancake; I slide a paring knife between the edge of the hole and the pancake, then lightly hook it and turn it over — or try a metal knitting needle. Cook just until underside is golden, then remove to paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar (preferably shaken through a small sieve). Repeat, buttering holes each time. Serve immediately.

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