Special equipment: a medium pastry bag with a large (#840) pastry tip or a resealable plastic bag
Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to the prepared plate. Discard the drippings and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.
Combine the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Using a whisk or a handheld mixer, beat the cream until it holds medium peaks, about 2 minutes. Set the bacon and whipped cream aside while you make pancakes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Whisk the butter into the milk mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, and whisk until a thick batter is just formed (a few lumps are okay).
Keeping the skillet at medium heat, ladle two 1/4-cup circles of the batter onto the skillet to make 2 pancakes. Above each, ladle two 2-tablespoon circles of batter to form the snowmen's heads, close enough for the pancakes to run together. Cook, until bubbles break the surface of the pancakes and the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook about 1 minute more on the second side. Transfer the pancake snowmen to a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and ingredients, adding more butter to the skillet between each addition.
Sift the remaining confectioners' sugar over the snowmen to create a snowy effect. Place a strawberry half over each snowman's head to form a cap, and a bacon strip across each neck to form a scarf. Place 2 chocolate chips on each head to make eyes, and a row of 5 chips under the eyes to form a smile. Add a row of 3 or more chips to each body to create buttons. Fit a medium pastry bag with a large (#840) pastry tip or snip the edge of a resealable plastic bag to make a 1/4-inch hole, and fill with the whipped cream. Pipe a row of rosettes on the bottom of the strawberry "hat" to form a decorative brim.
Serve immediately with warm maple syrup on the side.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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