Rise 'n Shine

Crepes say warmer weather to me. Maybe it's because the best crepes I ever had were at a beach in southern Florida. Or maybe it's because my favorite fillings and sauces include fresh berries, which are at their peak during this time of the year. Either way, all you need give me is a plate of fruity crepes and you're likely to see me breaking out my shorts and spending time in the sun.

This recipe, though a bit involved, makes for a beautiful breakfast. If you want, you can make the crepes and refrigerate them overnight and do the final preparation in the morning. They make a great breakfast in bed and you might even want to consider an extravagant breakfast in bed for mom. If you don't need a full batch of crepes, make them anyway. They freeze beautifully, provided you keep them between the sheets of waxed paper.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Chocolate Crepes with Strawberries

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 16 squares waxed paper (6")
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liqueur

For the crepes, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until blended. Add the liquid mixture a little at a time to the dry mixture, whisking to dissolve any lumps. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Lightly brush a 6-inch skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the pan is hot, remove it from the heat and pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. Swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly over the bottom. Return the pan to the heat and cook until lightly golden, 30 to 40 seconds. Turn the crepe over and cook the second side for about 15 seconds. Remove the crepe from the pan. Repeat the process until all of the batter is used, stacking the crepes between the squares of parchment or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together. Set the crepes aside.

For the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar, strawberries and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Put 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the lower third of each crepe. Fold the bottom of the crepe over the filling and roll up gently but firmly. Place the filled crepes on a large platter or baking sheet, cover lightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the strawberries and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the liqueur and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 8 of the filled crepes to the pan and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce. Remove the crepes from the pan, set aside and keep warm. Add the remaining crepes and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce. To serve, crisscross 2 crepes on each plate and drizzle with the sauce.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours