Valentine’s Day brunch recipes: mocktail, biscuits, crêpes

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By Dan Sears

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Cynthia Christensen is a recipe developer and the blogger behind “But First We Brunch.” She shared three different Valentine’s Day brunch recipes: a raspberry mojito mocktail, two-ingredient biscuits, and easy crêpes.

Raspberry Mojito Mocktail

Ingredients

Raspberry syrup

  • 1 pint raspberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch kosher salt

Mojito

  • ¼ lime sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 4 to 5 mint leaves plus more for garnish
  • 2 ounces raspberry syrup can use less
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 4 ounces seltzer or sparkling water
  • 3 raspberries fresh or frozen, plus more for garnish

Instructions

Raspberry syrup

  • In a small sauce, pan, add raspberries, sugar, water, and a small pinch of salt. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer for five minutes. Turn off heat and cover pan. Allow raspberries to steep for one hour.
  • Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium measuring cup that holds at least 2 cups. Pour raspberry syrup through wire mesh strainer and, using the back of a spatula, press all of the juice out of the raspberries, leaving the seeds behind. Transfer to a resealable jar and allowed to cool before covering and refrigerating for up to two weeks. (Makes about 1 ½ cups of raspberry syrup)

Make mojito

  • In a 10 ounce stemless, champagne flute, or other tall, slender, drinking glass, add ¼ of a lime that has been sliced. Add 4 to 5 fresh mint leaves. Use the handle of a wooden spoon, or a cocktail muddler, to crush the limes and mint leaves together, combining their flavors.
  • Add 2 ounces of raspberry syrup (less if you want it less sweet). Add 3 to 4 ice cubes and fill glass almost to the top with seltzer or sparkling water. Top with three fresh or frozen raspberries. Stir and garnish with a slice of lime and a sliced fresh raspberry. Enjoy
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2-Ingredient Biscuits including shortcake option

Ingredients

Biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup heavy cream plus more for brushing on before baking 
  •  (optional) 2 tablespoons butter melted for brushing on after baking

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large sheet pan, or other baking tray, with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add cold heavy cream to self-rising flour. Using wooden spoon or silicone spatula, mix everything together until you have a fairly uniform, stiff dough. The flour might not look all mixed in and that’s okay. It will come together.
  • Dump the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, or a bench scraper, gently bring everything together, folding the dough over itself until all the dry bits are incorporated.
  • Roll or pat the dough to about ½ inch thick. Using your favorite biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits. Gather your scraps as you go and gently re-form them together and cut as many biscuits as you can.
  • Brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with more heavy cream. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with flaky sea salt, if desired. Bake in a 425°F oven for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

Makes between 8 to 12 biscuits, depending on your biscuit cutter size. I got 12 biscuits using a 2 inch cutter and 12 drop biscuits using a 3.5 ounce scoop.

Round biscuits: Do not twist your biscuit cutter when cutting them out! That will effectively seal the edges of the biscuits, keeping them from fully rising. Just press straight down and lift straight up.

To make square biscuits: Using your bench scraper or a knife, cut into square biscuits and place each piece on your parchment lined baking sheet. 

To make drop biscuits: Use a medium scoop (about 4 tablespoons), or two spoons, to scoop up dough and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with more cream and bake as directed in the recipe.

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To make sweet shortcake biscuits: Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to the self-rising flour before adding the heavy cream. After brushing biscuits mounds with more heavy cream, sprinkle on top with more sugar before baking. Split open and serve with greek yogurt whipped cream and fresh fruit or compote.

Easy Crêpes with Strawberry Sauce or Nutella

Ingredients

Crêpes

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting finished crêpes
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • Nutella optional

Strawberry sauce

  • 2 cups strawberries quartered, from 2 pints, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water optional
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch optional

Greek yogurt whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Make strawberry sauce

  • Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the strawberries are soft and the syrup has reduced, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mash the berries with a fork, the back of a spoon, or a potato masher, to desired consistency and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. it will thicken more when completely cooled or chilled.
  • If you would like your sauce a little bit thicker, whisk together 1 tablespoon of water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and add to simmering strawberry sauce. Simmer another one or two minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Make Greek yogurt whipped cream

  • Add heavy cream and sugar to a medium bowl. Using a whisk or a hand mixer, whip to soft peaks. Add yogurt and continue mixing until peaks hold when whisk or beaters are lifted from the bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until beaten, then whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Add flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and whisk vigorously until completely smooth.

Make crêpes

  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk and vanilla and whisk. Continue whisking while drizzling in melted and cooled butter. Add in flour, powdered sugar, and kosher salt and whisk until fully combined.
  • In an 8 to 10 inch nonstick skillet, set over medium heat, add ½ teaspoon butter and allow to melt. Add ¼ to ⅓ cup batter and tilt pan until evenly distributed. If there are bare spots, this is the time to add more batter to those spots to fill them in.
  • Cook on one side until set and lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side about 45 seconds longer. Remove from pan and flip onto a plate.
  • Roll or fold the crepes and serve with powdered sugar, Greek yogurt cream, and strawberry sauce.
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Notes

Batter can also be made with an immersion blender or in a standing blender.

Allow the batter to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, the batter can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

My preferred way to serve these crêpes: lay one crêpe on your plate. Spread a couple of tablespoons of yogurt cream all over its surface. Fold in half, and then in half again, forming a crêpe triangle. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with strawberry sauce, and finish with some fresh strawberry slices. Assemble a couple more crêpe-angles and enjoy!

Nutella crêpes: lay one crêpe on your plate. Spread with a couple of tablespoons of Nutella. Fold in half, and then in half again, forming a crêpe triangle. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with strawberry or chocolate sauce. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

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