Introduction: S'mores Christmas Tree Crepes
My son loves crepes and he loves Christmas so I decided to combine the two. Crepes are the perfect vehicle for carrying many types of flavors from savory to sweet and everything in between. They aren't too difficult to make once you get the hang of spreading out the batter evenly. Also a nice thing about this recipe is that you can make all of this the day before and pretty much just heat and assemble in the morning. The crepes heat up really well in the microwave. If I'm warming up a crepe that is coming right out of the refrigerator I usually heat for 25-30 seconds in the microwave which is just enough to get it hot but not too hot.
I wanted to add a pop of color so I put a few drops of red food coloring in to a stainless steel bowl and added some mini marshmallows to the bowl. Since I didn't want to get food coloring all over my hand I used a powderless nitrile glove to evenly coat all of the marshmallows in the food dye. You can use a spoon but I get better coverage using my hand. Once all the marshmallows were coated I carefully placed them on a sheet of parchment paper to dry.
You want to do this part first so that you give the marshmallows enough time to dry.
This is another step you want to do before making the crepes. I take a couple of graham crackers and put them in a zip-top bag and crush them in to a fine crumb. I use a combination of my fist and a rolling pin. Once you are happy with the consistency of the crumbs leave them in the bag and set them aside, we will use them later.
Now its time to make the crepes. First I add a cup of flour to a mixing bowl, then the 2 eggs, the 1/2 cup milk, the 1/2 cup water and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Use a whisk to mix all of these ingredients until there are no lumps. The batter will be runny. This is a very thin batter, if you are used to pancake batter you will want to rest the urge to add more flour. Runny batter is perfectly fine for crepes.
I always wait to add the butter last. It doesn't really matter when you add it but I prefer to add it last since I use the microwave to melt it. I'm always afraid it will be too hot and curdle the eggs. In reality you can just dump all the ingredients in the bowl and whisk them together at the same time and it will turn out just fine. I've done it both ways and the results are the same, this more of a personal phobia. After you add the melted butter make sure to whisk the batter until there are no lumps.
I added several, like 10+, drops of green food coloring to the batter until I was happy with the shade of green. I feel like the darker the batter the better, but your taste may vary so just add as many drops as makes you happy!
So in the past I have tried making crepes in a pan and could never quite get the hang of it. They were always inconsistent, so one day I bit the bullet and just bought a crepe maker and have never looked back. This particular model I purchased from Amazon for about $35-$40. That's a little pricey but it has paid for itself many times over. We used to go to "Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe", and could easily spend that much on one meal for the family so this purchase was easily justifiable.
The crepe maker has a heat setting that goes from 1-8 and I have found that setting the heat right between 4 and 5 yields the best crepes. Any hotter and the edges get crispy and any cooler and the crepe tends to get very tough/chewy. It also has an indicator light that changes from orange to green when it is done preheating.
Once the crepe maker has heated up I pour a 4-5 inch size circle of batter on the surface and use the crepe spreader to spread out the batter. This takes some practice but eventually you get better at it. I let it cook for one minute and then I flip the crepe over and let it cook for another 45-60 seconds. Going a few seconds over won't ruin the crepe you just don't want to over cook it because it gets tough/chewy.
I place the cooked crepes on a wire cooling rack lined with parchment paper. As they come off the crepe maker I place the crepes on top of one another with pieces of parchment paper in between each crepe.
I will usually make the entire bowl of batter and stack the crepes as I go. If you have any crepes leftover you can store them in a one gallon zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator. As I stated earlier they heat up rather well in the microwave.
Now it is time to assemble. It is easier to spread Nutella on a warm crepe so if it has cooled then place it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Then spread Nutella on half of the crepe make sure the darker green side of the crepe is face down. Next fold the crepe in half and spread Nutella on half of the folded crepe and then fold over again. Essentially here were are just folding the crepe in to quarters. Repeat this 2 more times.
Also if you prefer you can sprinkle some of the graham cracker crumbs on to the Nutella in-between the layers, my son prefers less crumb so I omit it.
Marshmallow fluff will be used to simulate the snow, but it can be hard to spread when it is cold or rather cooler. Even though the container says not to warm up in the microwave I usually warm it up in the microwave for about 8-10 seconds. I keep the lid off and I make sure that there is no metal foil left on the rim of the jar opening. The jar comes with a protective metal foil cover that is glued to the rim of the jar. Sometimes when you remove the foil there still may be bits of it stuck to the rim, before I heat it in the microwave I make sure to remove all of the metal foil so I don't get any sparks in the microwave.
*If you do heat up your marshmallow fluff in the microwave you are doing it at your own risk.
The first thing I do is spread some marshmallow fluff on the bottom of the plate. Then I add a smear of Nutella, this is supposed to be the trunk of the tree. Next I sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on the top of the "snow" this is supposed to be the "dirt". Next I place one of my folded crepes on to the plate and I spread a little marshmallow fluff along the bottom edge so that is looks like snow clinging to the outer branches. I repeat this step two more times stacking and overlapping the crepes on top of one another. Lastly, I add the red mini marshmallows to the different sections of the tree. And that's it! This is usually paired with a cold glass of milk.
This was a big hit with my son he didn't want to eat it at first, he said it looked to nice! Eventually he gave in and devoured it. He was singing my praises all morning long. What can I say the kid loves crepes and Christmas.
Runner Up in the
Edible Art Challenge