06 November 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

Nothin' says summer like strawberry shortcake. But this isn't your store-bought styrofoam and canned cream shortcake. This is from scratch, buttery, crispy, chewy, fruity, creamy shortcake. It's a simple, southern, homemade treat. This is one of the easiest desserts to whip together, and I promise you, whomever you feed it to will be blown away. I can't tell you how many people have told me it's the best they've ever had. It is delicious with strawberries, but we've also had it with fresh peaches, and there ain't nothin' wrong with that, either. I bet it would be delicious with any juicy fruit (the gum! haha!) spooned on top. 

Strawberry Shortcake
(Better Homes & Gardens, adapted)
Serves 8-16, depending on size of cakes

1/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 beaten egg
2/3 cup milk

Stir together sugar, flour, and baking powder. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk, add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined (I use a fork). Drop dough onto cookie sheet into 8 or 16 equal mounds; flatten slightly. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. You can also put all the batter in a greased 8-inch round baking dish and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cut shortcakes in half hamburger style. Spoon berries over bottom layer, cover with remaining cake. Top with more berries and whipped cream. Devour.

Fresh strawberries, peaches, or mixed berries, sliced and mixed with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
Cut the strawberries however you like, then mix with sugar and let it sit for a while. The sugar will mix with the juice from the berries, making a yummy syrup you can drizzle on top if you'd like. The longer you let it sit, the more syrup-y the berries will get. 

Whipping cream, whipped with 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar per cup
I whip my cream with powdered sugar. I think it adds a different flavor than granulated, creates a lighter texture, and sweetens it just enough. And there's no chance for grainy texture, either.

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