Friday, July 3, 2015

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

It's strawberry season here in our neck of the woods, which means it's Strawberry Shortcake time. And to me, nothing says summer quite like strawberries.

I've been playing with our recipe a little bit and tweaked our favorite biscuit recipe to make it a sweeter version for shortcake. 


For the Biscuits:
2 cups flour (I've been really enjoying using King Arthur Flour company's white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) just barely softened 
4 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (plus a small amount to use just before baking)
1 teaspoon vanilla
small amount of course sugar (for the tops of the biscuits)

For the Filling:
Whole fresh strawberries
Whipping Cream or pre-whipped whipped cream


To Make the Biscuits:
1. Preheat the over to 450 degrees F. 
2. Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl. 
3. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (My trick is I cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and then use the wire whisk on my Kitchen Aid mixer to cut the butter into the flour mixture.) 
4. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until the mixture comes together. 
5. It will be a little sticky and lumpy. Turn out onto a slight floured surface and knead a few more times. It should start to be a little smoother and a little less sticky. Add a small handful of flour if too sticky. 
6. Reflour the surface and pat the dough out flat so that it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Or, if you do not have one of those use a the slightly floured edge of a drinking glass. 
7. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 
8. Brush each shortcake with a little bit of milk and sprinkle on the coarse sugar. 
9. Bake the shortcakes for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be slightly golden colored when they are ready to come out. 
10. Let cool on a wire rack. Shortcakes can be served slightly warm, or made up to a day ahead and served cooled. 

Before serving:
1. Wash and slice the strawberries into a bowl. If you want the strawberries to be a little juicier, you can add a small dash of either white sugar or maple syrup. Also, the further ahead you prep them the juicier they will be. 
2. Whip the whipping cream using an electric mixer ( I add a little sugar and vanilla first) or use a pre-made whipped cream. 
3. Slice the shortcakes in half. Place the berries and cream on the bottom half, then top with the other half of the shortcake. Enjoy!

This is a recipe my kids love helping with, especially my 2 year old. Here are a few ways little hands can help:

Patting down the dough and cutting out the shortcakes. Even though it sometimes means having to repeat the patting stage several times, this recipe seems pretty forgiving to being handled lots of times. 

Brushing on the milk and sprinkling on the sugar. Yup, sometimes it makes a mess, but luckily the parchment paper (or in this case silicone mat) saves me from a lot of clean up time. 

And of course, everyone enjoys the final product!

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