Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake


This past weekend I ventured home to relax for a few days and although "home" for me is only about an hour-and-a-half away, there's something so therapeutic about jumping in your car and escaping for a few days. One of the things I look forward to most when spending time back home are my Mom's home cooked meals and this past weekend was no exception. While making a quick run to the grocery store, I noticed a display for strawberry shortcake and I suggested we make some for dessert that night. Instead of buying the pre-made ingredients right there, my Mom convinced me that homemade shortcake with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream would be better, and I was sold!

This is officially the first recipe I've posted on this blog that I did not bake myself, but instead has come straight from my Mom's kitchen. She sent me home with leftovers and I decided they were too good not to share. The texture of homemade shortcake is more reminiscent of a biscuit than the spongy cakes you buy at the store and its subtle sweetness pairs well with fresh strawberries. Finish it off with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and you will never go back to store-bought strawberry shortcake again! Needless to say, I have my Mom to thank for my affinity for food and truly feel lucky to have grown up in a household where eating freshly prepared food wasn't an afterthought. Thanks Mom!


HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

INGREDIENTS

For Shortcakes:
• 2 cups unbleached flour
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 3 t. baking powder
• 1/2 t. salt
• 1/2 c. cold butter, cut into cubes
• 3/4 c. milk
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten

For Strawberry Filling:
• 1 lb. fresh strawberries
• granulated sugar to taste (optional)

For Whipped Cream:
• 1/2 c. heavy cream
• 1 t. granulated sugar (or to taste)
• 1/2 t. vanilla extract (or to taste)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare strawberries by cutting them into quarters and placing them into a medium bowl. You may add a few tablespoons of granulated sugar if you desire, but we just left ours plain. Coarsely mash the strawberries and set aside to macerate.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.

3.  Next add the butter, milk and eggs to dry the ingredients and mix just until combined. The consistency should be a crumbly dough. Be sure not to over-mix the dough, otherwise your shortcakes will have a tough texture.

4. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Prepare whipped cream by whisking the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add less or more sugar and vanilla depending on taste.

5. Once the shortcakes have cooled, cut in half lengthwise and fill each cake with strawberries, fresh whipped cream and the other half of the cake. You can also mound the strawberries and whipped cream on top of each shortcake if you prefer.

Photography, design and styling by Jessica of SAS + ROSE. Recipe and baking by my Mom.
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