Monday, April 25, 2011

Perfect Strawberry Shortcake!


I think you'd be shocked to realize just how many strawberries my family goes through, and how quickly!  And if I were being really honest---I can plow through most of them myself.  I eat a bowl of strawberries for breakfast, some for lunch, a snack...  I've been that way since I was small---I have always loved strawberries! In fact, I have memories of picking strawberries from the patch at our old house, and eating so many of them that my hands were stained solid red!

Strawberry shortcake might just be one of my favorite desserts.  I'm not a big fan of "cake" in general, which is probably why I love strawberry shortcake---it isn't overly sweet. 

The "biscuits" I made with this recipe have the addition of vanilla bean (I used vanilla bean paste) which might be my current favorite kitchen/food item.  It is AMAZING!!!  It gives the biscuits a little hint of sweetness, and those gorgeous black flecks.  If you don't have the paste, or vanilla beans, you can easily substitute vanilla.

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 T. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter (cold)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • cream/milk (for topping)
  • raw sugar (for topping---optional, but highly suggested!)
  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.  Cut in the cold butter (I cut it up into tiny squares, then pop it back into the freezer, so it will remain cold.  Then add it.)   Whisk in the wet ingredients, and add to dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it holds together.
  2. Pat the dough out using your hands (no need for a rolling pin), until about 3/4" thick.  Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Place on a silpat lined baking sheet (or lightly spray with cooking spray).  Brush the tops of each bisquit with cream or milk.  Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. 
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with strawberries and fresh whipped cream!
*To make my strawberry mixture, after washing and cutting all of my strawberries, I take out about 1/4 of the strawberries, and put them in a different bowl, and a small amount of sugar and lemon juice, and mash them with a potato masher.  Once they are smashed, add them back in with the sliced strawberries and stir.  Let it sit together (in the fridge) for at least an hour before serving.

Vanilla bean paste is also so good to add to the cream as you whip it!