05 August 2010

Double Take: Party-Perfect Strawberry Shortcakes

Surprise! I'm back! And with a recipe at that! 

We decided to take a short, three week summer break. I do hope you don't mind! My original intent was to deliver you with blogs on Sundays, but alas, the month without internet got me out of the habit of turning on my computer in the evenings. And my left hand got a much needed break from typing. I've been spending 8 hours on the computer at work daily for the last couple months, and my tendinitis has been flaring up. Thus, I've been feeling less inclined to type. But I'm back!

This week's Double Take Challenge features the end of the season strawberries. I know they are the end of the season because I was not able to buy local at the grocery store. And oh by golly the local strawberries here are fantastic. Not too sweet, not too tart, just right! About a week ago, I realized I needed to make these, and soon. So I put out a call on Facebook to see who would help me eat them. The recipe made 16 shortcakes, and there was no way Hubby and I would (or should) eat them all ourselves! I had some nibbles, chose my date to host a party, and was off. 

I had to settle for an international brand, but my strawberries were still tasty. The 1/4 cup of sugar addition the recipe called for was just right. I read the recipe over and over. Found it on the internet and read it over and over, and set out to make the shortcakes just before our guests were scheduled to arrive. I mixed the solids together, cut in my butter (I put mine in the freezer for 15 minutes because my kitchen was so hot that day), mixed my liquids, and added it to the flour mixture. Then I panicked. From my recipe readings, I assumed the dough would be similar to a biscuit dough because the recipe specifically tells you to pat out the dough and cut into 16 2-inch squares. There was no way once my dough went onto the table that it would ever come up in a 2-inch square. Way too much liquid for that. I tried adding more flour, but ended up overworking the dough in the process. So much for taking care to put my butter in the freezer before cutting it into the flour. 

Ah, well. In my attempt to warn Tabitha about the liquid issue, I did some research. And found this Southern Living strawberry shortcake recipe. They even tell you at the beginning of the recipe to DROP the dough using a 1/3 cup measure. Oh my, well. If I'd read that with this recipe, I wouldn't have panicked. I'm not certain everything would have been perfect, but I'd have a few less grey hairs today. 

from the All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1  (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2  cup  sugar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
4  teaspoons  baking powder
3/4  cup  butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2  large eggs
1  cup  sour cream
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  cup  whipping cream
2  tablespoons  sugar
2  tablespoons  strawberry jam
Garnishes: fresh mint leaves, strawberry halves

Combine sliced strawberries, mint, and 1/4 cup sugar. Cover strawberry mixture, and set aside.
Combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup sugar; cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly.
Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 6 times. Pat dough into an 8-inch square; cut into 16 (2-inch) squares. Place dough on a lightly greased baking sheet. (Haha, not with German flour. I can't vouch for American flour, but there was way too much liquid to cut out squares. If this happens to you, drop the shortcake dough onto a baking sheet using a lightly greased 1/3 cup measure.)
Bake at 425° for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden.
Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy, and gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating mixture at high speed until stiff peaks form.
Remove shortcakes from oven, and split in half horizontally. Combine strawberry jam and chopped mint; spread cut sides of bottom shortcake halves evenly with jam mixture, and top evenly with half of strawberry mixture. Cover mixture evenly with whipped cream; top with remaining strawberry mixture and remaining shortcake halves. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately. 

 I'm not certain the jam added anything, so in the future, I'll skip the jam (money and calories). 

My shortcakes were just okay. I'm still very interested in trying black pepper biscuits as a base for strawberry shortcakes, so I'll do that long before I try to attempt these shortcakes again. 

They-were-just-okay-but-I-really-enjoyed-the-mint-with-the-strawberries: 2 votes
You-give-me-food-and-I'll-eat-it: 1 vote
I-didn't-care-for-them: 1 vote

For Tabitha's opinion on Party-Perfect Strawberry Shortcakes, head on over to Double the Garlic!


  1. I posted the modified fluids. It should be half of the fluids they called for to get drop biscuits. I think mine would have risen more if there hadn't been an oven malfunction.

  2. Sorry you were disappointed with your dessert. I have made this one before to rave reviews:

    It is one big shortcake and it includes a chocolate sauce. Maybe next time you are craving strawberry shortcake, you can try this one!

  3. Glad you are back! I had missed your blog. Your picture makes me want some strawberry shortcake but since I have some ripe Georgia peaches I think it will turn into a peach shortcake!

  4. @ Tabitha: I'm sorry about the oven malfunction! It seems like we both had disasters with this recipe.

    @ Helen: That one looks quite yummy. Next time I make a shortcake, I'll try that one.

    @ Aunt Vicki: Oh, tune in next week for Fresh Peach Pie!


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