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Strawberry Shortcakes

I want to write something witty today. Really I want to amaze you with my awesome ability to rear two children, write and develop recipes, take gorgeous photos and still have time to write amazingly thoughtful prose.

Too bad I have lost half my brain cells this week. Hubby went away. For 5 days. Oh sure, my parents are here to help me, but that doesn’t get me anywhere at night. This little lady you see above has a very low respect for bedtime. Especially mine.

As soon as mama is all tired and sleepy, it’s off to bed we go, kisses for big brother all tucked in and up the stairs to mama’s room. Well, just as I settle into my most recent reading subject (The Kite Runner) it’s non-stop screaming until I just about go insane trying every trick I know to soothe her. Eventually we figure it out and drift off to sleep for a couple hours before more feeding is in order. I never had this problem with my first born, but every baby is different, as I’m continually reminded.

Complicated food has taken a back seat this week to more simple fare, read: salad. But I do have an amazing ice cream concoction coming your way for next week. So stay tuned, maybe by then I might have regained some semblance of normalcy. Cross your fingers!

Until then, you’ll have to make do with these amazingly simple little desserts. Not satisfied with plain tasting, flavourless (though tender) biscuits, I’ve spiced these ones up (literally) to make them more of a standout.

What is summer without strawberry shortcake? Boring, that’s what…

Strawberry Shortcakes

Inspired by Alice Waters “The Art of Simple Food”

Yield: 8 small shortcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

For biscuits:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp vanilla or seeds of one large vanilla bean
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and spices.
3. Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter until it resembles small crumbs.
4. Measure out cream, reserving one tablespoon to brush onto tops of biscuits before baking.
5. Pour cream and vanilla into flour, mixing well. Lightly knead.
6. Pour out onto floured surface and roll out to 1/2″-3/8″ thick.
7. Cut out into 8 squares, triangles, circles, hexagons, hearts or whatever you like.
9. Place on a parchment lined baking tray (light coloured), brush with the remaining cream, sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
10. Remove from oven and cool before using.

For topping:

1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Take 1/4 cup of the sliced strawberries and mash them up, add back into remaining strawberries and add 2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Set aside until needed.
2. In the bowl of a mixer with whisk attached, whip cream on high with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla until thoroughly whipped.

Assembling your shortcakes:

1. Slice cooled biscuits horizontally, spoon strawberries and small amount of whipped cream onto the bottom piece.
2. Place top of biscuit on and top with a small amount of strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
3. Serve.

13 comments to Strawberry Shortcakes

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