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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'm Baaack! And I Bring the Gift of Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake!

First off, thank you all for your well wishes and congratulations towards our wedding. I will say that everything went so smoothly that I cannot believe it was an event planned by me. I was fully expecting something to go wrong. I was really expecting my natural grace to kick in as I was walking down the aisle and to send me flat on my face after tripping on some air (I'm not known for my grace). It was a beautiful, if very fast moving, day.

Second, I have a recipe to share! With spring springing and the warmer longer days ahead, I am in want of fruity things. And with California strawberries on sale at the local supermarket it is easy to fulfill that need. Strawberry shortcake is a no fuss dessert, and it's bright, fresh and delicious. I really enjoy the cake part of the dessert to be a simple biscuit and the strawberries just sliced up, sprinkled with a little sugar, swimming in their vibrant juices. And whipped cream. Not many things are made for each other like strawberries and cream (it's very hard for me right now to refrain from getting mushy and talking about how not many people are made for each other like G and myself..but I'll spare you...oops, too late!). So, I'll get to the recipe so you can get to making and enjoying your strawberry soaked biscuits coated with cream. The biscuit recipe is so old that I'm not sure where it has come from....I just know it's on a recipe card in my box.

Biscuits for shortcake: (makes 8 to 12 biscuits)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (8 ounces) cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
-Heat oven to 425f. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
-Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.

-Cut in butter with your fingers (I prefer to use my hands for this) or with a pastry blender until mixture is coarse pea sized balls
-Add buttermilk and mix lightly until the mixture forms a ball.
-Either drop biscuits onto the sheet pan for drop-biscuits, or pat the dough out to about 1 inch thickness and cut out biscuit rounds and place on the pan (I prefer drop biscuits for their rustic appearance and sometimes I'm just lazy that way).
-Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until they are a light golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack.

For the Strawberries:
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 or 3 Tbsp Grand Marnier, if you have it (I do not have any on hand today, so I'm using dark rum. It does add a nice little hint of orange).
-Rinse and pat dry your berries. Slice into halves or quarters or however you would like to slice them.
-Mix the berries with the sugar and booze and let sit until the berries have rendereed their juices.

For the Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp granulated sugar (this is optional, I tend to like my whipped cream unsweetened, so I do not add it)
1 tsp vanilla extract (this is also optional...I have a serious vanilla addiction, so I'm going to even use vanilla bean paste instead of extract)
-By hand (or in a machine if you prefer) whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla together until it forms soft peaks. Keep chilled till you are ready to use it. It is best to just whip the cream right before you use it.

Assemble the shortcakes in any way you prefer. I like to slice the biscuits in half, layer on the strawberries and lots of juice, top that with whipped cream and place the other half of the biscuit on top like a festive little hat. I have forgotten how good and simple this is. Take a bite, sit back and ooooooh my.

Now that I'm back and have no wedding to worry about, I hope to be posting more frequently! See you all much more often, thank you for your patience while I was away.

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Cris said...

We're anxious to see pictures of the wedding... Oh, strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite American desserts!!!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Hi Cris! I'm anxious to see photos of the wedding also :D. Just waiting for the photographers to get them all set. It's one of my favorite desserts too :D

Cate said...

The Strawberry Shortcake looks great, and a perfect way to usher in Spring.

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Thanks so much Cate! I'm so very happy that it's spring again :)

Vanessa said...

Jen, congratulations and all that jazz. Love the SS and I'm glad you're back.

Beautiful Cheese/ Lolligag said...

You know your pictures are the definition of food porn to me. You have a great talent at not only baking but photography as well.

BTW what kind of wedding cake did you have?

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Vanessa: Thank you! It's good to be back :)

Cheesy one: Oh stop, you are making me blush, thank you :D The wedding cake was really good! It was chocolate cake layers with Grand Marnier mousse and a white chocolate ganache poured over the top (instead of fondant which is in my opinion, icky). I loved it. We were able to fly home with a few pieces that are in our freezer.

Brilynn said...

That looks wonderful, I can't wait for berry season!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Thank you, Brilynn! The California growing season does spoil me, I admit. Can't wait to see what's at the farmer's market this Sunday :D

Nicole said...

Congragulations Jen!! I've been eating lots of strawberry shortcake lately too and when I finally get around to posting mine, I'll link to yours because it looks soooooo yummy! :-)

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Thank you so much Nicole! I'll keep an eye out for your strawberry shortcake too, I saw the photos and it looks yummy :D. We can have a link loop :)

sher said...

Real strawberry shortcake. This is just like my grandma made. Wonderful!