Easy Strawberry Shortcake
June 14, 2019 by Nicole Collins
Strawberry Shortcake, Huckleberry Finn.
If you know your birthday, jump right in!
January (clap, clap). February (clap, clap). March...and so on.
Anybody else remember that rhyme from the playground? Man, we had some fun games growing up. Cat's Cradle, Capture the Flag, all the jump rope and hopscotch rhymes... But, having an October birthday, I always felt like I had to wait forever and a day for my turn to jump in the rope when it came to this one.
I wonder if kids these days even know what jump rope or hopscotch is.
If they can't find it in the app store, probably not.
Anyways, we're singing this little ditty for a reason today. Well, we're singing it for a few reasons today, actually. Today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day!
I'm not sure who comes up with these national days, but I've found them to be extra fun this year. I even bought the National Day calendar, so I can see what every national day is while I'm at work. It makes for a fun conversation piece every now and then.
Usually, nationaldaycalendar.com will give a little history about each national day; but for Strawberry Shortcake Day, the site says that they haven't been able to trace the history.
That almost makes it better for me. Someone picked a random day, and said “I think I'll call this Strawberry Shortcake Day, just because”. Like, why not?
So, today we're celebrating this special day the only way we possibly could. Today, we're making Easy Strawberry Shortcake!
Now, you'll usually see strawberry shortcake in two different forms: on a crumbly, slightly sweetened biscuit or on a sweet, spongy cake. We're going the more traditional route and making these with biscuits today.
We're going to take a little help from the grocery store on these biscuits; but the result is a super simple, 3 ingredient dough. We start by using a store bought all purpose baking mix (like Bisquick). I actually use the store bought brand. To the baking mix, we add some heavy cream and a little brown sugar. Form the dough, knead and roll it out, cut into 3 inch rounds, and bake. Quick and easy! Typically, shortcake biscuits call for white sugar in the dough, but I like the extra touch of richness the brown sugar adds.
Our next layer to our shortcakes is the strawberries, of course! Fresh, sliced strawberries get tossed in some white sugar before they're set aside to macerate. The sugar helps to release some of the natural juices in the strawberries; and the result is a sweet, slightly syrupy fruit. The sweet juices from the fruit soak into the crumbly biscuit creating the perfect balance of texture and flavor.
To finish our shortcakes, we need some whipped cream. Heavy cream, a touch of powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste get whipped together to create a light, fluffy, perfectly sweetened creamy element for our dessert. I love using vanilla bean paste in this whipped cream, because we get that strong concentrated vanilla flavor like we'd get from an extract while still getting the pretty black flecks that we'd get from using a vanilla bean. The vanilla bean paste adds the perfect hit of sweetness to the cream without the need to use a lot of sugar.
The thing about this dessert is that despite all of these sweetened ingredients, it's not a cloyingly sweet dessert. The cream and biscuit are just lightly sweetened enough to let the sweet berries really be the star of this dessert. And, strawberries have a natural tartness to them that cuts through any threat there may be of too much sugar overpowering the berries. This dessert sits in that “sweet spot” of perfect harmony.
Strawberry shortcake has always been one of my favorite desserts, so I pretty much feel like I've won the lottery with it being Friday AND Strawberry Shortcake Day! All I really need now is some monkey bars and an icee pop, and I'm basically 10 years old again.
Alright everyone! I know I've been slacking with the posts a little bit lately, but I promise you I'm just about back on track! I've got LOTS of good stuff locked and loaded for you, so thanks for being patient!
For now, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Easy Strawberry Shortcake
Serves: 4 Print
For the Biscuits:
1 cup all purpose baking mix (like Bisquick)
½ cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1 tbsp brown sugar
flour, for dusting
For the Strawberries:
2 cups strawberries, diced
2 tbsp sugar
For the Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Make the Biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, add baking mix, heavy cream, and brown sugar. Stir until the dough is combined and starts to come together. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Turn out the dough, and knead it about 10 times. Lightly flour a rolling pin, and roll the dough to ½ inch thickness. Using a 3 inch round cutter, cut out 4 biscuits. Place biscuits in the center of the prepared baking sheet with the edges touching. Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy cream. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the Strawberries: In a mixing bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Toss well to coat the berries. Allow the berries to sit and macerate for at least 30 mins. Set aside.
Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Assemble the Shortcakes: Split biscuits in half through the center. Top the bottom half with strawberries, then whipped cream. Place the top half of the biscuit over the whipped cream. Top with more berries and whipped cream. Serve!
*If you're not serving all of these at once, you can make all of the components in advance and assemble when you're ready to serve. Store the biscuits tightly sealed at room temperature, and store the berries and cream separately in the fridge.
*I really like vanilla bean paste, because you get the concentration of an extract but the aesthetics of the little black specks form a vanilla bean. I also really love the sweetness it adds to the whipped cream. You could substitute vanilla extract, if necessary.
*When you whip your cream, making sure your things are really cold will help the cream whip faster. I put my whisk attachment in the freezer for about 15 mins before I whip my cream. And, I take the cream straight from the fridge to the bowl when I'm ready to whip.
*I absolutely LOVE this set of biscuit cutters. They're easy to clean, you get lots of different sizes, and you get the option of straight or scalloped edges.
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