Strawberry Shortcake Two Ways

Now, don’t engage someone in a discussion of strawberry shortcake unless you’re really prepared to get serious about it. Many  people seem to have firm beliefs about what a shortcake is. Some prefer a heartier vehicle for their strawberries and cream. Some want something that resembles pound cake. Others swear angel food cake is the way to go. Well, shout with joy, strawberry season is finally here! You can have your strawberries any way you like.

The first recipe, from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book, produces a shortcake with a biscuit-like consistency, though it is much more delicate than any biscuit you might have for breakfast. (It should be – there’s a lot of cream in that dough.) The second recipe will shock shortcake purists: it’s chocolate.

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Whisk together:
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

With a knife or pastry blender, cut in:
4 tbls. unsalted butter

Stir in:
1 cup cream

Add:
2-3 tbls. of milk, one at a time until the dough comes together

On a piece of parchment paper, gently pat the dough into a rectangle. Slice into 8 rectangles and separate them. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Combine:
2 cups AP flour
2 tbls. sugar
1 tbls. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

With a knife or pastry blender, cut in:
8 tbls. butter

Over low heat, melt:
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
and whisk in:
1/2 c. milk

Stir the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients until blended. Knead in additional 1/2 c. of chocolate chips. Pat into a rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Cut into 8 rectangles and separate. Bake at 450F for 8 minutes.

Notes:

  • Fresh Strawberry Puree would also be a nice topping.
  • Both types of shortcakes can be wrapped and stored in the freezer. You never know when you’ll need dessert on those hot, summer nights.
  • Serve, of course, with sweetened whipped cream. Or, go all out with some vanilla ice cream. (Mora has marscapone ice cream right now. Oh, my!)
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Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

strawberry rhubarb muffinsThis is a deliciously versatile muffin recipe that bakes up moist and cake-like. It can be made with almost any fruit.  Don’t substitute for the buttermilk. It’s the reason that this recipe works so well!

Makes one dozen muffins.
8 tbls. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 cups AP flour (+ 1 tbls. for fruit)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup strawberries, 1 cup rhubarb

  1. Place paper liners in your muffin pan and preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare the fruit. Rinse, hull, and cut strawberries into small pieces. For rhubarb,chopped fruit cut off any ugly ends and using a paring knife, peel off tough strings. Cut into small, 1 inch pieces. Toss the fruit with 1 tbls. of flour.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces and, using an electric mixer, cream with the sugar and salt until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Continue to beat and add eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add flour and baking powder. Add buttermilk.
  6. Fold in the fruit.
  7. Spoon into the muffin cups and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Notes:
-Other variations that are wonderful: blueberry (with a little bit of nutmeg), blackberries and lemon, just plain strawberry
-Adapted from How to Bake, a wonderful baking resource.