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Easy Strawberry Shortcakes

Paired with buttery shortcakes and vanilla-scented whipped cream, fresh strawberries are transformed into a classic dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 7 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Prepare the strawberries
Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, gently stir together the strawberries and 2 Tbs. of the sugar. Set aside.

Make the shortcakes
In a bowl, stir together the flour, 3 Tbs. of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Add 1/3 cup of the cream and stir just until evenly moistened. The dough should be soft; if necessary, add an additional 1 to 2 Tbs. cream.

Using floured hands, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a disk about 3/4 inch thick. Place on the prepared sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the shortcakes to a wire rack and let cool slightly.

Fill the shortcakes
Meanwhile, in a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 to 2/3 cup cream, the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar and the vanilla on high speed until soft peaks form.

Split the shortcakes horizontally and place the bottom halves on individual plates. Top with the strawberries and whipped cream and then with the tops of the shortcakes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).