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Strawberry Shortcake and Whipped Cream

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As I was growing up, we didn’t have desserts after every dinner, but I do remember that dessert was a special treat on Sunday. After supper on Sunday, I remember going outside and enjoying the front yard swing, playing games such as Kick the Can or Annie Annie Over. My grandparents lived with us, so they were a part of Sunday supper, and lots of times my aunt and uncle and cousins would be there. When dinner seemed to be settled in our tummies, Mom would bring out dessert. 

I remember those good days and most of the recipes that Mom, my aunt and grandma would make for us. With a lot of extra time at home along with working at home, I have taken some of my old recipes and made some changes and added them to my recipe box #fromscratch. Here’s to all of you who have renewed your excitement for cooking in this uneasy time. Whether it’s meals, desserts or bread making, it has helped open up a whole new world for you and your families. It has also made us become closer as families by including our children in the everyday preparing of the family meals. My stay-at-home gift to you this month is Strawberry Shortcake.

The strawberry stands are open again! Picking up a flat of fresh strawberries makes this a delicious dessert for the whole family. Even with the plastic shields and the line in the dirt to keep us six feet apart, you will find it well worth the effort. This dessert really doesn’t have to be strawberry; it can be any fruit in season. We use strawberries because where we live there are several fresh strawberries stands with no shortage of strawberries. You can get strawberries from March to September from these stands. But if you don’t have fresh available where you live, try blackberries, blueberries, peaches and even plums, or you can use frozen.

There are several different types of shortcake that can go with this recipe and you may have your favorite, but the recipe I’m using is not very sweet and the texture goes great with the strawberry sauce I make to go on top. You can choose not to make the sauce and just use fresh sliced strawberries with sugar sprinkled on top to go with your shortcake. I like the thick sweet flavor of the sauce and the texture it adds to this family dessert. Add the homemade whipped cream to the top and this will make everyone happy. 

Shortcake

Ingredients
1 cup butter, 2 sticks room temperature

2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk with 1 tsp. vinegar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 pan or muffin pans; this recipe makes about 24. Cream butter and sugar together, beating until mixture is light and slightly fluffy. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and mix well. If using milk and vinegar, make sure to add the vinegar to the milk and let it set for at least 10 minutes before using. Using a sifter, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until there are no more clumps. Don’t overmix; you don’t want the cake to be hard after baking. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. If you are using muffin tins, bake for 15 minutes and use the toothpick test.

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients
4 cups strawberries, sliced

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. butter

Instructions
In a saucepan, add 2 cups of strawberries, sugar and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the remaining strawberries; simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon, vanilla and butter. Stir until butter is melted and refrigerate. This is perfect for shortcake but don’t sell it short because it works well over ice cream too.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients
2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions
Use a chilled bowl that has been in the freezer 30 minutes before you start to whip. You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer for this process. Add the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Whisk until it forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to overmix or you will end up with butter. Most recipes call for sugar instead of powdered sugar, but I like using it because the whipped cream seems to hold its shape better even the next day after refrigerating. 


Plating your dessert
Cut your cake into squares, place in small bowls and top with your strawberry sauce. If you’re not a fan of this sauce, which if you try it you will always use it, you can cut up fresh strawberries in a bowl and lightly sprinkle them with sugar. Let set for at least 30 minutes so that the strawberries form a juice that will soak into the shortbread. Then serve them on top of the cake. Don’t forget the whipped cream for a great dessert.

Remembering the times when I was young helps me understand what it was that molded me to be the person I am today. Sometimes we all question ourselves and ask why? Why me? The question may never be answered, but sometimes knowing that life can throw you a curve ball and that you can make it through is enough. This can prove how strong you really can be. Here’s to all the strong women who know that they do their best every day. We love you and we care for you. And here’s another recipe from my recipe box to yours.