the first dessert I baked for my then-fiance was red velvet cake, and he was hooked...I love to cook, and my 3 daughters are following in my footsteps. This is a collection of recipes that we love. Feel free to comment - good, bad, indifferent - if you try any, let me know how they turn out.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Growing up, I associated the term shortcake with those little spongey yellow cake things you'd get at the store. Wrapped in cellophane, they're next in kin to Twinkies, I guess. Fast forward to Mother's Day weekend 10 years ago, I needed a stellar dessert for my husband's student and her family. I know it was risky to try a new recipe, but this one was perfect. It's from the Pillsbury Complete Cookbook. We've had it every year, but this year I'm changing things around. I'm no longer making it for Mother's Day - I'll have one of the girls make a dessert. This is for Easter Sunday.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 pints (4 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream (we usually use Redi-Whip in a can because I don't have whipping cream sitting around)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour 8 or 9-inch round cake pan. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and eggs, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into greased and floured pan.
Bake at 375°F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar; mix well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until serving time.Just before serving, in small bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

Invert shortcake onto serving platter. If desired, split shortcake into 2 layers. Serve shortcake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Store in refrigerator. We leave it intact on a cake platter, serve in wedges, and at least one member of the family splits the layers before adding berries and whipped cream.

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