Strawberries for the Shortcake

Yesterday, my daughter was so excited to go to school. If she brought two dollars, she could get strawberry shortcake at recess! So she took two dollars from her own allowance (she’s been complaining that I never let her actually spend it) and traipsed off to school superexcited about recess.

When I picked her up from the bus stop, I asked her how her strawberry shortcake had been– part of the allure had been that she had never had it before, and she had asked me a great many questions about it and spent a lot of time the night before pondering this dessert. She doesn’t like things with sauce, so I was getting a bit worried that with this much build-up, one of those really saucy versions might be a huge let-down for her.

She answered that she didn’t get to eat it because she was too slow of an eater! Poor kid. She gets that from me. My husband can clean his plate before I’m even done with my salad. He often sets his fork down and drinks his wine or just sits and watches me for a few moments to try and slow himself down. Our daughter eats slowly– except for shrimp and peas. Pop! Pop! Pop! All shrimp are shrimp poppers to her.

Later, when I was emptying out her backpack, looking for a behavior report to sign or maybe some lines for the play she has in a few weeks, I saw that her money was gone. I felt even worse for her– she had evidently had the shortcake in sight, but hadn’t been able to eat it. Oof.

So today, I made her this:

The "After" picture would show a licked-clean plate.

I’d never made strawberry shortcake from scratch before, but I’d made strawberries for pies before, and figured it couldn’t be too different. And good Lord, I love making cobbler out of extra fruit.

Strawberry Shortcake

1.5 c all-purpose flour

0.5 c sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

0.25 c melted butter ( I like salted)

1 capful vanilla extract

Enough milk to make a goopy batter– thicker than cake batter but slightly runnier than banana bread batter. Don’t overstir it.

Fill greased muffin tins about halfway full– I overfilled a little and ended up making ten– but you could easily stretch it to an even dozen if you are a little more exact! Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

While those are baking, do the strawberries. Simply wash and hull the desired amount, then slice them and put powdered sugar on them. For roughly one pint of strawberries, I used 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Stir so the sugar coats the berries, then let them sit. A sauce makes itself– you don’t have to do anything, unless you put in too much powdered sugar. In that case, just add a tablespoon of water.

When the shortcakes come out of the oven, slice the top off one, then scoop the rest out with a spoon. Ladle strawberries on top, then give a good dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream if you have it. That’s it! It was ridiculously easy.

And now it’s gone.


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