I made it though another year – I don’t really know how, but I did. It was quite a last week of school, with exciting events for both girls every day. Things were so crazy, I almost forgot they would bring their report cards home on Friday. Normally that is not something I think about, but after the last report card – my younger daughter was spending a little too much time socializing, and not enough time actually focusing on her work. She is not the driver my older one is, and has no real desire to do more than she needs to (unless it has to do with art), and the teachers were starting to catch on. She is extremely capable, and they were pushing her to do more – but that wasn’t happening. Fortunately the talks we had with her worked, and her last report card really lit a little fire under her – because boy did she turn things around. Even I was floored – the first word her Math teacher wrote in the comments section was: “Wow!” I was so proud of her, and you should have seen her face when I told her how well she had done, she was beaming. The summer was starting out on a really good note.
So what do you make for a special last day of school dessert? Well – I have been waiting and waiting for the strawberry stand to open at my bus stop. I always thought it opened in the beginning of June – but the beginning of June came and went – and not only was the stand not open, the stand wasn’t even there. Every day when the bus dropped me off, I would hope and pray that the stand would show up – but no. I was starting to think they decided to put the stand somewhere else. I was really getting depressed. It is like my own secret stash of fresh strawberries that only my neighborhood knows about – ok, so that is a lot of people – but still. Finally last week the stand showed up, just as I was ready to give up on them, and start driving around looking for another one. I was so happy – all I could think about was Friday – after my older daughter’s promotion ceremony. We would stop on the way home and buy a whole flat. Also – I completely forgot that a whole flat – is really like buying 2 flats. $21 bought me more strawberries than I could ever know what to do with – I even cranked out 10 jars of my favorite strawberry vanilla jam – and I still have pounds of them left.
Back to dessert on Friday night. I really wanted to make a strawberry crisp – but they both had such amazing report cards – they got to choose – and they found this picture on Tastespotting from a beautiful blog called Just a Taste. When I looked at the name of the recipe, and the first word was “easy” – how could I turn them down? These shortcakes were delicious, in fact – I actually think I have made them before – but it was the whipped cream that really made this dessert special. The sour cream gave the cream some weight, and some tang – it was exactly what these shortcakes and strawberries needed. Ok, seriously – these strawberries needed nothing – they were sweet and delicious, but pairing them with these shortcakes and whipped cream just put them over the edge.
It was a really nice start to the weekend, that ended with a wonderful Father’s Day, and another delicious dessert. The girls made me promise they could eat the rest of the strawberries this week after swim team (with a little cake on the side). I think this is going to be a great summer…for all of us.
For the shortcakes:
- 4 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream, plus additional for brushing on shortcakes
- 2 teaspoons decorative sanding sugar (optional)
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Equipment: 3-inch circular cookie cutter (optional)
Make the shortcakes:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF with a rack in the middle. Lightly butter a baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the heavy cream just until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it on a lightly floured surface one to two times. (Don’t over-knead the dough or your biscuits will be tough.) Roll out the dough until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 8 shortcakes and transfer them to the baking sheet. (Alternately, you can trim the sides of the dough into a square and then, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 square shortcakes.) Brush the tops of the shortcakes with additional heavy cream and then sprinkle them with the sanding sugar (optional). Bake the shortcakes until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, and then transfer them to a rack to cool.
Make the whipped cream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream, sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract on high-speed until soft peaks form.
Assemble the shortcakes:
Slice the shortcakes in half and then sandwich the strawberries and whipped cream inside them.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Easy Strawberry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream