Growing up one of my favorite things about summertime was eating every meal on the deck. I remember being tasked with cleaning the patio table and chairs with Windex and a roll of paper towels, eagerly awaiting the dessert: strawberry shortcake. We used Bisquick, which is delicious and perfectly acceptable, but now that I am older I make my own shortcake from scratch. I decided to make individual portions in mason jars and voila – the perfect summer treat! If you really want to get fancy, make your own whipped cream, but I have to say, I am a Redi-Whip fan. These are not overly sweet, so feel free to add a tablespoon of sugar to the batter. I sprinkled the tops with sugar, but I think they are sweet enough once you add the berries and whipped cream.
Shortcakes are also a great excuse to pick your own strawberries – I enjoy any activity that involves food and there’s no better way to appreciate your meal than to see where it came from. This handy website (beware: it looks like it’s circa 1991) lists berry farms by state. Over the weekend, I went berry picking at Spencer Farms and while we missed the strawberries, there were plenty of raspberries and blackberries to pick!
MASON JAR BERRY SHORTCAKES
Recipe is inspired by Alton Brown (I experimented with measurements)
Makes 12 shortcakes. Halve the recipe (1 cup flour, etc) for 6 shortcakes.
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 cup milk
sugar for sprinkling tops of shortcakes
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. I used my KitchenAid mixer, but you can easily mix this by hand. Shape the dough into circles – they don’t have to be perfect since they will be going into the mason jars. Sprinkle the tops of the shortcakes with a little sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Once they have cooled, place a shortcake in the bottom of each mason jar, next add the whipped cream, then the berries and repeat with another shortcake. I tore the larger shortcakes into smaller pieces and layered them, similar to a trifle. You can make these ahead of time and leave them in the refrigerator for the perfect warm weather snack anytime. I especially love that the mason jars are individual servings and each person has their own. It would also be fun to have guests assemble their own at a dinner party. That way they can make it according to their preference – a few berries/a lot of berries, a dollop of whip cream/a can of whip cream.
OTHER LIFE UPDATES
Winston had his operation last week and is not so happy about it. I ordered the blue pillow collar from Amazon ahead of time so that he didn’t have to have the cone.
I am a fan of anything monogrammed. Reese Witherspoon says, ‘If it’s not moving, monogram it.’ I wholeheartedly agree. I found these burlap totes on Etsy and had one monogrammed for a friend. Making her happy = making me happy.