Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stand tall, shortcake!

Strawberries are coming into season and are readily available these days. Hubby and I bought some, and I was very excited to make strawberry shortcakes! But the opportunity just didn't seem to come up. I had a bunch of other baked goods in the house, and I couldn't really justify baking something else... So Hubby and I sacrificed ourselves and polished off the cakes and such that were holding me back, so tonight I could bake new, fresh and exciting things!

The baked base for my shortcakes was something I had found in a book at the store where I work one evening a week. But not in the traditional cooking section. No, I found this recipe in a children's cookbook, Baking Kids Love. I had found the recipe several months ago and copied it down during a quite moment at the store. I made it once shortly after that, and really liked the way they turned out. I don't remember what I used them for that first time, but I knew that they would make great shortcakes! I highly recommend these Crunchy-Top Vanilla Scones - they are great for breakfast, lunch, dessert, snacking... You name it, they work! (I am also looking forward to trying them in other flavors...)

In order to enhance the vanilla in these scones, I used vanilla sugar and added a bit more vanilla extract, as I usually do. The dough came together pretty well, but I had to add more flour than the recipe called for. I don't know if I used too much milk, if the swap to soy milk had an effect, or if the kitchen was just particularly humid... Whatever the reason, my dough was sticky, and I just kept adding flour to try to un-stick it. The final dough was still a little stickier than I think it should have been, but I felt that I had to stop kneading it or the scones would be too tough in texture. It was a little hard to cut and shape the dough, but I managed to make almost squares, which was better than the first time, so I was satisfied! After a rest in the fridge, the scones were ready to get their crunchy topping. I do not have Turbinado sugar. Heck, I didn't even know what that was before I read the recipe, gotten curious and looked it up! Turbinado sugar is sugar in the raw. Which, as I said, I don't have. But I do have that pretty crystal sugar which I used to decorate the cake pops. I figured that would look nice and add the right crunch, so I sprinkled that on top of the scones, along with a little sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

Once baked and cooled, the scones were ready to be turned into strawberry shortcakes. I am sorry to admit that I was not ambitious enough to make my own whipped cream tonight... I used a tub of "whipped topping" instead... One day I will be that mom/cook and make the whipped cream myself, but now is not that time!

Real or not, the whipped cream and strawberries were great on the scones! I am pretty sure that the leftovers won't last too long!

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