Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: A Valentine's Day Dessert

Is there anything better than a little strawberry shortcake on Valentine's Day! I think not. Use a heart shape cookie cutter to form the cakes for extra sweetness.

10 oz. strawberries (one large container, sliced in half)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or more if you like lots of strawberry "sauce")

1/3 cup butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon coarse decorating sugar (or granulated sugar if you can't find this type)
3/4 cup whipping cream (Fresh is best -- Add vanilla and a dash of confectioner's sugar to heavy whipping cream. Whip in a chilled metal bowl.)

Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, mix strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.
In medium bowl, cut butter into flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder and salt, using pastry blender or 2 forks, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in milk. Place on lightly floured surface; knead 5 to 7 times or until dough forms. Pat dough 1/2 inch thick; cut out 12 rounds with 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush egg yolk over rounds; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. In chilled small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Split shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon strawberries between halves and over tops. Top with whipped cream and additional strawberries. (And additional whipped cream!)

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