Strawberry Shortcake, Bourbon Whipped Cream, and a Late Mother’s Day
If you’re anything like me, you’re really good at one thing: being a bad daughter. Mother’s day was over a week ago, so this post AND her mother’s day present (separate items – I don’t consider a post a “present”) are over a week late. But if your mom is anything like mine, she’s really good at a lot of things. Including enjoying presents and posts even if they’re late.
My mom is the reason I started to cook. She had the fantastic rule that every kid had to either help make dinner or clean up afterwards. I chose cooking and grew up learning my mother’s (and grandmother’s) recipes. Choosing to cook was a decision I’m glad I made. I mean, WHY would you ever want to clean up if you could cook? My brother and sister would say it’s because the clean up took waaaaay less time than the cooking, but their not the smart one’s in my family (heh, heh, did you get my joke? I know my mom did).
This post is an ode to my mother, who made me my first strawberry shortcake. This is similar to her shortcake with a few twists. First, I will take any excuse to add bourbon to a recipe, including “hey this would taste better if I was drinking bourbon.” Second, a little lemon zest because why not. And third, some cream cheese frosting because we’re not here on this post to make something healthy (sorry, Paleo fans). On to the instructions. Oh, and hey mom – thanks for all of the cooking and baking lessons.
We’ll start with a little bit of sugar and a lot of glitter.
We’ll find some super ripe organic strawberries from the Farmer’s Market.
And we’ll bake up some incredibly delicious shortcakes!
Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Zest, Bourbon Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Filling
For this recipe, I’ve included an option in the shortcake to add an egg. The egg will make the shortcake fluffier and more cake-like for those of you who like that texture and a taller shortcake. I prefer the flatter, more “cookie”-like version myself. The photos I took are sans-egg.
1 quart strawberries (about 4 cups sliced)
2tbs baking powder
1 1/2 stick butter (yup) COLD and cut up into small pieces
1c heavy cream + 1/3c heavy cream for basting
1 egg, beaten (optional – add if you like a fluffier consistency but I prefer the more shortbread-cookie consistency)
zest of one lemon (for inside the shortcake) + zest of 1/2 lemon (to top the shortcake)
dusting sugar (Gllllittteerrrr! Or, what I call glitter from the William’s Sonoma sugar collection)
For bourbon whipped cream:
Note: I have one rule about adding alcohol into recipes. Whatever you think is enough: double it. This is already doubled so if you prefer less of a bourbon flavor or no bourbon flavor, you can half the bourbon. Or zero it out (but then everyone will cry and be sad that you made your whipped cream no fun).
1c heavy whipping cream
2tbs powdered sugar (or more if you like things sweeter)
3 tbs Bulleit Bourbon
For cream cheese frosting:
4 oz (1/2 of the small containers) cream cheese
1/4c sugar (or more if you like things sweeter)
First, make magic with strawberries (aka “macerate)
Cut up strawberries into slices (they’ll lay better when you put together the shortcake), mix in sugar. Leave in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to macerate. Maceration is a process whereby the added sugar draws out liquids from the strawberries and softens the fruit. And it’s a fun word to say. Maaaa’-ser-ate!
Then, make sum shortcakes…
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the cut up butter with your fingers until the mix resembles a flaky consistency like oatmeal. Here are some pictures of that…
Next, add in buttermilk, 1 cup cream, zest of 1 lemon and (optional!) egg. Mix until incorporated, but do not overmix, as you’re trying to keep all that buttery flaky goodness intact. Chill for about 30 minutes so that it’s easy to handle. Now you’re going to “roll” out the dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a heavily floured surface. I don’t actually roll, rather, I kind of smoosh and spread it into 1/2 inch thickness. Use a heavily floured biscuit cutter to shape each biscuit. Then, using a silicone basting brush, baste with the remaining 1/3 cup of cream. Lastly, sprinkle with remaining zest of 1/2 lemon and glitter. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown on top.
Here are some fancy pictures of those steps.
While baking, make cream cheese frosting & bourbon whipped cream
Cream cheese frosting – this one’s easy. Microwave cream cheese for 10 seconds to soften. Mix in sugar. Taste and add in sugar to desired amount. Then probably taste some more.
Bourbon whipped cream – also easy! Using an electric mixer, beat cream and powdered sugar on HIGH until soft peaks form and whipped cream holds to the beater. Basically, until it looks like whipped cream. BE CAREFUL. Beat on high, but watch the mixer. Over beating separates the liquids from the fats and creates butter, which is delicious, but not what we’re going for here. Gently mix in the bourbon and (optional) more powdered sugar to taste. After adding the bourbon you may need to mix on high a few seconds longer.
Finally – the assembly! Cut the shortcake in half, spread on cream cheese frosting, arrange strawberries flat, add the other shortcake, more strawberries, whipped cream, drizzle some strawberry juice on top. I mean you know how to do this, right?
Now sit back and enjoy the compliments you will receive from your family & friends for this delicious little treat! And don’t forget – call your mom and thank her for all the things she taught you while you were young.