Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strawberry shortcake

I have to confess that when I think of strawberry shortcake, the first thing that pops to my mind is this:


What can I say? I was a kid in the 80's. Actually, more specifically, I think of these dolls:

Yes, Strawberry Shortcake and her band of smelly friends, each one scented to match the fruit in their name: Huckleberry Pie, Apple Dumpling, Raspberry Tart. My parents were very kind to let me collect these (in retrospect, hideous) dolls, which made my room smell like a bowlful of Jolly Ranchers. Just thinking about it makes me gag a little.

In any case, after these images run through my head I am also reminded of another strawberry shortcake. You know, the dessert. Made in the peak of strawberry season--I think that's now!--it's a lovely, homey, delicious dessert. I decided to make it for Mother's Day, as it is one of my mother's, and her late mother's, favorites.

In the past I've used a shortcake recipe I really liked: sweet and super buttery, somewhere between a cookie and cake texture. I couldn't find it this time around and was relegated to Googling. I ended up picking out this recipe (well, just the biscuit part. Who needs a recipe for sugared berries?)

I have to tell you, although part of it was my fault in overworking the dough, yielding a slightly tough shortcake, I also decided I am not a fan of the biscuit-as-shortcake. It wasn't nearly sweet enough.

The dessert looked pretty, though, topped with overzealously whipped cream (just a few minutes away from butter--yikes!):


My mom seemed to like it, or at least said she did. Perhaps this is only further evidence of her good mothering. The husband wolfed it down in under two minutes, also meaningless, as he is generally Godzilla-like in his consumption of sweets, swallowing cookies and cakes practically whole.

While I wasn't overly pleased with the outcome, it did whet my appetite for more shortcake, of any variety. Berries are wonderful, of course, but in the summer a stone fruit would be perfect. So, I ask you: any good shortcake recipes to pass along? If you do, and you're local, I'll share my efforts.

21 comments:

  1. My mom always made this (around this time of year!) with non-sweet Bisquick quick drop biscuits. She felt there was enough sugar in berries and cream (I was a kid; how could I argue?). Years later I made them for her with biscuits from scratch. I've used various recipes but most recently just use Ina G's scone recipe, the one with egg and cream. Not any sweeter than the recipe you use, but I think I'm used to not-so-sweet shortcakes! - Pete

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  2. Flashback to childhood....I had 4-5 of those smelly dolls and I lived in Singapore. They were everywhere! If my daughter wanted them now, there is no way she would get one!

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  3. Haha, I totally had a few of those Strawberry Shortcake Dolls! I remember Peculiar Purple Pie Man used to freak me out!

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  4. Pete: I do like those scones, they might be better than the biscuit recipe I used. Love to think of your mom making strawberry shortcake :)

    ALY: Wow, these dolls were really a worldwide phenomenon!

    Connie: Yeah, I am not sure I had that one--he freaked me out too!

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  5. Yum! A perfect rendition of shortcake. By the way, if your whipped cream gets over-stiff, just pour in more cream and whip it in until blended. It will loosen up the mixture in a flash. ;)

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  6. I can't remember if I ever had a doll although I'm sure they were big in Malaysia as well. But I got called Strawberry Shortcake at school sometimes, cos I was a little height challenged :) I've never tried to make strawberry shortcake before, but I know I earmarked a Jamie Oliver recipe I wanted to try. If I do, will let you know how it turns out. Glad your Mum enjoyed it.

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  7. CJ: That's a great tip--I will remember it!

    shaz: Aw, that's cute, shaz! Though perhaps you didn't appreciate the nickname...

    Do share the recipe if you ever make it, or maybe I'll just look for it myself.

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  8. i like both kinds of strawberry shortcake, although if i recall correctly, the scent of the doll made me a little bit queasy... :)

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  9. Lord, I'm so old, I've never even heard of those dolls! :)

    My grandmother used to make a divine shortcake. I'll see if I can dig up her recipe. I'm sure I wrote it down. Someplace.

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  10. Relished every delicious bite of the Mother's Day strawberry shortcake you served me! Memories of your Grandmother Ella eating her favorite dessert made your shortcake even sweeter. I think I used the original Sunset recipe for the biscuit, but I also tried out the recipe in my mother's 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook. Both yummy, but I think I liked the Sunset recipe best. Thanks, Sweet Samantha. MOM

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  11. grace: yes, queasy.

    Barbara: I would love to have your grandmother's recipe!

    Mom: So glad you enjoyed it! xoxo

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  12. I love to eat strawberries with angel food cake also! What a bit of history with the dolls.

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  13. I haven't decided which I like better: sweet+sweet, or nonsweet+sweet. Need to do some more taste testing! haha

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  14. agrigirl: ooh, what a great combo!

    Jessica: Yes,this definitely warrants some taste testing :)

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  15. I thought I'd left a comment but I must have surfed away before I did the word recognition thing. Oops. I've never made strawberry shortcake , although it was my nickname at school (being slightly height challenged). There is a Jamie Oliver recipe I'm keen to try though.

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  16. shaz: You are right: you DID leave a comment. But something happened to Blogger one day last week: it wasn't loading for a few hours and when it finally started "working" it had lost some of my recent comments, including yours:( Thanks for coming back!!

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  17. I don't think I've made strawberry shortcake since I used Bisquick to make the cakes. It is an egregious oversight, so thanks for the reminder! This time, though, I'll use something like scone dough for the cakes... :)

    I only had one Strawberry Shortcake doll, her friend Lime Chiffon. (I believe she's the pink and green one in your photo up there.

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  18. camille: oh yes, Lime Chiffon...

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  19. Dogs can eat this strawberry cake?

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  20. Does anyone need strawberry shortcake coloring pages?.Well I make a few collection from a good site.

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