Monday, June 30, 2014

Mini Berry Shortcakes

 This recipe was originally called Bite-Sized Strawberry Shortcakes, (from a website called I Heart Naptime) but there were 2 things wrong with that title. Well, for one, I was using raspberries and blueberries, not strawberries. And for two, well, they didn't exactly turn out to be 'bite-sized." So I decided to change the name, just to suit my own purpose. But regardless of what you decide to call them, you simply must try them! They literally only take a few minutes to stir together, and they only bake for 10 minutes! How easy is that? 
 It's basically just a sweet biscuit dough dropped into your mini muffin tin and quickly baked in a really hot oven. Top each one with a star of whipped cream, some fresh berries, and boom, there's your dessert for July 4th! I think the next time I make them, I'll do half as much batter in twice as many mini muffin cups. Then they really will be bite-sized!
Better make extra! They're gonna disappear in no time flat!

2 c. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, diced
1 egg
milk (see below for amount)

1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fresh berries

 Preheat oven to 450º.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to blend. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or forks until butter is about the size of peas. Crack egg into a measuring cup and add milk to come to the 3/4 cup line. Whisk, then pour over flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to mix gently until the flour is just moistened. The mixture should be very lumpy.
Spoon a tablespoon or two of the batter into the cups of a mini muffin pan. Flatten the tops a bit with the back of a spoon or fingertips.
Bake 10 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly in pan then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
Right before serving, top each mini shortcake with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries.

Use any kinds of berries you like! Strawberries, blackberries, all good!
 Instead of cutting the butter in with forks or a pastry cutter, I placed the dry ingredients in a food processor and then gave it a few pulses to cut the butter in. MUCH quicker! Then I transferred it to a mixing bowl to stir the milk/egg mixture in by hand.I also sprayed my mini muffin pan with baking spray. Why take chances?
 I'm sure this recipe was intended to be "not too sweet", but if I'm gonna have a dessert, it's gonna be sweet enough! So I added a little more than 1/4 cup sugar to the batter, sprinkled the tops of each shortcake with sugar before putting the pan in the oven, and then added a few extra tablespoons of sugar to the cream before whipping it up. More is more!

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