Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Perfect for a Picnic

Before the crazy wave of heat that has plagued Oklahoma for over a month, we were eating most meals on our back porch.

And one evening was just perfect for a dessert picnic:

I love the memory of that lovely evening.

And what is more perfect for a summer dessert picnic than strawberry shortcakes?

I first came across the Bisquick shortcake recipe when we were in North Carolina.  My friend Catherine made them for us one night...and since then, that's been my go-to recipe.  They are the perfect compliment for sweet fresh strawberries and homemade sweetened whipped cream.  I now use the Heart Smart (0 Trans Fat!) Bisquick mix...but I'm also including a similar from-scratch recipe that I found from Elise at Simply Recipes that is just as yummy and not from a box!

Strawberry Shortcakes

1-2 lbs. strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 tsp. vanilla
sugar to taste
Shortcake Biscuits (recipes follow)
mint for garnish

1. Wash and quarter strawberries and place in a bowl.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over strawberries. Stir and allow to macerate, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, pour whipping cream and vanilla into a large bowl.  Add sugar to taste. (I usually use a few teaspoons...but I don't like my whipped cream too sweet.)  Using a mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

3. Place one shortcake biscuit per serving dish.  Split each biscuit in half.  Place a large dollop of whipped cream on the bottom layer of biscuit.  Top with strawberries.  Place top of biscuit over layers and top with more whipped cream and strawberries. Garnish with mint and enjoy!

Bisquick Shortcake Biscuits

2 1/3 cup Bisquick mix
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp. sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
2.  In a medium bowl, mix all four ingredients together until a soft dough forms.
3.  On a greased cookie sheet, drop dough in six large spoonfuls.  The dough should remain unshaped. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden in color.
4.  Allow to cool on rack.

(I often double or triple the recipe, to meet my serving needs.)

Elise's Scratch Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. 
2.  Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour and and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is moistened and just combined; it will look and feel a bit dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.
3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. 
4.  Preheat the oven to 425ºF. 
5.  Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.

And another thing perfect for picnics...plaid crinkly dresses that feel perfect on picnic days and 110 degree days, like yesterday. 

I'm enjoying the photo challenge so far...are you?

 Day 2: What I Wore 


Kasey said...

Looks like you guys had fun on your picnic! And that strawberry shortcake looks delicious!

Mary Jo said...

That is the recipe I always use. The Bisquick one. But I'll have to try the "from scratch" one you posted, too!

The heat wave is here, too. And it feels as if it's never going to leave!

Nevette said...

Hugs and Kisses to all! I can't wait to see you all! Mom


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