Individual Strawberry Shortcake

Sunday, June 9, 2013
We were invited to a no-longer-a-Surprise 30th Birthday party this weekend and I needed to bring some food.  Since I still had a lot of leftover strawberries from our pick-your-own adventure last week, I decided Strawberry Shortcake would be perfect.  I added a little twist to make it individual portions- ideal for a party to eliminate the hassle of a plate & fork! 

I used this recipe for inspiration, but then just used what I already had on hand (that's pretty much how I cook 90% of the time).

Individual Shortcake Ingredients:
2 c. Flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter cold & cubed
2/3 c. Heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take a mini-muffin pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray and then lightly dust bottoms of muffin holes with flour.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Gently mix in cubed butter with your fingers- this should turn into a kind of crumbled mess.  Don't over-mix because you want the butter to stay relatively cold (standard for most pastry recipes).  Next, use your fingers to make a "well" in the center of the dough in the bowl- pour the cream into this space and then slowly fold the dough into the center.  

Use a spatula to scrape the dough from the edges into the center until it was mixed together.  Use your fingers to roll small chunks of dough into meatball-sized balls (again, don't handle too much) and place one ball into each muffin hole.  No need to go crazy here about the perfect size or shape since the ball is going to cook down!  Continue until the dough is gone.  This should fill a 24-count mini tin.  

Now, pop your full muffin tin into the oven and cook until the tops begin to brown (mine took 12 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool. 

Now, to turn your beautiful mini shortcakes into strawberry shortcake, simply cut in half and fill with sliced strawberry and fresh whipped cream!  

I added some fresh mint from my garden and a little lemon zest into the whipped cream.  A mixed berry shortcake with marscapone would be yummy... Or maybe some basil and goat cheese for a savory dessert?  

If you are taking these to a party or bbq, assemble each in a full-sized cupcake wrapper- this makes for an easy grab-and-eat treat.  

You can also do this a few days in advance if timing is a concern.  I made the shortcakes the day before and then assembled right before heading out, popping them in the fridge at the party until it was time for dessert.  You dont want your beautiful desserts to be soggy!

I'm telling you, these were super-easy to make and tasted delicious.  Who would pass up a cute individual-sized dessert?  No one!  

Happy eating! 

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