Strawberry Shortcakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Birthday shortcake
From the July 2003 issue of Martha Stewart Living; this is my favorite strawberry shortcake recipe, and it makes for a beautiful presentation.

Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes nine 2.5″ or twenty-five 1.5″ shortcakes (IME it makes more than this)
For a deeper flavor, try substituting 1/3 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar for the 1/3 cup granulated sugar in the recipe. Either variation is best served slightly warm.

4 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (I usually cut thinner pieces than halves, and use more than 4 pints. But we like strawberries a lot.)
1/4 C freshly-squeezed lemon juice (freshly squeezed from a plastic lemon works too. :))
1/2 C plus 1/3 C granulated sugar
4 C all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
4.5 t baking powder
1.5 t salt
12 T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 C plus 4 T heavy cream
1 large egg yolk (for the glaze; one batch of glaze will cover at least 2 batches of biscuits)
2 T turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (we just use regular organic sugar)

1. Macerate strawberries: combine berries, lemon juice, and 1/2 C sugar, and let stand for at least 1 hour.
2. Whisk together remaining 1/3 C sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add 2 C plus 2 T cream, and mix just until dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly-floured surface; pat into a 1″-thick square. Using a 2.5″ or 1.5″ round cookie cutter, cut rounds and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (We use a Silpat. It works well.) Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together remaining 2 T cream with egg yolk and brush tops of rounds with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes for small and 15-18 minutes for large. Cool slightly on wire racks, about 15 minutes.
4. Slice shortcakes open with a serrated knife; place bottom halves on serving plates. Add a dollop of whipped cream and the strawberries with their juice, and top off with matching shortcake halves. (We tend to do that for one or two, for beauty, and then the rest we just put the two halves on a plate, topping each with berries and then cream.)

Vanilla Whipped Cream
Makes about 3.5 cups
Look for organic heavy cream. It whips, holds its shape, and tastes better than regular heavy cream does.

2 C organic heavy cream
2 T pure vanilla extract or kirsch
2 T confectioner’s sugar

Chill a mixing bowl. Combine cream, vanilla, and sugar, and beat with a whisk until soft peaks form. Whip to stiff peaks just before serving.

Aebelskivers and Poffertjes

The 'skiver pan!
So for T’s birthday he was given an aebelskiver pan, from our very good friend Kristine. T LOVES aebleskivers, or however it’s spelled, and was beyond thrilled this morning to see them on his plate. The pan came with recipes, which I’m reproducing here since I WILL loseWeight Exercise the piece of paper at some point.

Danish Aebleskiver Recipe
2 C flour
2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cardamom, optional
3 large eggs, separated
2 C buttermilk
3 T melted butter

Mix dry ingredients. Beat egg yolks and add to buttermilk; add dry ingredients and mix, and then add melted butter. Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold in. Melt a little butter in each hole of the pan, over medium heat. Fill each hole 1/2 full and bake in pan, turning once with the point of a skewer, until evenly brown and cooked through. Re-butter holes before refilling. Serve hot, with butter, syrup, applesauce, or jam.
My notes: this is the recipe I used this morning, and it was REALLY TASTY. No cardamom, because we’re out, but I’ll bet it would only enhance the overall flavor. It takes a few tries to get the hang of turning them, but it’s not hard once you figure it out. (And yes, I know, most things aren’t! :))

Dutch Poffertjes, Recipe 1
4.5 oz wheat flour
4.5 oz buckwheat flour
(or just 9 oz wheat flour)
10 oz lukewarm milk
1 egg
1/3 oz yeast
2 T sweet syrup
pinch of salt
2.5 oz melted butter
powdered sugar

Sieve the flour, make a depression in the middle and pour a small portion of the lukewarm milk, which has been mixed with the yeast, into the hole. Sprinkle the salt along the outer edge of the flour, and start making the poffertjes mix, stirring from th center, adding slowly the remaining milk and afterwards the beaten egg and then the syrup. Let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place. Put butter in each hole of the pan and fill 1/2 full with batter. Let poffertjes become light brown and dry at the bottom, and turn, with a small fork, to bake on the other side. Serve HOT. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and put a small lump of butter on top, or put some sweet syrup in the poffertjes instead of sugar and butter.

Dutch Poffertjes, Recipe 2
1 C flour, sifted
1/4 t salt
1 T sugar
1/4 c butter
1 C milk, scalded
3 eggs

Add butter to milk and stir until it melts in a saucepan. Add flour and salt, and beat until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the dough leaves the sides of the pan; remove from stove and blend in sugar and eggs. Shape into small balls and fry until dark brown.

The above recipes were from; the below recipe was from the aebleskiver pan maker.

Great Grandma’s Danish Aebleskiver
2 C flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 C buttermilk
3 eggs, separated
optional: apple slices of other fruit for filling.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add buttermilk and egg yolks. Beat egg whites until light and fluffy and softly peaking; fold into batter.

Heat pan on medium heat, grease each cup (butter, oil, or spray veggie oil), and fill 2/3 full. Cook 1-1.5 minutes per side, until golden brown, and flip using a toothpick. When done, serve warm with a sprinkling or sugar.

Optional: Fill each cup only 1/3 full with batter, place a small piece of fruit in each cup, and cover with an additional 1/3 cup.
Yields: 35-40 aebleskivers

and the info that came with it:

Danish Aebleskiver Pan

A holiday in Denmark often begins with a breakfast of puffy fried cakes called Aebleskiver. The flavorful dough may be fried with a piece of apple inserted into the center or served with apple sauce or apple butter – the cake takes its name from its fondness for apples. The 6.5-inch-diameter cast-iron pan with seven round indentations fits over a stove burner and fries the cakes to golden perfection. If you make aebelskiver frequently, the heavy iron pan will remain seasoned and the cakes will not stick.

Honey Shortcake Biscuits

from The Baker’s Catalogue.

Honey Shortcake Biscuits

These lightly sweetened biscuits are ideal for summer shortcake; they’re especially good warm. My recommendation? Do as they do at the American Legion potluck suppers I used to enjoy when we lived in Maine. Take hot biscuits out of the oven. Immediately split in half, and butter both halves. Top one half with a thin layer of whipped cream (or heavy cream, not sweetened; you just want a little something to soak into the biscuit along with the butter). Spoon on the fruit of your choice, and dollop with sweetened whipped cream. Add the biscuit’s top half, and a bit more whipped cream. The biscuit will crumble into warm, tasty chunks under the onslaught of butter, cream, and fruit. I know, I know. the fat, the calories. Well, consider this the perfect summer indulgence, and have it ONCE. Think of this treat like Christmas: it comes but once a year!

There are two versions of this biscuit: one mainly whole wheat, and one made with all-purpose flour. They’re golden and tasty made with whole wheat, but if you don’t have access to good whole wheat flour (I recommend King Arthur whole wheat flour, of course, but if not King Arthur, be sure to use something fresh and mild-tasting), then go ahead and use all-purpose flour. By the way, the whole wheat version of this recipe comes from our soon-to-be-published new book, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, due out this fall.

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) King Arthur whole wheat flour, white or traditional
1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) cold unsalted butter*
3 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) honey
1 large egg
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk
*Reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Glaze (optional)
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. With a pastry fork or cutter, or using an electric mixer, cut in the butter until the flour mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and honey. Add, all at once, to the flour mixture, and blend lightly and quickly with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and fold the dough over on itself three or four times, until it comes together.

Pat the dough out (or roll very lightly with a rolling pin) into a 9″ square (3/4″-thick). Cut the dough into 16 squares, and transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet.

While this next step is optional, it gives the biscuits a lovely, shiny, tasty crust. In a small microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. The Fiori di Sicilia, while optional, will give the biscuits a lovely citrus-vanilla accent. Place the bowl in the microwave, and microwave very briefly (maybe 15 to 20 seconds), until the glaze is very hot and starting to bubble. Remove it from the microwave, give it a stir, and brush it over the biscuits.

Bake the biscuits for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and serve warm, or cool on a rack. Yield: 16 biscuits.

To make biscuits using all-purpose flour: Substitute 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the whole wheat and bread flours. Reduce the buttermilk to 2/3 cup.

To make biscuits using milk, rather than buttermilk: Increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon, and eliminate the baking soda.

©2006 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Well-done grilled hamburgers

From Cooks Illustrated, who keep sending me emails with recipes, trying to get me to subscribe.


Adding bread and milk to the beef creates burgers that are juicy and tender even when well-done. (In fact, we recommend this method only for burgers that will be cooked to medium-well or well-done.) For cheeseburgers, follow the optional instructions below. (See below for our tastings of presliced cheddar cheese.)

1 large slice good-quality white sandwich
bread, crust removed and discarded,
bread chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
(about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 teaspoon table salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)

2 teaspoons steak sauce, such as A-1

1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck

Vegetable oil for cooking grate

6 ounces sliced cheese, optional

4 rolls or buns

1. Using large chimney starter, ignite 6 quarts charcoal (about 100 briquettes) and burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill; build modified two-level fire by arranging coals to cover half of grill. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate for 5 minutes; scrape grate clean with grill brush. Grill is ready when coals are medium-hot (you can hold your hand 2 inches above grate for 3 to 4 seconds).

2. Meanwhile, mash bread and milk in large bowl with fork until homogeneous (you should have about 1/4 cup). Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and steak sauce.

3. Break up beef into small pieces over bread mixture. Using fork or hands, lightly mix together until mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into 4 equal portions. Gently toss one portion of meat back and forth between hands to form loose ball. Gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patty that measures about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Press center of patty down with fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch thick, creating slight depression in each patty. Repeat with remaining portions of meat.

4. Lightly dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill burgers on hot side of grill, uncovered, until well seared on first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip burgers and continue grilling, about 3 minutes for medium-well or 4 minutes for well-done. (Add cheese, if using, about 2 minutes before reaching desired doneness, covering burgers with disposable aluminum pan to melt cheese.)

Turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. Use grill brush to scrape cooking grate clean. Lightly dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner on high, turn other burner(s) to low. Follow recipe for Well-Done Hamburgers on a Charcoal Grill from step 2, grilling patties with lid down.

Chocolate cake glaze

1/2 c semi-sweet choc chips
1/3 c jam or spread
2 T milk, cream, or water
combine ingred and warm on low heat, stirring constantly until melted. when cake is done, glaze the top right in the cake pan (this was for a sq. 8 or 9″ pan). Also good on bundt cake.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Grilled Barbecued Chicken Pizza
Source: Cooking Light magazine
6 servings (serving size: 1/3 pizza)


2/3 cup barbecue sauce, divided
1 cup (about 6 ounces) roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (such as Tyson), chopped
2 (10-inch) Quick-and-Easy Pizza Crusts
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and chicken in a bowl. Toss well; set aside.

Prepare grill.

Place 1 crust on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes or until puffy and golden. Turn crust, grill-mark side up; spread with 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Top with half of Gouda, chicken mixture, mozzarella, and green onions. Cover; grill 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is lightly browned. Sprinkle with half of cilantro. Repeat with remaining crust and toppings.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooking Light magazine. All rights reserved.

Pizza Crust

Quick-and-Easy Pizza Crust
Source: Cooking Light magazine
2 (10-inch) pizza crusts (serving size: 1 crust)

We call for bread flour because it’s higher in protein than all-purpose flour and makes a firmer, denser crust. You can, however, substitute all-purpose flour.
2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 package quick-rise yeast
3/4 cup warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Stir until mixture forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; divide in half. Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes.

Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on two baking sheets, each sprinkled with 1 tablespoon cornmeal.

Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor, and pulse 2 times or until well-blended. With processor on, slowly add water and oil through food chute; process until dough forms a ball. Process 1 additional minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter; knead 9 to 10 times. Proceed with step 2 in above recipe.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for placing all ingredients except cooking spray and cornmeal into bread pan. Select dough cycle; start bread machine. Remove dough from machine (donot bake). Proceed with step 2 in above recipe.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooking Light magazine. All rights reserved.

Marbled Chocolate Brownies

Marbled Chocolate Brownies
Source: Nestle® Toll House®
Makes about 2 1/4 dozen brownies


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) Nestle Toll House Semisweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons margarine
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat milk


Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Heat 1 1/4 cups sugar, morsels, applesauce and margarine in large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until morsels are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in egg whites.

Add cocoa mixture and vanilla extract; stir well. Spread into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Stir together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar and milk in small bowl. Drop by rounded teaspoon over batter; swirl over surface of batter with back of spoon.

Bake in preheated 325 degrees F oven for 22 to 28 minutes or just until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Serving size = 1 brownie

Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Source: Great Gingerbread
Serves 16

Crisp and creamy – there is something positively paradoxical, but absolutely right about an ice-cream sandwich. In this recipe, the fresh ginger ice cream has a peppery zing that guests find ravishing. This dessert is a favorite at our house when friends come over for a summer barbecue. I often make a variety of ice-cream fillings. Several quick-to-fix recipes in this book are scrumptious when sandwiched between two soft molasses cookies: Val’s Molasses Ice Cream, Cinnamon Ice Cream, and Ginger-Lemon Ice Cream.
For the Cookies:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light or dark molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Ice Cream:
4 cups half and half
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
6 large egg yolks


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar, using an electric mixer, until light and creamy. Beat in the molasses and egg until well blended. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the molasses mixture, and beat until well blended.

With clean hands, form balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter (the size of large walnuts). Roll each ball in a bowl filled with the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Place the dough balls 4 inches apart on the prepared sheet. With the bottom of a custard cup or small bowl, flatten each ball into a 2-inch disk. Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. You should have about 32 cookies. Store or freeze the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in a freezer until ready to use.

In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and sugar over medium-high heat and scald (bring almost a boil). Remove from the heat and let the half-and-half cool to nearly room temperature; otherwise, when the fresh ginger is added, the liquid may curdle. Stir in the grated ginger, cover, and allow to steep overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the grated ginger.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until light yellow. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half. Pour the liquid into the top of a double boiler. Cook over water that has been brought to a boil and reduced to medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and covers the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a container. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Place the mixture in an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze for several hours.

Serving size = 1 sandwich

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Maple Walnut Pie

From Baker’s Catalogue; it’s supposed to be similar to a pecan pie, which I can’t make because we STILL can’t get organic corn syrup.

Maple Walnut Pie
Along with molasses, maple syrup (or sugar) is the sweetener of choice in old-time New England recipes. Native Americans taught the early settlers to tap maple trees in early spring, when their sap begins to run; the settlers, with their metal pots, were able to boil the sap to make syrup, while Native Americans performed the same task by plunging red-hot stones into bark buckets of sap till it thickened and darkened.

Cold nights and warm days make the sap start to flow, and buckets appear on trees all over the landscape. Small producers, those making just enough for family and friends, still harvest sap the traditional way, with metal (or even wooden) taps and buckets. Large producers snake miles of plastic tubing through the woods, tapping into each tree and funneling the sap directly to the sugar shed, bypassing the collection-by-hand process. Once in the shed the sap—a clear, thin liquid, ever so faintly sweet—is boiled down in a large, flat pan till it’s thick and golden, ready to be strained, bottled and paired with pancakes.

Maple walnut pie is a standby of northern New England and we hope you enjoy this wonderful recipe as much as we do.

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (use a heaping 1/4 teaspoon if you’re using unsalted butter)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons water

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups Grade B pure maple syrup*
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup walnut pieces

*We realize many people can’t obtain maple syrup locally, so feel free to substitute supermarket maple-flavored syrup. The flavor won’t be exactly the same, but you’ll still have a delicious pie.

Crust: In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer, a pastry blender or fork, or your fingers, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the fat and flour form a crumbly mixture. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, then sprinkle on just enough water so that you can gather the dough into a cohesive ball.

Flatten the ball of dough into a 1-inch thick circle, and transfer it to a well-floured work surface. Roll it into a 12-inch circle, using as few strokes of the rolling pin as possible; the less you fool around with the crust at this point, the more tender it’ll be when it’s baked.

Transfer the circle of dough to a 9-inch pie plate (a giant spatula works great here), and gently fit it to the pan’s contours. Again, if you push and stretch the dough too much during this stage, it’ll shrink when you put it in the oven. Crimp the edges of the crust.

Line the crust with parchment or waxed paper and fill it partway with pie Lose Weight Exercises or dried beans. Or set a perforated pie pan onto the crust. Bake the crust in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack, remove the pie Lose Weight Exercises and parchment (or perforated pie pan), and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.

Filling: In a large bowl, beat the eggs till well-combined, then add the maple syrup in a slow stream, beating all the time. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla and salt, then the walnuts. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake the pie at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes, until it’s somewhat puffed, bubbling, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The crust will be a deep, golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, and let it cool at least 30 minutes before serving (the filling will sink as it cools; that’s OK). Serve with a gilding of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1/10 of pie, 123g): 396 cal, 17g fat, 5g protein, 12g complex carbohydrates, 43g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 101mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 215mg potassium, 90RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 112mg calcium, 82mg phosphorus.

©2004 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.