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A Healthier Take on Strawberry Shortcake for a Big Group

I want to eat this all day, every day.

It’s no secret that there are a few select foods that I could literally could eat every single day and not get tired of them.  Nachos (and I do), a good burger, and my homemade strawberry shortcake.  My homemade strawberry shortcake is sublime.

I stumbled upon this recipe years ago when I needed to come up with a dessert for like 15 people.  Individual shortcakes would have been way too time-consuming (and quite frankly they’re kind of dry), but I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to use the pounds of strawberries that my mom had.  And then I found the original recipe I’ve adapted here…as my original post mentioned, I’m obsessed.  It’s literally the best.

healthier-strawberry-shortcake-for-a-big-group-nessa

But, as with many recipes, I wanted to see if there was a way to make it just a tad more healthy—cut down on the calories just a bit, but also bringing in some healthier elements.  And the fact is, I might like this version even just a bit more.

I cut the sugar a bit, and it definitely doesn’t lose anything.  And then I’ve substituted half of the flour for whole wheat (or white whole wheat, which is a bit softer), which gives it a great heartiness and also a slightly nutty, warm flavor that I really love.  You can make this ahead of time when feeding a big group and it’s the most moist, fragrant, yummy summer dessert I can think of.  Pair it with fresh strawberries and a bit of homemade cinnamon whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a winner! [Read more…]

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Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

These pancakes look like Cookie Monster.

Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

Once you see it, you can’t un-see it….

strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes strawberries closeup

Last weekend after my insane 4th of July (which involved accidentally hiking over 15 miles and burning a billion calories), I woke up the next morning feeling like an 80-year-old, kind of fell/rolled out of bed, and got my coffee made like usual. But as I sat on the couch my stomach demanded something more. After poking through Pinterest for a hot second, I had talked myself into this glorious breakfast.

Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes single

By all rights, I shouldn’t like these pancakes, because I have this weird hangup about hot and fruit. Fruit shouldn’t be hot. I take fruit crisp out of the oven and put it right in the freezer. Hot fruit is weird. But these were amazing. Fresh, summery strawberries in a golden crispy pancake, drenched in maple syrup. Practically perfect in every way. [Read more…]

Moist Strawberry Shortcake (for a Large Group)

Does this picture not just epitomize summer?

I was back home in Kansas a couple weekends ago with my family for a memorial service, which involved a LOT of people and a LOT of cooking. Friday night we had a smaller get-together (maybe 15 people?), and we needed to figure out a dessert to feed the masses.

playing croquet

Strawberry shortcake is my go-to summer dessert when I have people over. It’s basically perfect—juicy strawberries, just a hint of sugar, fluffy cake, pillowy whipped cream. Healthy. And the easiest thing to throw together for an impromptu get-together.

Super Moist Strawberry Shortcake for a Large Group

moist strawberry shortcake strawberries

While angel food cake will do in a pinch, usually I try to go the extra mile and make traditional homemade shortcakes, kind of scone- or biscuit-like (or like this oat & brown sugar version). They’re not hard to make, but they’re not good for big groups and are not as great when you make them ahead of time—like biscuits, they’re great fresh but get tougher and stale once cool.

Moist Strawberry Shortcake baked

When I started thinking about dessert for a bunch of people (plus getting dinner on the table), I knew that individual shortcakes would be too much trouble. I knew I wanted something that made a lot, and something that would stay moist so we could make it several hours ahead. After quite a bit of digging, I discovered this recipe, and was quite pleased with the results.

Moist Strawberry Shortcake

It literally took less than five minutes to mix  the ingredients together and throw it in the oven, and it was super moist, not too sweet, and basically perfect for soaking up strawberry juices. My brother-in-law gave it his stamp of approval, and finished off the leftovers the next day. While it’s not quite as pretty as the traditional shortcakes, it’s got great texture and is delicious! [Read more…]

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Breakfast Bars

Y’all, I have never once cooked with rhubarb before this recipe. In fact, I could probably count the number of times I’ve had rhubarb on, like, half a hand. Which is creepy when you think about it (half a hand, that is, not rhubarb).

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

There’s something about rhubarb that screams spring…maybe it has a really short seasonality or something? I’m definitely not a rhubarb expert. What I *do* know is that rhubarb is quiiiiiite tart, which is why it’s usually paired with very sweet fruits like strawberries, and takes a little extra sugar to make it edible.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars done

These bars look like a dessert (and they could be, with a few tweaks), but they’re really a healthy, fiber-ful, antioxidant-filled whole grain breakfast treat.

strawberry rhubarb crumb bars rhubarb chopped

The star of these is obviously the strawberries and rhubarb (which is like a girly-looking, super tart celery), but the crust and crumble topping has a lovely light sweetness to it, made hearty by the oats and whole wheat flour.

On a side note, I’ll bet the first person to bite into a rhubarb stalk expecting something either sweet or celery-like later seriously reconsidered their willingness to try new things. It is NOT good raw. I’m guessing it was entertaining to watch, though… [Read more…]

Oat Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcake…and Happy Birthday ‘Merica!

Happy 4th of July! Here in Atlanta, everyone will be swimming…and by swimming, I mean trying to avoid floating away in a flash flood, not hanging out poolside. I will hopefully be avoiding the worst of the rain down on the Gulf Coast, but we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, yeah, back to ‘Merica. You know, apple pie tends to get all the glory when it comes to “American desserts”. But for my money, nothing is more American than strawberry shortcake.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake finished

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake strawberries

First of all, it’s got the colors working in its favor. I mean, just look at it. And it’s got the sweet/cold/creamy combination that apple pie just can’t match. There’s no question that my go-to summer dessert is strawberry shortcake. This one’s a little different, though.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake baked

And what makes it different is the oat flour. I happened across this recipe on A Cozy Kitchen and was immediately intrigued. The oat and brown sugar combo definitely sounded up my alley. I’d also never used oat flour, so I was curious about how it differed. It was kind of amazing actually, because it added this whole new, cool texture to the shortcakes. They were moist and fluffy when they shouldn’t have been (I mean, look how thin I accidentally cut them). They were moist and fluffy the next day, which everyone knows is death to biscuits. So I totally recommend going the extra mile and making the oat flour. It’s so easy, it’s not even an extra mile, really. Not even an extra kilometer. Extra few feet…?
[Read more…]

Best summer dessert ever (Taste of Home’s Fresh Berry Shortcake)

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and we were making our giant, from-scratch dinner, Kristine submitted this recipe as our dessert. I immediately agreed. I looooove strawberry shortcake! It is my go-to dessert for any summer cookout, get-together, bridal shower, etc. It is light and sweet and decently healthy, and just says SUMMER.

Normally, I just buy strawberries, cut them up, toss in a tiny bit of sugar and water, then let them sit in the fridge for awhile (developing a slight syrup). Then I serve with angel food cake and whipped cream. But we were doing everything from scratch, and this is a fancier (though not too much harder) take on strawberry (or any berry) shortcake. It’s from Taste of Home magazine, I’d link to it but they require registration and other nonsense to visit the page.

We got lucky and found some great berries!

[Read more…]

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