…so I love strawberries. I eat them almost daily, usually with Greek yogurt (& blackberries & blueberries, of course). I went through a baking FRENZY with mixed berries, including mixed berry pie…
[side note – SUCH an easy recipe. I had tried to make a gluten free pie crust, and it was a DISASTER. I said screw it, and just bought a double pack of frozen pie crusts. Filling was: 6 cups mixed fresh berries (I used organic frozen mixed berries from Trader Joe’s), 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 pinch ground cinnamon, 1 pinch ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla — all mixed together, and I kept it in the fridge for a day for the juices and spices to mix reeeaaaal good. Pour the berry mix in the pie crust, cover with strips, brush with raw egg, sprinkle with sugar, place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 50 minutes! EASY.)
Anyway, the week later I also made a mixed berry cobbler. Didn’t take a picture, but it was DELICIOUS. I found a pack of “cobbler mix” at the grocery store, followed the directions, and put on top of frozen mixed berries.
So back to the real reason for the post: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE!
At my work, in the therapy department, we do birthdays a little differently. Well, different than I’ve ever seen. Whoever’s birthday is after yours, you are in charge of bringing dessert for that person. Well, the person whose birthday is after mine was a classmate in PT school, so I love celebrating his birthday at work! I usually cover his desk with streamers, and make a HUGE sign, because he is very quiet and would rather quietly eat his cake without anyone knowing it’s his birthday.
Well, it turns out he doesn’t like cake and ice cream! (I know, is he American?)
I emailed his wife the first year I worked with him, and she said he likes fruit desserts, like shortcake. So the first year I brought angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Everyone loved it (they said), but for year #2 I wanted to make it bigger and better!
After Christmas last year I found a trifle dish on clearance for somewhere between $5-10, and although I’d never made a trifle before, I thought it would be fun to play around with making them, because I love the visual aspect of it (you can see the layers). My first experience with the magical trifle was this recipe I found online for a Chocolate Kahlua Trifle. I made it for book club, and then later for a work party, and it was a hit.
I can’t remember what inspired me to make a strawberry shortcake trifle. Probably just the fact that a) I wanted to make a trifle, and b) I knew my co-worker liked strawberry shortcake. Kind of a no-brainer.
My next obstacle was the fact that I’m gluten-free now, and so are 2-3 other co-workers. I wanted us all to have an option. So I thought I’d make the trifle with regular wheat flour shortcakes, and then have a gluten-free option. I’m glad I did it, but man, did it just add more work!
I made the shortbread recipe from the back of the Bisquick box (found here):
- 2 1/3 cup Bisquick mix
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter, softened/melted
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix Bisquick mix, milk, sugar, and butter together until a soft dough forms
- Drop 6 spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
[At this point, the recipe tells you to split them in half, and fill with strawberries and whipped cream. But I knew I wasn’t going to do that, so I just set them aside until I was ready to use them).
Now for the gluten-free shortcakes (recipe found here):
- 2 1/3 cups Bisquick mix
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter/margarine
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease cookie sheet.
- In medium bowl, mix Bisquick mix and sugar.
- Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender.
- Add eggs, milk, and vanilla.
- Drop 6 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (the mix is a lot stickier than the non-gluten-free mix, and because of the ingredients, will STICK onto the cookie sheet if you don’t grease it!)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
I was a little nervous maybe these weren’t cooked all the way, because they looked so different than the version with gluten in them. They were more yellow, bigger, and not as fluffy as the other version. But after tasting them, I knew they were done! I mean, when you go gluten-free, you kinda have to get used to things not tasting exactly like they used to, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find some yummy creations!
I didn’t want to make the trifle the night before, because I didn’t know how soggy the shortcake would get. But of course I had to make sure it tasted good, so I cut the shortcake in half, added some whipped cream and strawberries, and gave some “samples” to the fam (that night my dad and brother were over, plus my husband and our roommate).
The next morning I packed up all of my ingredients and went to work. Just before lunch I loaded up the trifle dish. I had cut up each shortcake into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and sliced the strawberries already, so all I needed to do was layer each ingredient. First shortcake bites, then strawberries, then whipped cream. I made sure to make it a little more visually appealing by lining up the strawberries against the glass (as you can tell, I love the visual!)
(After I took this picture, I realized something was missing)…
I set this baby out on the counter and decorated all around it with Dollar Store goodies (I love embarrassing my co-worker).
IT WAS DEVOURED!!
Oh, and for the GF girls, I set aside some gluten-free shortcakes, with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Everyone was happy 🙂
This is a perfect treat any time of the year, but I think I might play around with this on the 4th of July (throw some blueberries in there for some red, white, and blue).
Oh, and it actually tasted really good after sitting in the fridge for a few hours. The flavor soaked into the shortcake, and it wasn’t soggy in a gross way.