I’ve been dying to try this since stores started teasing me with fresh strawberries a few weeks ago. I will eat strawberries in almost any form, but one of my favorite ways to enjoy this near-perfect fruit is to make a nice strawberry shortcake.
Though I always make mine with fresh strawberries, I tend to use a shortcut and make it with pound cake or the synthetic, Twinkie-tasting cakes they stock next to the strawberries at the grocery stores. While it tastes just fine that way and definitely satisfies my shortcake craving, it’s just not the same as having the real thing. I have been trying to get back into baking and thought it would be fun to start off with something simple like making actual shortcake from scratch – but dessert shot sized. I envisioned my usual parfait-style shots, but with tiny, shot-glass sized shortcake biscuits. I couldn’t help but imagine how cute that would be and just had to try it over the weekend.
I figured if I was making the shortcake from scratch and would be using fresh strawberries, I would go for broke and make my own whipped cream. Cool Whip is fun, but it just didn’t seem right to use it with all this homemade goodness. It may sound like this is a lot of work for dessert shots but it really wasn’t that difficult. Shortcake is ridiculously easy and quick to make: the strawberries take care of themselves, and a few pulses with a hand blender is all it takes to turn cream into fluffy clouds of deliciousness.
I adapted the shortcake recipe from a Southern food website and don’t have much to note except that you can’t overwork your dough. I was very careful with mine, but if you do over-knead your dough you run the risk of having a very solid, hockey-puck-like result. If you’re new to making shortcake from scratch, also remember that you don’t have to make it super-sweet, especially not for a strawberry shortcake recipe. The natural syrup the berries create will be more than enough sweetener for these tiny treats. This shortcake recipe is easily doubled, so if you plan on making a lot of these, you’ll be fine.
Lastly, have fun making these! Use more whipped cream if you can’t get enough of it, or if you’re a straight berry-lover, fill your shot glasses with just one shortcake biscuit and a ton of berries. These would be perfect for upcoming spring parties, bridal showers, or baby showers, or just to keep on hand in the fridge for a quick dessert.
Old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Shots (Makes 12-16 shots; Total Cost per Serving: $0.40-0.50!)
1/2 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 stick (4 T) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to 1/2 c milk
2 c sliced strawberries
1/3 c sugar
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1 T sugar
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine the sliced strawberries & sugar and set aside. The strawberries will react with the sugar to release their own natural syrup, so you really don’t have to do much more with them until it’s time to assemble your shots.
In another large bowl (or food processor if you have one), combine the dry ingredients for the biscuits and mix until combined. Using a hand mixer on low speed, add the butter to the flour mixture and mix until you end up with a coarse meal. Some larger pieces of butter are okay to have in the mix at this point. Add the milk slowly and mix with a fork until the dough begins to moisten. Don’t overmix!
Transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently, maybe 3-4 times, until the dough holds together on its own. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about ½” thick. With a cookie cutter (or the smaller end of your shot glass), cut out tiny little shortcakes. You should be able to make at least 16 1 ½” biscuits. Place the biscuits onto a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with some sugar (if desired) and bake in the oven for 8-11 minutes or until a light golden brown at the top. Remember, ovens vary, so to be on the safe side, check on these after about 8 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
While the shortcake biscuits are baking, make the whipped cream by combining the cream & 1 T sugar in a bowl and whipping until light & fluffy. Be careful not to overwork this either; if you whip too much you’ll end up with something closer to butter than whipped cream!
Once the biscuits are done, allow to cool on a rack for a few minutes. Assemble your dessert shots parfait-style, layering a biscuit, strawberries, and whipped cream in whatever order you wish. If your biscuits are a little big, feel free to cut them to fit your individual glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and more strawberries, and enjoy!