Category Archives: pastries

The Lazy Man’s Fancy Strawberry Shortcake

I know, this post sounds like an oxymoron. But ever since I’ve discovered this way of making strawberry shortcake, I have been too lazy to make it from scratch, because it passes so well for made-from-scratch. Now, if you’re really truly lazy, you’ll probably end up making pseudo-strawberry-shortcake, which is that thing where you throw some strawberries on top of those store-bought yellow cake shells and then spray on some whipped cream and call it a day. I think that is so far removed from the original thing that I would call it an entirely different name if I could. I call this recipe a “fancy” strawberry shortcake because it looks like the real thing, and has a good texture and taste that you could definitely serve to your guests for a nice occasion. And it does require a little more work than having everything store-bought, but it is so much easier than making the shortcake from scratch. These strawberry shortcakes helped me use up the first of 2 pints of strawberries, a yummy way to eat my fruit indeed!

lazy man's fancy strawberry shortcake

Anyway, I found the recipe on the back of a box of Bisquick, which I bought to make pancakes on lazy weekends. As it turns out, you can just use the biscuit mix to make the shortcakes, which turn out like big biscuits with a golden crunchy outer crust (actual shortcakes are just the sweeter variation of a biscuit). They also look lovely with their crackly round tops. Just cut them open and fill with macerated strawberries and freshly whipped cream, and you have an impressive dessert that was a total no-brainer and put together quickly just before dinner. Yeah… that’s why I have been too lazy to make these from scratch haha.



Lazy Man’s (Bisquick) Fancy Strawberry Shortcake  (makes 6 shortcakes)

Recipe adapted from Bisquick

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar (for macerating strawberries)
  • 2 1/3 cup Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar (for the shortcakes)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Two hours in advance of serving the shortcakes, prepare the strawberries. Wash and hull them, and cut into small chunks, reserving some whole strawberries to decorate the tops of your shortcakes. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and allow to sit at room temperature in a large bowl for 2 hours. Place in refrigerator to chill strawberries if you have time before serving.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tbsp sugar, and melted butter, stirring until a soft dough forms.

3. Spoon dough in 6 scoops onto an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are a golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly on baking sheet.

4. Meanwhile, whip the heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar until the consistency of whipped cream, about 3 minutes.

5. To serve, split open warm shortcakes with a knife, and fill with macerated strawberries and whipped cream. They get a little crumbly when you cut them open, so I like to throw the extra crumbs on top of the whipped cream for decoration. You may save the leftover shortcakes after they have cooled off in an airtight container, and microwave them briefly to warm them up before assembling more shortcakes (my boyfriend’s suggested this and it was great). Delicious and easy!

p.s. You can totally save the juice from the macerated strawberries and use them for other things – drizzled on top of the shortcakes or other desserts, reduced on the stove with the addition of some cornstarch slurry to make a thicker strawberry sauce, or put it into the recipe for a strawberry mousse as I did :)

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Starbucks inspired butterscotch scones with blackberries

A couple of months ago, I was picking up some free pastries being served at a conference when I fell in love with a caramel scone on my plate. In fact it was so good that I decided the next day that I must try and make this same scone. It had this delicious rich buttery toffee flavor and was just right paired with a cup of coffee. Or tea, or even milk. That’s the one thing that a scone always needs, a beverage to go with it because it lacks the moistness and sweetness of a dessert or pastry that stands alone. But with the right cup of goodness on hand, a scone is just wonderful. Don’t make the same mistake as me and eat scones on their own, wondering why they are so dry and lacking in flavor :P

Butterscotch scones with blackberries

When I was visiting my family a while back, I decided to try and make some caramel scones, but not knowing where to start, I decided that a recipe for Starbucks’ caramel scones would be a solid one to try. It requires a food processor for efficiency, but it’s doable with some elbow grease if you are so inclined (which I am not lol). As it turns out, these scones don’t use real caramel, instead they rely on butterscotch chips for their caramel flavor, hence why I named this recipe “butterscotch scones”.  And since berries were in season in June when I made these, I could not resist putting in some delicious fresh blackberries in my scones. If you don’t have fresh berries, some dried cranberries or raisins would do just as well too, I just really like a little fruity tartness to go with the toffee flavor of the scones. The fresh berries also made the scones more moist, which I thought was a plus. I unfortunately over-baked my scones a little with the eggwash on top, so they came out a bit more brown than I would have expected, and I think maybe this has to do with me not following the directions exactly because apparently it wanted you to use 2 layers of baking sheets, oops. And in case you didn’t know, putting cut up blackberries into a batter tints the batter a blueish-black color, which may be a little odd to you… so use blueberries, raspberries, or dried fruit instead if you want more natural-looking scones and don’t want your little brother to pick one up and go “eww…” haha.

Butterscotch scone with blackberries

These Starbucks inspired scones are not quite like the one I tried at the conference, which was a bit sweeter, but these were really good for breakfast or an afternoon snack, especially after I drizzled butterscotch and white chocolate on top. As it turns out, scones are not that hard to make, I just am not very good at making them look as pretty as the ones they sell in stores heh. But these are so much more satisfying than the usual breakfast fare of cereal or granola bars that we eat when we’re in a rush, so it’s totally worth the effort!

Butterscotch scones with blackberries



Butterscotch Scones with Blackberries (makes 16 large scones)

Recipe adapted from Starbucks Secret Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut up into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk or cream (up to 1 cup as needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup blackberries, chopped coarsely
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Additional butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips for drizzled topping

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Spray a large double-layered baking sheet (2 stacked on top of each other) with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a food processor, pulse together flour and cold butter cubes until it comes together in a fine crumb. Remove and place in large mixing bowl.

Pulsed flour and butter

3.  Stir in sugar, salt, and baking powder.

4. Add milk, vanilla, and egg, and stir until just combined (do not over-mix or else scones will be tough). It should be the consistency of a soft dough, you can add more milk (up to 1 cup total) if your batter seems too dry to come together.

5. Gently fold in butterscotch chips and chopped blackberries.

Mixing in butterscotch chips and blackberries

6. Divide batter to make 16 scones, and form them into shapes of your liking on your greased baking sheet. Brush each scone with beaten egg white.

Scones formed on the baking sheet

7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack. (See how they came out much more brown than you’d expect?)

Scones after baking

8. Melt butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips according to package instructions, and drizzle on tops to decorate. Serve with coffee, tea, or milk, and enjoy! :)

Butterscotch scones with blackberries


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