Berry Picking + Mason Jar Berry Shortcakes

Growing up one of my favorite things about summertime was eating every meal on the deck. I remember being tasked with cleaning the patio table and chairs with Windex and a roll of paper towels, eagerly awaiting the dessert: strawberry shortcake. We used Bisquick, which is delicious and perfectly acceptable, but now that I am older I make my own shortcake from scratch. I decided to make individual portions in mason jars and voila – the perfect summer treat! If you really want to get fancy, make your own whipped cream, but I have to say, I am a Redi-Whip fan. These are not overly sweet, so feel free to add a tablespoon of sugar to the batter. I sprinkled the tops with sugar, but I think they are sweet enough once you add the berries and whipped cream.

Shortcakes are also a great excuse to pick your own strawberries – I enjoy any activity that involves food and there’s no better way to appreciate your meal than to see where it came from. This handy website (beware: it looks like it’s circa 1991) lists berry farms by state. Over the weekend, I went berry picking at Spencer Farms and while we missed the strawberries, there were plenty of raspberries and blackberries to pick!

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MASON JAR BERRY SHORTCAKES

Recipe is inspired by Alton Brown (I experimented with measurements)

Makes 12 shortcakes. Halve the recipe (1 cup flour, etc) for 6 shortcakes.

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons butter (softened)

1 cup milk

sugar for sprinkling tops of shortcakes

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. I used my KitchenAid mixer, but you can easily mix this by hand. Shape the dough into circles – they don’t have to be perfect since they will be going into the mason jars. Sprinkle the tops of the shortcakes with a little sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Once they have cooled, place a shortcake in the bottom of each mason jar, next add the whipped cream, then the berries and repeat with another shortcake. I tore the larger shortcakes into smaller pieces and layered them, similar to a trifle. You can make these ahead of time and leave them in the refrigerator for the perfect warm weather snack anytime. I especially love that the mason jars are individual servings and each person has their own. It would also be fun to have guests assemble their own at a dinner party. That way they can make it according to their preference – a few berries/a lot of berries, a dollop of whip cream/a can of whip cream.

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OTHER LIFE UPDATES

Winston had his operation last week and is not so happy about it. I ordered the blue pillow collar from Amazon ahead of time so that he didn’t have to have the cone.

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I am a fan of anything monogrammed. Reese Witherspoon says, ‘If it’s not moving, monogram it.’ I wholeheartedly agree. I found these burlap totes on Etsy and had one monogrammed for a friend. Making her happy = making me happy.

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