“Wow,” was the first word out of my mouth after I had my first bite of a Star Spangled Shortcake. What an awesome treat! It’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet, creamy, and crunchy. If you’ve never eaten shortcakes, you are really missing out.
To me, shortcakes are like the combination of homemade buttery biscuits with the added sweetness and crunch of sprinkled sugar on top. It’s almost perfect by itself, even without the fruit and whipped cream on top. In fact, my three kids decided to treat themselves to shortcakes before the desserts were even finished. But add the fresh berries and cream, and it’s a star-spangled dessert made in heaven!
Traditionally, we have watermelon or fruit salad for dessert on the 4th of July. It’s just easy to serve and goes nicely with a barbeque dinner. However, this year we were hoping to make something a little different. For not too much more effort, we can make treats that are both delicious and patriotic at the same time! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 4th of July…baking with my girls, teaching them about the importance of the day, and enjoying star-spangled goodness!
To begin, I heat my oven to 450°F. Next, using a whisk, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. By whisking the dry ingredients together first, you are sifting them and creating lighter, more airy dough.
Next, cut in the cold butter with pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. To make it a little bit easier, you may want to chop the stick of butter up into smaller pieces before trying to use the pastry blender.
Now, stir in the milk with a fork until the mixture forms a ball.
Knead the dough 5 times on a lightly floured surface until it’s smooth.
On a lightly-floured surface, roll the dough into a 9x6-inch rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Then, cut out 6 shortcakes with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter. To make kid-sized treats, I used a smaller cutter.
Next, place the star cut-outs onto an ungreased baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. To ensure that the shortcakes wouldn’t stick to the baking sheet, I used a sheet of parchment paper underneath; it also makes for easier cleanup!
Bake the shortcakes for 9 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. If making the smaller, bite-sized stars, the time will be closer to 9 minutes. Allow the stars to cool slightly. Be careful, and keep a watchful eye out. The warm shortcakes make excellent treats all by themselves!
Next, split each star in half. Be gentle, and try not to break the edges off. If you’re assembling the treats later in the day, you can put the halves into a sealed container to store them for later.
Meanwhile, combine the strawberries, blueberries and 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl, then set it aside until you’re ready to assemble the treats. If it’s going to be a few hours, then you can cover the fruit with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble.
Now, beat the whipping cream in a small bowl until stiff peaks form.
Gently stir orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice into the whipped cream. It’s a great way to add a nice, subtle citrus flavor to the cream. Yummy!
To serve, place bottom of shortcake on an individual dessert plate; top with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream and 1/3 cup fruit. Feel free to add more cream or fruit to suit your taste. The more the better for me!
Top the treat with the remaining half of the shortcake, and add a dollop of whipped cream. If you like, you can garnish with a star fruit or extra berries. Repeat the process for each of the remaining shortcakes. Enjoy!
These shortcakes are a perfect patriotic dessert. You, too, should try this recipe Star Spangled Shortcakes. Then rate and review this recipe or leave a comment here about a favorite July 4th dessert like this one.
Come back on Thursday and learn about another fantastic dessert to serve a crowd on the 4th.
Have a star spangled holiday!