The Judy and Joy of Strawberry Shortcake




By Judy and Joy, The Twice Baked Twins




Its 1970 and a beautiful summer day on Ridgebrook Drive in our childhood home. We can remember waking up and seeing mom sitting at the breakfast table cutting up strawberries while sipping her morning coffee. Back then mom never used a cutting board, she would use a small paring knife and cut the berries right over the bowl. To this day we still ask her, “why did you do it that way, didn’t you have a cutting board?” Her response was always the same, she said, “This is the way Nana,” her mother,” taught me.”




Do you remember the sponge cake dessert shells in the package? Well…..they are still around. Mom would use them all the time, back then it was the hottest thing around. But as you know, we enjoy doing different variations on Mom’s old classics. So for a twist on the traditional recipe, we decided to caramelize the strawberries using our favorite vanilla sugar* and for the topping  we have flavored the whipped cream with Sambuca.  Of course we just had to change the presentation…..just had to… and chose to bring some of the outside pieces we use to decorate the patio table. We love doing that!

Just look around at the space where you are serving your guests, be creative and bring in something from the surroundings or use an ingredient from the meal to decorate the table!  We used a votive candle holder, filled the little glass votives  for single servings of shortcake to make it easy on the hostess, and create a fabulous presentation.


  It was a hit and a great new way to serve an ol’ classic!
To make this a bit more health conscious, leave out the sponge cake base. Roast the berries without the sugar, swap out the heavy cream for a low fat cream cheese lightened with low fat sour cream or just use your favorite yogurt….remember, we eat with our eyes first!!


For the base:


 spongecake, poundcake or biscuits



 Caramelized Strawberries


 1 lb strawberries, stems removed


1/4-1/2 cup vanilla sugar*


 1/2 t  lemon zest


1/2 t orange zest


½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional


 fresh mint leaves


 almonds, chopped, optional



Sambuca whipped Cream 


1 cup heavy cream


2 teaspoons Sambuca




 *Vanilla Sugar, a Twice Baked Twin favorite- 2 cups white sugar and 1 vanilla bean split. Put all in an air tight container and let the vanilla perfume the sugar for several days before using.


Place the berries on a parchment lined baking sheet and turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle berries with the vanilla sugar and the zests. Broil 7-8 minutes until slightly softened and charred. Remove and cool.


 If using heavy cream, beat cream until soft peaks form and add Sambuca to taste.



Assemble shortcakes:


If using a decorative holder, as we have for individual servings, using a biscuit cutter or a small glass, cut a circle to fit the bottom of the serving piece. Place a few berries, then top with Sambuca cream and repeat until glass is filled. Garnish with fresh mint and chopped almonds….Yum! 



Click here to see us create this great presentation…..




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