Strawberry shortcake has never been my favorite dessert. I’ve always seen it as something that is sort of lacking in the flavor department and I’ve never really given much thought to making it. But my Mom loves it. My husband loves it. The rest of the known world loves it. What’s more, the abundance of strawberries that seem to have made their way into my kitchen over the past week or so has left me no choice but to go ahead and give it some thought. After delving into the worlds of strawberry lemonade, strawberry salad, wildflower salad with berries, strawberry buttermilk cake, and strawberry barbecue sauce, I guess I figured it was time to go the shortcake route for once. “But how,” I asked myself, “how can I twist the classic version into something that is just a little bit more exciting??” The question daunted and haunted me for days …
Kidding. But I did pause for a second or two to ponder the solution, and given that strawberry shortcake is something you see often in the South, I thought I’d just up the Southern ante a little and throw in some pralines to sweeten the deal. There are plenty of shortcake recipes that swap out some of the traditional white flour for almond meal (reduces gluten). So I thought I’d see what would happen if I ground up a bunch of sweet, glazed, gooey, buttery, praline pecans into what I am loosely terming “praline flour” and used those in the shortcake dough.
What ended up happening was something that has altogether morphed my opinion of strawberry shortcake into one that is very positive and much more open-minded. Just by throwing one extra flavor element into the shortcake dough, the entire dessert seemed to come together for me and I no longer found myself “wanting more” from it. These shortcakes sort of taste like a combination of pancakes, cake doughnuts, and a nutty, caramelized shortcake – they taste really good. Shortcakes really take no time to make, are always a crowd pleasing dish, and they’re really pretty in a rustic, messy sort of way. All the boxes for the perfect summer dessert are checked! With that being said, I’m off to have a little shortcake date of my own with my daughter. There’s one left and it has our names written all over it …
Makes 4 servings
1.5 cups flour
1.5 cups ground praline/glazed pecans (the glazed pecans that you find in the nuts section at your grocery store work great here)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable, canola or coconut oil
Sweetened whipped cream
1 pint strawberries, trimmed and sliced
Sugar (to sweeten the berries and to sprinkle on the shortcakes)
Place the berries in a bowl. Mash 1/3 of the strawberries with a fork or potato masher and add back to the rest of the berries. Sweeten with about 1 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste) and set aside.
Whisk, ground pecans, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, 1 egg and oil, then stir in the flour mixture. You’re looking for the texture of drop biscuits here.
Drop scoops of the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 475 degrees F until they are golden brown and done in the middle, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly.
Split the shortcakes and fill with sweetened whipped cream and the strawberries.