Once upon a time strawberries were seasonal fruit, at their peak flavor in late spring. Now, we can get strawberries any time we want. They might be from Mexico or Chile, but we’ve got them.
A strawberry in winter doesn’t feel right. To me. So what if we can, it doesn’t mean we should. I want strawberries to be a celebration, something special, and I want them sweet and juicy and red. The time is now. Let’s make fresh, seasonal strawberry shortcake with whole wheat cinnamon biscuits.
Brilliant flavorful strawberries are abundant, right now, and they don’t need much enhancement. You might choose to skip agave syrup or honey, but be sure to sprinkle in the strawberry flavor booster, balsamic vinegar.
Vinegar, what? Trust me on this one, or taste for yourself. Bite into a strawberry first, then stir in balsamic and taste again—see what I mean? Flavor enhanced. It’s an old Italian trick.
These whole wheat shortcake biscuits fall into the kinda-good-for-you category. Oil takes the place of butter, and whole wheat pastry flour subs in for white, making them naturally healthier.
Tender, yes, these are cake-like biscuits. Not cake, like the packaged yellowish mini cakes positioned below the strawberry display in grocery stores, not those. These are cake-like drop biscuits, more tender than flaky, with hearty whole wheat flavor. And just a hint of cinnamon.
Do me a favor. Hull your strawberries, that is, pluck out the stem. A paring knife will do the trick, but they make little hulling tools just for that purpose, simple ones and fancy ones. Any veteran Deer Valley baker will confirm that’s my pet peeve–strawberries cut straight across the top with a knife, the beautiful round strawberry top gone to compost with the stem.
You’ve made the biscuits and prepped the strawberries. These shortcakes still need white and creamy. What kind of “cream”, that’s your choice.
You can go the traditional, more decadent route–dollop lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream on your shortcakes.
Or use plain whole yogurt, dolled up with agave syrup and vanilla, like I usually do.
‘Tis the season. Make strawberry shortcakes soon. Oh, and I meant to tell you, whole wheat cinnamon biscuits are delightful for breakfast, with jam, jelly or marmalade.
I am grateful for strawberries in May. What are you grateful for? Like me and tell me on Facebook, or here, in the comment section below the recipe.
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These strawberry shortcakes will be the hit of your party. All of the ingredients can be prepared earlier in the day. Just assemble when it's dessert time!
- Shortcake biscuits:
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Real Salt
- ¼ cup canola or sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cane sugar, optional, for sprinkling on shortcakes before baking
- 2 (8-ounce) packages strawberries
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Your choice of “cream”: Yogurt, cashew cream or whipped cream. (See notes)
- Bake the biscuits:
- Preheat oven to 425 °F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with a silicone baking mat, parchment paper, or by rubbing a light coat of oil.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the almond milk, agave syrup and vanilla.
- With a fork, stir the oil in the flour mixture until it is crumbly. If you need to, get in there with your fingers. Immediately stir in the almond milk mixture, continuing to stir until everything comes together in a sticky dough.
- Drop rough balls of dough, ¼ cup each, onto the prepared pan, leaving about 2 inches between each mound. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired, and/or with a pinch of cinnamon.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Cool.
- Prepare the strawberries:
- Wash and hull the berries. Cut them into quarters. Stir in the agave syrup and balsamic vinegar. Let sit 20 minutes or so to develop the juices.
- To serve:
- Cut the shortcakes in half horizontally.
- Place the bottom half of each shortcake on a plate.
- Spoon 1/3 cup or so of the strawberries on top.
- Add a dollop of cream, which kind, your choice.
- Lean the shortcake top at a jaunty angle on top of the cream and fruit.
- I unknowingly picked a look-alike almond coconut milk from the shelf thinking it was almond milk. The coconut milk added a subtle sweetness--I’d make that mistake again.
- Dollop lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream on your shortcakes. Or use plain whole yogurt, dolled up with agave syrup and vanilla, like I usually do. For vegans, make cashew cream. Remember, cashew cream needs to be made a day ahead.