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Four Fun Ideas for Summer Strawberry Shortcake
Few things in life taste as good as a piece of strawberry shortcake on a hot summer day. If you are like most people, you probably use angel food cake or those miniature shortcake cups from the grocery store. We always used Bisquick to make the shortcake part, and topped the shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream. The following ideas provide new and fun ways to use strawberry shortcake on those hot days.
Baby Food Jars
A fun way to present individual strawberry shortcakes is with baby food jars. Clean the jars and let dry overnight. Cut a homemade or store bought angel food cake into several layers, making each layer at least half as tall as the baby food jars or slightly smaller. Press one of the jars into the cake, making a circle of cake the same size as the jar. Push the cake into the bottom of the jar and top with a layer of strawberries and whipped cream. Keep stacking the layers of cake, strawberries and whipped cream until you reach the top of the jar.
You can also use this strawberry shortcake idea with cubes of cake instead of solid layers. Cut the cake into small cubes and stack as described. If you don't like the taste of angel food cake, try using white or yellow cake instead. Present the jars as-is or tie a small ribbon around the top of each jar.
Strawberry Shortcake Stacks
Strawberry shortcake stacks are another fun way to present ordinary strawberry shortcake. Slice your strawberries into thin slices and add a small amount of sugar to the top. Let the strawberries sit for a few hours to sweeten the berries and get rid of the excess juice. Cover a bowl with a piece of cheesecloth and pour the strawberries over the top. The excess juice drips into the bottom of the bowl, leaving behind the sweetened berries.
Use bite size slices of angel food cake, white cake, sweetened biscuits, savory biscuits or sugar cookies as the base for the strawberry shortcakes. Place your base on a platter and top with one or two slices of the strawberries. Cover the strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream. Repeat the process until you have two layers of each topping. Slide a skewer or toothpick through the top, securing the pieces together. For an extra touch, serve the shortcakes with extra whipped cream or chocolate sauce for dipping.
Dipped strawberry shortcakes are the perfect small treat. For this one, you need vanilla candy coating, strawberries, marshmallows, wood skewers and angel food cake. Melt the vanilla coating in the microwave or a double boiler as you cut the angel wood cake into small chunks. Hull the berries, removing the green leaves. Thread a single piece of cake onto a wood skewer and top with a marshmallow and one of the strawberries. Cut the marshmallows into smaller pieces if they look too big. Dip the skewers into the coating, covering each piece with the coating.
The marshmallow mimics the taste of the whipped cream in an ordinary strawberry shortcake. You can also have fun with this one by adding new ingredients or changing the recipe. Make chocolate shortcakes by replacing the vanilla coating with chocolate flavored coating. Or, dip plain strawberries into vanilla or chocolate coating and crumble graham cracker crumbs over the top. The crumbs still to the still-wet coating, mimicking the taste of the cake.
Strawberry shortcake kabobs are another twist on the classic shortcake recipe. Cut your favorite cake into small chunks. Wash and dry your strawberries, and remove any green parts or leaves from the berries. Alternate pieces of cake and strawberries onto woo skewers and serve with fresh whipped cream for dipping.
If you want something a little different, use chocolate cake in place of the traditional cake. You can also thread other types of fruit onto the kabobs, adding kiwis or bananas to the berries. I like to drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top or serve the kabobs with chocolate sauce for dipping.