sweet strawberry buttermilk biscuits

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My name is Jessa. I have an infatuation with the American South. With grandmas sitting on porches. With surprise sercies. With sunrises hitting flour-dusted wooden tables. And, perhaps most notably, I have an infatuation turned obsession with biscuits.

This is the time I made strawberry ones.

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sweet strawberry buttermilk biscuits
prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 20 minutes yield: 4-8 biscuits (depending on how big you cut them)
ingredients
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup smashed, stemmed strawberries (about 5 berries)
2 tbsp unrefined cane sugar
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
honey

create
Preheat oven to 400º. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and  salt. Use your fingers to crumble the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
In another bowl, use a potato masher or fork to mash the strawberries until they are mostly liquified (leave a few small chunks). Mix the sugar into the smashed strawberries and let sit for five minutes. Add the buttermilk to the strawberries and stir to combine.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the strawberry mixture. Mix with a spoon until just combined and use your hands to gather all of the flour.
Onto a floured surface, turn the dough out and knead (gently) until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Press the dough into a 1 inch thick circle and use a a biscuit cutter or something circular to press straight down into the dough and twist out the biscuits. Reshape the scraps to make more biscuits.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment so they just touch each other. Bake until they are lightly golden and tall, about 20 minutes.
Serve warm with a drizzle of honey.

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strawberry chocolate cookies

I warned you all. Since strawberries are in season and since they are one of my favorite foods and since I have a huge bucket of them in my fridge, you guys get the grunt of my situation: strawberry recipes. I did a strawberry lemonade and strawberry buttercream recipe a few weeks back and it seems that the list may just keep right on growin’. Everybody okay with this?

…Bueller?…Bueller?…

…okay, then onto more strawberry recipes it is.

This cookie is an adaptation of a Martha recipe I found a while back with a really great chocolatey, moist, chewy, non-cakey consistency. Pause. Does anyone really like cakey cookies? I’ve not met one person who is like, “YES, this cookie is dry and puffy. Now get me some milk.” If I want cake, I’m gonna eat some cake, but when I want a cookie, I want a little crunch on the outside with a really soft inside. This chocolate cookie is one of those cookies.

Strawberries! Chocolate! Chewiness! With these powers combined, this cookie is awesome.

strawberry chocolate cookies
adapted from Martha’s Outrageous Chocolate Cookies
yield: 2 dozen cookies prep time: 20 minutes cook time: 15 minutes
ingredients
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup diced strawberries, stems removed

create
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high-speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in diced strawberries.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, about 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: If the batter appears thin, it’s okay. It should look more like brownie batter rather than cookie dough.

State climate update: The 18 skeeter bites on my ankles can attest to the fact that summer has plopped itself down and is hastily soaking up any welcome it’s been given here in SC. Those almost blue blueberries out in my front yard can attest to that, too. It’s cool, though. I think I can accept SC’s quirks and personality traits and letting strawberry season and, basically, every other season come a wee early this year. That broiling heat, confidently I say, will be around for a while, so South Carolinians, brace yourselves. Let’s get through it by eating fresh and tasty food and by never being more than two feet away from a glass of glorious sweet, sweet tea.

strawberry buttercream

Do I realize I just did a buttercream recipe several weeks ago? Mmhmm. Big whoop, right? It’s icing. Plus, my brother’s birthday was yesterday. Sniff, sniff, he’s no longer a teenager. The big two oh. It’s weird, you know? I totally remember the Power Ranger phase, the skateboarding phase, the long hair phase, the Barney phase. And now he’s an adult. Phew. Movin’ on up.

Remember those big ol’ South Carolina strawberries I was telling you about a little bit ago? They are coming back into play for this recipe. I used some berries from Lowrys, SC and they are it. This buttercream is sweet, happy, and I’m gonna say addicting, just because I love strawberries and I couldn’t stop eating it from the tip of the piping bag. Oh, please don’t tell my family. I don’t have germs, hehh.

My sister told me this cake looked too girly. Sorry, brother. We’re cool, though, right?

strawberry buttercream
yield: enough for a 3 layer cake or 24 cupcakes time: 10 minutes
ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup strawberries, puréed
4 cups unrefined powdered sugar

create
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the strawberry purée and mix until thoroughly combined. While the mixer is running on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until it’s incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Adjust the powdered sugar to create the right consistency, if needed. The buttercream should be pliable, but firm enough to hold a peak.

Happy Birthday, Joey! Here’s to lots more years of siblinghood!

fizzy raspberry strawberry lemonade

 

 

Y’all! Guess what? It’s time for strawberries in South Carolina! Of course, you can find them year-round, both conventional and organic, but you know what we say around these parts: local rules. And, by golly, pretty soon those berries are gonna be sproutin’ up all over the state. We’re not talkin’ a little-pink-mostly-white-sour berries. We’re talkin’ red, meaty, totally juicy berries that leave your forearms and tee shirts permanently tainted pink. And those berries, just like this sparkling, tart, cool drink, scream, “Make room for me on your picnic table. It’s cookout time.”

fizzy raspberry strawberry lemonade
yield: 8 servings prep time: 15 minutes
ingredients
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups natural cane sugar
6 oz raspberries
16 oz strawberries, stems removed
1 25.3 oz bottle sparkling mineral water

create
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and sugar. Mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Using a blender, pulse the raspberries and strawberries together until completely smooth. Set a sieve over a large mixing bowl. Pour the berry mixture into the sieve and scrape and mash with a rubber spatula until most of the liquid has separated itself into the bowl. It will take several minutes. Discard the seedy remains.
In a pitcher, combine the lemon juice mixture, berry juice, and sparkling water. Stir to combine. Serve over ice.

Enjoy this while the grill is burning, while people are surrounding, while you’re fighting the inevitable skeeters, and while you’re relaxing at dusk into the nighttime.

I’ll leave you with this amateur, yet appropriate, joke to feed your current inner sillies:

What do you call strawberries in five o’clock traffic?
Strawberry jam.

Oh man.