A Taste of Summer (in January?)

I want to start out by saying that I love winter.  The cold, the snow, the new birds that migrate to my bird feeders, and especially the warm comfort foods.  Weird, I know.  People never fail to tell me.  Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have a summer surprise on one of those cold, winter days.  And since we have recently entered an extra cold snap, I think that it is time for a little taste of summer.  How about you?

Summer brings to mind warm sunshine, butterflies, lemonade, and, for me, berries.  Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, take your pick.  They are all super tasty!  And one of my family’s favorite summer treats is berries and shortcake!  With that in mind, and the extra bonus of blueberries being on sale (YAY!) at our local grocery store, I thought I’d share a blueberry shortcake recipe with you!

Blueberry Shortcake Cups

makes 5-6 servings, depending on serving dish size

Blueberry Topping

In a 2 quart saucepan add:

1 1/2 pints (about 3 cups) fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup water

Cook over medium heat.  Crush some berries as you stir.  The juices will be a bit milky at first.  Once the mixture begins to heat it will clear up and have more of a purple cast to it.  Boil until thickened; approximately 1 minute.

It should look something like this:

IMG_0353

Allow the topping to cool before using in this recipe.  FYI – This topping is amazing warm on waffles or pancakes, or cold on ice cream.  The possibilities are scrumptiously endless 😉

Shortcake

IMG_0355

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup hot water

1 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp lemon extract

Beat eggs in a medium bowl on high speed  until they thicken and become a pale yellow.  Gradually beat in the sugar on a lower speed.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed.  Gradually add water, almond, and vanilla extract (low speed).  Pour into a greased/floured 8×8 pan.  Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.

For the next step you will need tall dessert dishes (mugs, or anything you have on hand)  This is what I used:

IMG_0356

… They were my great-aunt’s, always fun to use old pieces 🙂 ….

Now, flip the cake out onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.

Begin layering ingredients, alternating topping & cake, until glasses are full.  Cover, and refrigerate before serving (it tastes waaay better when it’s cold!)

IMG_0359

My family dug into them before I was able to take another picture, but do top with whipped cream before serving!Enjoy!

Do you enjoy any “summer time” desserts during the winter?  What are they?

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