Whitesburg KY

Try this dessert!

Cinnamon Biscuit Berry Shortcakes (AP Photo)

Cinnamon Biscuit Berry Shortcakes (AP Photo)

Strawberry shortcake has always been a favorite dessert of mine — it reminds me of the carefree days of summer at my grandparent’s house, where we’d buy strawberries by the pound and eat them in just about everything.

Our family always preferred the biscuit-shortcake to the spongecake variety, which was too sweet and ruined the strawberries, according to my grandma. I think she was right — a light fluffy biscuit with just a touch of sweetness and enough heft to handle seriously juicy berries is the ticket to perfect shortcake.

Since we eat shortcake all summer, I’ve created a recipe that includes a little extra fiber and protein by subbing out half the white flour with whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour is particularly great for baked goods if you happen to have some). But with the husk and germ of the wheat comes a slighter darker, nuttier color, which isn’t quite what children may be craving for dessert. My easy solution: embrace the beautiful brown color and enhance it with a little cinnamon.

Suddenly, wheaty biscuits are transformed into cinnamon shortbread in the eyes of my kiddos. And the flaky texture comes from just a little bit of butter, while low-fat plain Greek yogurt subs in for the traditional heavy cream and buttermilk. The berries are made perfectly tangy and sweet with some balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, an homage to my grandma who used apple cider vinegar in just about everything, including her berries for shortcake. Balsamic is a little sweeter and more balanced than apple cider vinegar, so it’s a nice upgrade.

The final touches of mint and orange zest add nuanced flavor, so the berries shine through without a ton of extra sugar. And instead of whipped cream, I mix up a luscious vanilla cream from part-skim ricotta and Greek yogurt. We’ll be eating this recipe straight through to fall.

Cinnamon Biscuit
Berry Shortcakes
Start to Finish: 45 minutes Yield: 6 servings

For the berries:
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or apple
cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon brown
2 cups raspberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries 1 teaspoon grated orange
2 teaspoons chopped
fresh mint

For the shortcake biscuits:
1-1/4 cup flour – half
whole wheat, half all-purpose 2-1/2 teaspoons baking
1/4 teaspoon baking
2 tablespoons sugar, plus
more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup low-fat plain
Greek yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten, divided in half

For the creamy filling:
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta
3 tablespoons low-fat
plain Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon brown

Preheat the oven to 400.
In a medium bowl, toss
together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, orange
zest and mint and place
in refrigerator while you
make the biscuits. Place the
flour, baking powder, baking
soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small food processor. Pulse once or twice to
mix the dry ingredients. Add
the butter, and pulse 7 or 8
times until mixture looks
like wet sand.
Add half the egg into the
yogurt and stir to combine,
and then pour on top of
the flour. Process until the
dough comes together in a
large clump, about 30 seconds. Empty the dough onto
the counter and form into
a 6” disk. Slice the dough
into 6 wedges and place on
a baking sheet lined with
Brush lightly with a little
remaining beaten egg and
sprinkle with a little sugar
on top. Bake until golden
brown and fluffy, about 13-
15 minutes. Remove from
the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the
cream: in a small bowl,
mix together the ricotta
cheese, yogurt, vanilla and
brown sugar until smooth.
Chill until ready to serve.
To serve, split the biscuits
in half, spoon some ricotta
cream on the bottom half,
top with macerated berries
and the top biscuit half.
(Nutrition information
per serving: 255 calories; 80
calories from fat; 9 g fat (5
g saturated; X g trans fats);
58 mg cholesterol; 422 mg
sodium; 36 g carbohydrate;
4 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 9 g

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