I don't think I'll eat store-bought shortcake again. We've been buying strawberries quite a bit lately when they have been on sale, and a couple of times have gotten the Hostess shortcake pieces. Not anymore. I wanted to try to make it, and found a recipe at allrecipes.com, and made some adjustments based on the reviews I read. Here's what I ended up with:
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. white sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. butter
2/3 c. heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
1.5 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder into a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives. Stir in cream, egg, and lemon zest. On a lightly floured surface, knead for 2 minutes. Roll into balls (a bit smaller than a golf ball) and dip one side in sugar. Flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thick. Place onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with strawberries, whipped cream, milk, ice cream... or name your pleasure.
My notes: the lemon zest is optional, but added a nice flavor in my opinion. The cakes didn't get very golden, so even though they are very light in color, it does not mean they aren't done.
For the topping, I like to have the strawberries be juicy, but the berries I get at the store don't make the juice like the homegrown ones my mom makes at home. So, I made sauce out of them by putting the berries, 1/4 c. water, and some sugar in a small pan on the stove. Once they were soft, I used a masher to make the sauce. Because I had the lemon from the lemon zest, I put a little bit of lemon juice in the strawberry sauce, too. When I put them over the shortcake, I also cut some uncooked, fresh strawberries on top, so we still got the fresh strawberry texture. We also topped with some fresh whipped cream (since I had leftover heavy cream, anyway).
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 Tblsp. powdered sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
Whip the heavy cream until it starts to be able to form peaks; add powdered sugar and vanilla, and continue to whip until firm peaks form. Serve immediately.