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“choo choo”

Before we get to today’s recipe I want to let you know about a change to the summer schedule. I’ve changed Week 5 to a new format. It is now a “tween/teen” week for 11-16 year-olds and will take place from Monday, June 27-Friday, July 1. There are still six spaces available for that week, so if you are interested, go to the “Classes” page on the left and check it out!

And speaking of kids… This dessert can easily be made “kid-friendly” by substituting 1/2 cup fresh orange juice for the Grand Marnier and Cognac in the compote.

This, the fourth – and final – for a little while, recipe installment in the 80th birthday party theme incorporates two interesting food-related items from 1931.

In 1931 the sidecar was created by Harry MacElhone of Harry’s Bar in Paris during prohibition here in the States. To make the famous drink; pour 1 1/2 -ounces Cognac or Armagnac, 3/4-ounce Grand Marnier or any other strong liqueur, and 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Also in 1931, General Mills introduced Bisquick. According to General Mills, Bisquick was born when one of their sales executives met a train dining car chef who mixed lard and the dry ingredients for biscuits ahead of time. So between the drink named the “sidecar” and the fact that Bisquick was born on a train dining car…. these sweet delights are aptly named.

Sidecar Strawberry Shortcakes

Grand Marnier-Cognac Strawberry Compote
4 pints strawberries, hulled and diced
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1/4 cup Cognac, Armagnac, or brandy
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

2 1/3 cups Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cream, for brushing
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar

Chantilly Cream
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Compote: In a large mixing bowl, combine strawberries, Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Mix gently, taste, and add more sugar if needed. Let stand at room temperature until the juices release, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Biscuits: In a medium bowl, stir together Bisquick mix, milk, sugar, and melted butter until soft dough forms. Drop dough by heaping spoonful-size rounds onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly then brush with cream, sprinkle with sugar-lemon zest mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Chantilly Cream: Chill a mixing bowl and a whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. In the chilled bowl, whisk the cream until it begins to foam and thicken. Add sugar and continue to whisk just until soft peaks form.

Assembly: Cut biscuits in half horizontally and place each bottom half on a wide bowl plate. Divide compote among bowls, spooning strawberries onto biscuit bottoms and pouring some juice into each bowl. Top each shortcake with Chantilly cream and a biscuit top.

Makes about 22

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