July weekends are prefect for all-day hangouts in backyards, on rooftops, and of course, back porches. Elsie and Emma of the always-inspirational A Beautiful Mess hosted their own back porch party with some awesome appetizers and cocktails, and we’re excited to share their recipes throughout the month!
Sweet Pickled Strawberries + Shortcakes
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 stick (8 tablespoons) softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1) Combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until a crumbly paste begins to form (similar to making pie crust). Stir in the flour and salt until a dough ball forms. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to overnight.
2) On a lightly flour surface roll out the dough until 1/2 inch thick. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out shortcakes and lay on a prepared baking sheet. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush over each shortcake.
3) Bake at 350°F for 25-28 minutes, until golden brown. Store in an airtight container for up to two days at room temperature.
Sweet Pickled Strawberries:
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean
6-8 whole peppercorns
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 lbs. fresh strawberries
1) Remove strawberry tops and slice into halves. Place in a large glass container. Add the cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean (scraped of seeds), peppercorns and thyme.
2) In a pot combine the water, vinegar, sugar and vanilla beans (scraped from the pod). Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and pour the hot liquid over the strawberries. Cover and allow this to sit for 4-8 hours.
3) When you are ready to serve up dessert in a small bowl or large glass layer in a shortcake, remove the strawberries from the pickling juice with a slotted spoon and top with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.
Elsie + Emma’s A Beautiful Mess blog is an inspiration destination for everything from craft projects to fashion advice to cocktails. You can follow them on Pinterest and Twitter, and browse their catalog of e-courses.
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