Fresh Strawberry Pie with Cardamom Shortbread Crust

Fresh Strawberry Pie with an Easy Cardamom Shortbread Crust & Fresh Cardamom Whipped Cream!

I just can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to our local strawberry season.  I become obsessed for the entire duration.  I wake up dreaming of berries and I go to bed with stained fingers.  No joke!

Maybe it’s the long-time city kid in me, but I just can’t believe that I get to drive 5 minutes to the most gorgeous berry farm and grab freshly picked berries all summer long.  You guys!  It is just bliss!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

We can pick our own berries if we are feeling fiesty, but usually I just grab a couple of already picked flats and enjoy the fruits of my non-labor.  With 3 little kids always in tow, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Now, we all love berries, so we usually don’t get much farther than eating the berries as fast as we can, with a few batches of freezer jam thrown in for good measure.  But this morning I was hit with a bit of nostalgia and I just couldn’t resist whipping up a fresh strawberry pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

Does anyone else remember the days of Marie Callender’s restaurants?  (Are they still around at all?!)  I don’t remember much about the food, but I do remember that I lived for their fresh strawberry pie when it came into season and I would just dream of the chance to go eat there and have a slice.  I was never disappointed with that slice of amazing strawberry goodness, and this morning I couldn’t figure out why I had never made one myself?!

I threw together a quick press-in-the-pan shortbread crust, and an easy glaze made out of my homemade strawberry freezer jam.  Adding a touch of cardamom was a given, as my norwegian blood can never get enough, but if you are not a cardamom fan, feel free to leave it out.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

This pie is best served the day it’s made.  I can’t tell you how it is on day two, it will never last that long around this house!

(My pie philosophy is: “If you’re going to make a pie, you might as well make two!” which is why this recipe makes two deep-dish pies.  You could even make this in one big 9×13″ pan if you’d like!  As I’m sure you can guess, fresh strawberry pie is not the easiest thing to slice and serve, but even with a mess of a plate, I can promise that your tastebuds and your loved ones will be happy!)

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

Also, the amount of strawberries needed is just an estimate.  Use enough to fill your pie crust.  That’s what matters!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Easy Shortbread Crust and Cardamom Whipped Cream

Yield: 2 deep-dish pies, or one 9x13" 'slab' pie

Ingredients

    for the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • for the pie:
  • 4 lbs fresh ripe strawberries, washed & stems removed
  • 1 cup strawberry freezer jam
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions

  1. In a large mixer bowl, mix together the butter, flour and powdered sugar for the crust until just combined. Divide the mixture in half and press each half into the bottom and up the sides of a deep-dish pie plate. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the crusts for 12-18 minutes, until golden, and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  3. When the crusts are cool, in a large bowl, whisk together the strawberry jam and water until smooth. Dump in the strawberries and toss very gently (use your hands!) to coat all the berries. Arrange them evenly into the two cooled pie crusts.
  4. Chill in the fridge while you make the whipped cream, and up to several hours, before serving!
  5. To whip the cream, whisk together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and cardamom in a cold bowl until very light and fluffy. Chill until you are ready to serve!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/06/fresh-strawberry-pie-with-a-cardamom-shortbread-crust.html

Easy, Festive 5-Minute Fudge, Easter Style

So, you know when you are trying to cut back on your coffee-intake (for the sake of your thyroid!) and you find a cupboard full of easter candy, because you have a compulsion to buy cute holiday candies just because they’re so darn cute and all of a sudden you just have to make something with those adorable candy eggs or else you will eat the whole bag right now?  (Maybe I should just go have that cup of coffee after all.)

Yeah that.  That made this happen.  Easy, perfectly creamy, 5-minute fudge, topped with chopped up easter colored, candy coated malted eggs.   (Also known as Robin’s Eggs, but you know…)

easy, festive 5-minute fudge | Sweet Anna's

You should probably try this soon.  I’m pretty sure you’ve got these simple ingredients in your cupboard/fridge and if you’re at all like me you’ve got some easter candy that needs a good use.  You can top these with any cute easter candy you want!  M&Ms, peanut butter cups, cadbury creme eggs anyone?!

Of course you could also just make this plain, but seriously…  why would you even do that?  (Oh right, you might be just like my husband, who doesn’t like it when I “contaminate” his fudge!  If that’s you…  go ahead.  I’ll look the other way!)

However you top it, do it soon.  And then eat it warm with a spoon (ok, ok, or let it chill like the rule follower you are!) and make it again for easter!

easy, festive 5-minute fudge | Sweet Anna's

Easy, Festive 5-Minute Fudge, Easter Style

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup mini-marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped easter candies

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt together, melting and stirring occasionally over medium heat until the mixture just comes to a boil. Set a timer for 5 minutes (hence the 5-minute-fudge name!) and boil the mixture, stirring constantly for the 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallows and vanilla, stirring until the marshmallows have melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Spread this mixture into a buttered 8" square baking dish and let sit for about 5 minutes, before sprinkling the easter candies onto the top and pressing down gently.
  4. Let cool completely before cutting into small squares and serving. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/03/easy-festive-5-minute-fudge-easter-style.html

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Well now, isn’t that just a lovely thought?  Cinnamon & Sugar in a butter cookie?  Why didn’t I think of that before!?

The cookie uses my favorite buttery, dense norwegian shortbread base, with a lace of cinnamon and a dusting of cinnamon-sugar on top.  And the best part – there are only 6 ingredients, that I’m almost positive you have in your kitchen right now.  All good things, right?

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Yes, I know it’s similar in concept to a Snickerdoodle, but not being a huge Snickerdoodle fan myself, I am much happier with these.

Give these a try the next time you are craving a cinnamony, buttery treat but yet you just don’t feel like getting your hands dirty.  (Does anyone else get tired of the mess of rolling cookies in sugar, like I do?!) These are a much quicker, much butterier (Is that a word?!?), and much cleaner cookie to make.

Amen, amen, amen!

Oh you guys.  I wish you could just SMELL these cookies.  I really do.  Even if you can’t eat them (diet, allergies?!) please just make them to enjoy the achingly cozy aroma (and then give them to your friends or neighbors!).

All the glorious smells of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, in a fraction of the time and effort.  Make these once and you’ll make them again and again.  I promise!

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Yield: makes over 4 dozen medium cookies

Ingredients

    for the dough:
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/4 cups flour
  • for dusting, stir together:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the egg, salt and cinnamon until well mixed.

Mix in the flour, on low speed, until just well combined. Scoop the dough (using a spoon, or a medium pastry scoop) onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, at least an inch apart.

Press the balls of dough down to about 1/4" or so thickness with a fork dipped in cold water. After you have pressed down all the dough on a cookie sheet, go back and generously sprinkle each cookie with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set and very lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the freezer for several weeks!

http://sweetannas.com/2014/12/cinnamon-sugar-butter-cookies.html