Juicy strawberries, crumbled shortbread cookies and an easy almond-infused mascarpone cream are the makings for this easy, delicious summer dessert. It’s our new favorite way to eat strawberries!
While I’ve really taken to baking in the last couple of years, I still find it quite daunting to develop cake, cookie and muffin recipes myself. Aside from the occasional healthy muffin or fancy cupcake, I tend to stick to recipes I know will work out from other talented confectionary cooks, like say for instance, Christina’s perfect chocolate chip cookies.
However, desserts like today’s Strawberries with Mascarpone Almond Cream and Shortbread Cookies, are the kind desserts I can whip up with no problem at all, since no baking or exact science is required.
I like to think of this as a deconstructed strawberry shortcake of sorts. Instead of a flaky biscuit, I crumbled store-bought shortbread cookies over a mixture of strawberries and an easy almond-infused mascarpone cream. As you can see in the photos, the cream and the cookies are nestled on top of the strawberries, but I also served it as a trifle of sorts by alternating layers of the strawberries with the cream and the cookies. Either way, this is an easy-to-make dessert that takes minutes to throw together and may even become your new favorite way to eat strawberries for the rest of summer.
Coincidentally, it also happens to be the perfect dessert to serve for Fourth of July, which is something I didn’t have planned in the slightest – love when things work out like that. If you triple or quadruple the recipe (which can easily be done), you could layer everything in one of those giant trifle bowls for a showstopper centerpiece amongst the red, white and blue. (Something I’m actually thinking about doing for the party we’re hosting on the Fourth.)
I like to macerate the strawberries a half hour or so before assembling the dessert, just to make sure each berry is super juicy and sweet, but if you taste your berries and decide they don’t need it, feel free to skip.
The mascarpone cream couldn’t be simpler since all it requires is mixing some softened mascarpone with a little bit of powdered sugar for sweetness, milk to facilitate in making the cream easy to drizzle, and then almond extract for that irresistible almond flavor I’m kind of obsessed with.
I used whole milk to dilute the mascarpone cream, but if you only have cream, half & half, or even low-fat milk, you can also use that. Also, makes sure you use a good-quality PURE almond extract and not something that’s just almond flavored. I find that unless it’s pure extract, it can have a sort of metal, off-putting taste. When you’re using only a few ingredients, you really want everything to be high-quality.
Finally, for the shortbread cookies, all I did was crumble a bunch between my fingers, but you could easily toss them in a mini food processor if you don’t’ want to exert any effort. Just make sure to pulse, so you have varying textures. The brand of cookie doesn’t really matter, but I prefer these guys , since they have the perfect amount of buttery flavor, with just a hint of sweetness.
What I love most about this is it’s obviously fancy enough to serve at a party, but it’s easy enough to prepare at home on a random Tuesday night. Either way, this is my new favorite dessert of summer…
For more Fourth of July Dessert Recipes, check out these posts!
- 1 lb strawberries, quartered
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
- 4 heaping tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
- 6 tbsp (plus more if needed) whole milk
- 5 oz shortbread cookies, crumbled
- Mixing bowls
- Add strawberries and granulated sugar to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Let sit for 15-30 minutes until juicy.
- While the strawberries macerate, add mascarpone, powdered sugar, almond extract and milk to the bottom of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment. (You can also whisk by hand or with a hand mixer.) Beat on medium speed until combined. If needed, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time until the cream is thin enough to drizzle.
- Spoon a tablespoon of the cream in the bottom of a dessert glass or small bowl. Top with a spoonful of strawberries, followed by a liberal drizzle of the cream. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of the the shortbread. Repeat one more time with the remaining ingredients (you may have a little bit of leftover cream, but if you're like me, you lick it with a spoon 🙂 )