Sweet, earthy hazelnuts lend their flavor to these delicate shortcakes, which are split in half and filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. If you prefer, skip the slicing step and set a whole biscuit alongside a big scoop of the berries topped with cream. Feel free to substitute toasted walnuts or pecans in place of the hazelnuts if you have them on hand — they’re delicious here, too.
Strawberry Hazelnut Shortcakes
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
For the strawberries:
2 lb. (1 kg.) strawberries
1 rounded Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried lavender blossoms
2 Tbs. honey
For the vanilla whipped cream:
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) heavy cream
About 1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse a few times to mix. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the hazelnuts and pulse until the hazelnuts are finely chopped. Pour the 1/2 cup cream evenly over the mixture and pulse until moist clumps form.
Remove the dough from the processor, gather into a ball and place the ball on a lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough into a 4-by-6-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle into 2-inch squares, making 6 biscuits total (with no scraps).
Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, about 14 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the biscuits cool completely on the pan.
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries: Stem and core the strawberries, then halve small ones or quarter large ones lengthwise. Place in a large bowl. In a mortar, using a pestle, grind together the granulated sugar and lavender blossoms until the lavender is finely ground. Sprinkle the lavender sugar over the strawberries, then drizzle the honey over the berries and stir to coat evenly.
To make the whipped cream, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream, granulated sugar to taste and vanilla on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.
Using a serrated knife, gently split each biscuit and place on individual plates. Spoon the strawberries and whipped cream onto the bottom halves, cap with the biscuit tops and serve immediately. Serves 6.