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With summer almost here, I felt like breaking out a summer dessert today at an event I cooked for. It was actually more like spring, since if it were really summer it'd be too darn hot to cook anything.

Cornbread Shortcake
For half sheet pan. You'll need a deep sheet pan or an extender for best results (but you can adjust amounts to fit any deep pan you have. Nothing is critical in this recipe)

Make cornbread as directed.

Make fruit topping. I suggest strawberry, strawberry/banana, peaches, or mixed berry(usually blue berries/rasberries/strawberrys). Toss selected fruit with white sugar at about 1/2 cup sugar to 1 quart berries ratio(adjust as needed). Let stand for 1 hour until juice forms.

I suggest adding the following to the above berries, as it brings out flavor that otherwise would go un-noticed:
Strawberries: add splash of red wine, or splash of orange liquor.
Strawberry/Banana: add splash of creme de banana liquor.
Peach: add splash of peach schnapps, or dark rum.
Mixed berry: add splash of cassis(berry liquor)

Use store bought whipped cream, or make your own, just don't use cool whip.

I use Marie Chandlers restaurant cornbread mix from Sam's Club, just add water. Increase by 50% the amount called for a half size sheet pan and use pan extender. Add 1/2 cup lightly toasted sweetened coconut and 1/2 cup white sugar. Cook as directed or until tested done.

Let cool slightly, then cut horizontally in half like it was a giant biscuit. Gently fold top back.

Pour fruit of choice on to bottom layer of cornbread, then top generously with whipped cream, then lay top of cornbread back on top of whipped cream. Top reassembled cornbread with additional whipped cream and then more fruit mixture. Dust with powered sugar if there's company, or just eat if you're alone.

Variation: Use extra thick biscuits. I use Red Band "Formula L" biscuit mix, but you may be on your own as this is a southern thing I believe. Anyway, make large biscuits following biscuit recipe(you won't need sugar or coconut), about 4" in diameter, and after allowing to cool, prepare as directed above.
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