Strawberry and Chocolate Shortcake

                                                        2 cups plus 2 tbs. all-purpose flour
                                                        2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
                                                        2 tsp baking powder
                                                        Pinch salt
                                                        3 tbs. plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
                                                        1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cup half-and-half
2 pints strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup kirsch
8 scoops vanilla ice cream
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and mix well. Add the butter and, using your hands, work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half and half, and gently mix to incorporate(The dough will be sticky). Dust your work surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Gently fold each side toward the center. Pick up the dough and dust the work surface with the remaining tablespoon flour. Return dough to work surface and fold each side toward the center again. Turn the dough over and lightly press it out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut the shortcakes using a 2-1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place the shortcakes on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.Combine the strawberries, kirsch, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Toss to mix. Cover and chill for 2 hours. To serve: Cut the shortcakes in half horizontally. Put a scoop of ice cream on each bottom half, then cover with the top half. Spoon the strawberries in equal amounts over the top and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Compliments of Doris Rowe