The Sweet Addition Christina Tosi Uses For Elevated Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is one of summer's great boons. It is difficult to imagine a forkful of that beautiful dessert with just the right ratio of strawberries and cream tasting any better, but Milk Bar founder and chef Christina Tosi's sweet addition to this seasonal classic does just that. When it comes to making individual shortcakes, Tosi shared with Good Morning America that she rolls the dough into a ball, then coats them in powdered sugar.

While this might sound like a mess for eaters, don't worry, it is anything but. The magic of this ingredient is that it will be absorbed by the dough, giving the outside a golden sweet crunch that complements the juicy strawberries. And don't fret about the inside either. The shortcake maintains the moist and fluffy texture that you know and love. In fact, this method is employed when making another favorite baked good.

Powdered or granulated sugar

When you bake cookies and roll the dough in powdered sugar before baking, it gives you a beautiful crackle effect that makes the cookie soft and chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. This is exactly what happens when you follow Tosi's take on strawberry shortcakes and coat the unbaked dough in powdered sugar. But if you don't have powdered sugar to work with for this trick, don't worry. 

Cook's Illustrated put this sweet technique to the test by baking crinkle cookies and found that granulated sugar helps the process along with greater efficiency. In the heat of the oven, some of the crystals turn into a syrup and later recrystallize, creating all those cracks. This is because sugar, be it powdered or granulated, is going to pull moisture away from the exterior. Still, some people like to coat their dough in both before baking — using the granulated sugar first, followed by powdered sugar for the ultimate crackle.