After years of dreaming of it, I finally made it. It was a perfect family project: my mother Linda baked the cake (and trimmed the edges that had been gently nibbled by puppy Ruby), I frosted it, and my sister Rebecca applied the strawberries.
The cake is impressive-looking, and it actually tastes fantastic. Rich and buttery, with luscious cream cheese frosting. So worth the effort.
Made some shortbread cookies out of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I later dipped them in melted chocolate, but honestly, they look and taste better plain. The cookbook's advice to chill the cut out cookies before baking them is a good one as the edges bake up sharper. I would also add that you should rotate the pans halfway through baking (something I don't usually do) so that you don't end up with half a pan of overly browned cookies.