Combine the strawberries, kirsch, and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar in medium-size mixing bowl. Toss to mix. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons 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 of the flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Gently fold each edge toward the center. Pick up the dough and dust the work surface with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Return the dough to the work surface and fold each edge toward the center again. Turn the dough over and lightly press it out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out 8 shortcakes using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.
Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
To serve, cut the shortcakes horizontally in half. Put a scoop of ice cream on each bottom half, then cover with the top half. Spoon the strawberries in equal amounts over the tops and sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 servings