Saturday, July 16, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I love summer desserts - and strawberry shortcake is definitely at the top of the list. A friend was having a birthday party outdoors at her new apartment and I offered to bring a dessert but I wasn't sure if she would have silverware, bowls, etc. When I found this recipe from Martha Stewart for strawberry shortcake cookies I thought it was a perfect solution to my problem! What a great idea Martha - everyone loved these cookies. They're a bit more cakey than cookies, but that's what makes them multi-purpose (could also have them at a brunch/breakfast). I also had the idea to throw in some chopped dark chocolate into half of the batch, which I decided made a sort of Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cookie! Also delicious - and I've had at least a couple people ask for the recipe since making them, so here goes:

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
2 cups diced strawberries
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 TB sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 TB cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup light cream
sanding sugar for sprinkling on top
1/3 cup dark chocolate pieces (if you want!)

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Combine strawberries, lemon juice and 2 TB of the sugar in a bowl, mixing together to coat all the strawberries.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar in a separate large bowl.
4. Cut in the butter to the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. If you don't have one, you could also use a fork and knife to cut it in, or you could process it lightly in a food processor. I started cutting the butter in with a fork and knife, which proved to be a frustrating process so I transferred it to the processor, which was much quicker.
5. Stir in the cream next, until it seems to be a sort of doughy mixture. It will seem too dry, but don't worry because next you're going to add the strawberries, which will add much more liquid to the batter. So go ahead - add the strawberry mixture! If you want to add the chocolate, this is the time to do it - being careful not to mix the batter too much or it will make the batter more dense.
6. Drop the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment. I didn't have parchment and the cookies really stuck to my baking pan (even though I sprayed it with Pam), so I do recommend the parchment method. The cookies won't spread too much, they should stay pretty tall and round, so don't worry about spacing them too far apart.
7. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar if you like, before baking. Bake until golden brown. The recipe calls for 24-25 minutes. I don't think I've ever seen a recipe for cookies that takes that long to bake! I think I tried 15 first and at that point just add 1 minute at a time until they look done. Because it's a thicker batter it might be good to press down on the cookie (if it springs back you're good!) or stick a toothpick in one. This is why it's important to make the cookies all the same size drop - so that they take the same amount of time to bake.
8. Martha recommends that these cookies be made the day of - that they're not great as "leftovers." Thankfully I was making mine for a party and made them just a couple hours before - so when I brought them they were still warm! I'm sure they would've been fine the next day, but I didn't have a chance to test because they were all gone! Always a good sign of a successful new recipe!

I've decided to make them for a 2nd time today - my mouth is watering just thinking about them!! Yum!

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