Monday, August 20, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Have you all been taking advantage of strawberries while they're fresh, in season, and hopefully local? I hope so! I sure have been. Strawberries were always such a special treat when I was little because they weren't around for very long. At least not in the 90s in our Western New York supermarket. Now you can get them all year round because they're shipped in from all over, but those off-season strawberries never taste quite the same.

I think the most common way I ate strawberries when I was a kid was with Cool Whip for dessert, but I also recall many strawberry shortcakes. I know a traditional strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit-like cake, but we always went for those little round sponge cakes that came six in a package. They got instantly soggy with strawberry juice and a healthy amount of Cool Whip, but they were yummy!

I saw this recipe on Pinterest (obviously) and I knew I had to make it before the good strawberries went bye bye for the season. Prepare for strawberry deliciousness.

12 ounces of strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar for sprinkling (or just regular sugar)

Preheat your oven to 375. The first thing I did was slice my strawberries, eating one for myself about every third strawberry. You can adjust that ratio to your liking. Once the strawberries are sliced, put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon juice and stir. Set them aside and try not to just eat them like that with a spoon.

Next, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a large bowl.

Cut your butter into cubes.

I clearly need a new cutting board.

Martha suggests cutting the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. I am not the owner of a pastry cutter, so I just used my hands and made sure to smoosh (that's a technical chef term) it in good so there were no big chunks. The texture you're looking for will resemble wet sand.

Stir in the cream until the dough starts to come together and then add the strawberry mixture.

Take a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure and drop the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with sanding sugar, or just regular sugar like me if you had never heard of sanding sugar before today.

Bake your cookies until the edges turn golden brown. In my oven this was about 20 minutes, but the recipe calls for 24 or 25 minutes. So be sure to keep an eye on them if you have a wonky oven, like me. Remove them with a spatula and set them on wire racks to cool.

These might be my favorite cookies ever. Yes, I say that about all cookies I make, but I might be serious this time. They're soft and buttery and the baked strawberries remind me so much of a strawberry rhubarb pie, which just happens to be my favorite dessert of all-time. As I mentioned before, I love chocolate, but I really only like it in small doses so cookies with fruit or nuts are more up my alley. I could have (and did) eat an obscene amount of these over the weekend and I've happily offloaded the rest to my office kitchen where they're already being scarfed down. In fact one co-worker e-mailed this to me already: "God Damn those were f’ing tasty.  Crap, they are good.  I’m going to be thinking about those for the rest of the day." So I think they're pretty good!

If you love strawberries, then definitely give these a go! What's your favorite cookie? Have you ever made cookies with fresh fruit before?

1 comment:

  1. oh noms, those look so delicious. I don't know what my favorite cookie is. maybe one with peanut butter and chocolate. although i want to try the ones you made with the frosting few weeks ago. or the lemon ones. mmm.