Thursday, May 30, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay
This song makes me think of skipping.  The intro begins with the handclaps which then melt into a lilting drumbeat.  I'm not sure what Coldplay wanted me to think about when listening to this song, but it takes me inside a 70s movie.  Have you ever noticed how sun-drenched those movies seem to be?  You can always see all the filaments in the air - cottonwood, pollen, dust.  I picture myself walking through a field, the sunlight is flared, I've got a long stalk of field grass to chew on, and I'm happy.  Almost skipping.  And it's a perfect day.  A perfect day can also look like this - playing around in the kitchen and coming up with a new cookie for the recipe box, and then sharing dinner (complete with said cookies for dessert) with my husband in front of a documentary about The Eagles, and then having the husband announce that my new cookie just might be his new all-time favorite.  Yeah - that's a pretty terrific day!

My small strawberry patch, which fits inside of a 4'x4' box, is starting to present me with strawberries!  Not enough to do anything with other than walk out there and eat them straight from the stem.  You know, before the birds or bugs get them.  But I'm hopeful.  I can already see that I'm going to have a killer raspberry harvest this year - and the grapes will be ridiculous!

But, back to the strawberries.

They are in the stores year round.  But it's this time of year that they start looking like they might actually taste good!  I picked up a couple quarts the other day, thinking I was going to make some pudding.  Instead, this cookie idea popped into my head.  And the idea just sort of settled itself so neatly in my brain that I had to try them instead of the pudding.

In my mind's taste factory, I imagined that they would taste a certain way - a basic cookie with pockets of strawberry flavor and pockets of white chocolate.  I didn't take into the account how the strawberries would blend into the batter so easily, turning it a delicate pink.  The end result is that the cookies taste very much like strawberry shortcake!  For some reason, I never thought of that possible outcome.  But it stands to reason, right?

I like to sample cookies along their whole process of creation.  Cookies' tastes can vary along the way.  Some have dough that's just not as tasty as the final cooled cookie.  Some cookies taste better straight from the oven than when cooled - or vice versa.  Well, the dough on these is pretty delicious.  So, if you have "trigger" issues with cookie doughs then taste with caution!  As far as the straight from oven vs. cooled test, I have to definitely go with cooled for these ladies.

I also have to say that freezing the portions first is pretty important to help with spreading when baked.  Or at least space those cookies out far and wide.  Baking straight from frozen, though, produces some gorgeous cookies.
I'm thinking that these will be happily accepted at graduation barbecues, family reunions, Father's Day picnics.  It'll be so much easier than carting along all the parts for strawberry shortcake - and no refrigeration necessary!  Oh - and I can imagine these baked as little minis as well and being adorable for a baby shower or a little girl's birthday party!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
makes about 30 medium size cookies
2 1/3 c. flour (300 g)
1 c. sugar (200 g)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 c. butter, softened (227 g)
1 egg
3 T. cream
1 T. almond extract
1 pt. strawberries
1 c. white chocolate chips
Sparkling white sugar or turbinado sugar

In a food processor, process the strawberries - but don't process them to smithereens.  More to smithers - where there's still some chunks remaining.  This should give you about a cup of chunky strawberry puree.  Here's what strawberry smithers looks like ~
In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix until well combined.  Add the soft butter and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the egg and mix well.  Combine the cream and the almond together and then add to the bowl and mix a few turns to get the mixture coming together.  Add the strawberries and the white chocolate chips and mix just until it comes together and the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the dough.

Choose your scoop size, I used a #24 scoop, and portion the cookies out onto a parchment lined tray.  Put in the freezer for about 1 hour to get a good freeze set on them.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.  Line your baking sheet trays with parchment.  Take each cookie and press the top into the decorator sugar and then place on the baking tray, sugar side up.  
Work quickly so the cookies don't have a chance to sit too long.

Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the baking time.  Let cool for a few minutes on the tray and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Then stand guard!  With only two people in my house, these disappeared at an alarming rate!  ALARMING!


  1. Ummm... alright, I will.

    Smithers made me laugh. :)

    1. Truth be known, I kinda made myself laugh at that one! Haha!

  2. Replies
    1. Melanie! How are you? They taste pretty amazing, too! Seriously addictive!