strawberry shortcake cookies

Strawberry Shortcake CookiesYet again, I begin this post by talking about how it’s been too long since the last, and that was because I was horribly busy. However, if I may deign to make just one more excuse, life has been exceptionally busy these last two weeks. Last Monday, Memorial Day, I graduated from college, and two days later I drove a very packed car home to New York. I said goodbye to friends, professors, my lovely kitchen (tear), and Ohio, the place I lived for the last four years. Despite my constant ridicule of On the Road-type metaphors for change and introspection, it was challenging to not get nostalgic during the eight hours on I-80.  Suffice it to say, it’s been a strange couple of weeks.Peak SeasonBatter Close-UpHaving now taken the necessary week to process this transition into postgrad uncertainty, I’ve started to actually write about all the things I did manage to bake, and all the great memories that came with them. These cookies, for example, were made in a rush between an awesome afternoon of swimming at a local creek and a great evening of barbecue with my senior thesis class. One of my friends even memorably said, “I’m going to miss you coming in late with whatever you’ve baked”. Snark aside, it was emblematic of the sentimentality we all felt in the final days leading up to graduation.Ready to BakeSprinkled with Sanding SugarSappiness notwithstanding (all these feelings are making me nauseous), these cookies were fucking awesome. More scones than cookies, the batter doesn’t use eggs, has you cut in butter (rather than use an electric mixer) and the dough is definitely on the wet side. I’d venture to call them a hybrid cookie-scone, a scookie if you will: lighter than a regular cookie, but far moister than a chronically dry scone. I consider them slightly fugly, but some of the best-tasting things often are.Cooling CookiesLike all things bearing a strawberry shortcake name, they were a huge hit, and are now part of my summer potluck/barbecue/something-sweet-to-eat rotation. They are an especially good reconciliation of the deliciousness of strawberry shortcake and portability, as they are way easier to pack up and carry than a fragile multi-layer tower of fruit and whipped cream.

Tips:

  • I generally add in a little extra fruit in most recipes, as I think there’s nothing worse than a overly high cake to fruit ratio. So I think I would describe my amount as “two heaping cups”, but I’m sure they’d be fine either way.
  • I read reviews complaining that the dough was too soft, and so some resorted to refrigerating the dough in between mixing it and scooping it. I definitely found the dough soft, but not all that difficult. If you don’t like the thought of super wet/sticky dough, especially in a warm kitchen, consider the extra step.
  • Going off on that, treat the butter as you would in making a pie crust, in that it should be coming straight out of the fridge and into the mixture. If you’re concerned about heat, cut it up and chill until ready for use.
  • I upped the lemon juice a tad and added a tiny bit of vanilla to the strawberry mixture, because I think both draw out more flavor
  • LINE YOUR PANS- I did for the first batch, and because I was in the aforementioned rush, I didn’t bother with the second, and definitely regretted it.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4” dice (2 cups)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 coarse salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or rub in with your fingers, into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  5. [OPTIONAL] Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes to firm up.
  6. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

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